Friday, January 27, 2012
World Web War
Posted by Nick
The personal computer may soon be not-so-private, with the U.S. and some European nations working on laws allowing them access to search the content held on a person's hard drive.
President Obama's administration is keeping unusually tight-lipped on the details, which is raising concerns among computer users and liberty activists.
Almost everyone today owns a music player and a laptop. But what if the Government decided to allow itself to access these personal devices for no specific reason whatsoever?
In extreme secrecy from the public, the Obama administration is hammering out an international copyright treaty with several other countries and the European Union.
Under the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), governments will get sweeping new powers to search and seize material thought to be in breach of copyright.
While the Obama administration calls these secretive plans a development of national security, Richard Stallman, a prominent American software freedom activist, calls it a secret war on sharing-http://youtu.be/vrug3kXZNfU
When Poland announced its intentions to sign the treaty on 18 January 2012 a number of Polish government websites, including those of the President and Polish Parliament, were shut down by denial of service attacks that started January 21, akin to protests against SOPA and PIPA that had happened two days previous. Notwithstanding the ongoing protests, the Polish ambassador to Japan signed the treaty, as ordered by the Polish authorities, though whether it is going to be ratified by the Parliament and the President remains to be seen.
On 26 January 2012 a group of Polish politicians expressed disapproval of the treaty by holding up Guy Fawkes masks during parliamentary proceedings. Mike Masnick of Techdirt noted that the handmade masks were themselves symbolically "counterfeit", as Time Warner owns intellectual property rights to the masks and typically expects royalties for their depiction.-Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement