New threats to Internet Freedom                                        traffic news

     New threats to Internet Freedom

When it comes to backups and illegal downloading of software and music, they are two sides of the story. One of them is, of course, about companies that lose money on this at any time of the day. The other side is the "freeware community" which is in constant debate that software must be free as the wind. Of course, you can pay money for it, but they should not be copyright. It is something very difficult, and when people start to look into the details of it, it is hard to keep concentration on the main theme.

Internet providers are announced in the media talking about what you can do on the Internet: download music, share videos, use social networks, etc. And already one wonders: If download music is literally forbidden (unless the singer decides to share his material), then the propaganda is misleading because as things are being, download music almost makes him either in a criminal. If a youtube video or a movie of a site peer to peer then I can be categorized as a criminal in power and if anything, I see it only I, although the essence of life has much to do with sharing information with others.

The creation of the mp3 format, that so many megabytes and megabytes of storage has avoided using, it is here to stay but with the same songs can hear without loss of fidelity (at least not the note listener) and occupy little space of memory. Before a grounder in the format of music CDs would be about 20 to 40 megs. Now if anything 4 megs. Thanks to the mp3 we made more simple, fast and efficient to send electronic mail, ftp, for example, the music that we love our friends.New threats to Internet

Hardware manufacturers have also collaborated in making units CD and DVD recorders. Prior to this who would like to burn a music disc could play it in an audio cassette, but if it is copied in turn, is was gradually losing quality. Thanks to the manufacturers of CDs and DVDs players copies are identical to the original (so it is not true that a pirated copy can damage your DVD player as some content creators wanted us to believe).

Apple, with its iTunes store has done their part. Earlier, who wanted to make a song in particular had to pay for a CD containing 10 to 12 songs, although only a single song you interested. Thanks to iTunes label industry sells songs uniformly, with subsequent economic loss because no spending ten dollars more for having the song we like or that is fashionable. This change in business model in which Apple takes the baton, no doubt collaborated to the record companies would have less income.

Software manufacturers have also done his bit. Write programs to use units CD recorders and DVDs of other efficient ways. These programs can do screenshots bitwise. of those discs then transmit them over the network. They have also created rippers, programs that allow read music discs and convert their songs in the mp3 format. Don't need no technical capacity to do this and anyone who can use a computer in the most basic way can do.

And you will say: well, but DVD recorders were not made to copy discs with copyright, as well as the software to control these devices. And who invented the mp3 format either will have thought that this would cause this wave of piracy. Let's assume for a moment that is the case but if you have given us all resources, hardware and software to duplicate all kinds of information. The table is set and that being the case, who not sits down to eat?New threats to Internet

The best analogy I can find is that we invite a feast to eat and when we arrived we cannot even try the food. Everything is ready, wine glasses, bottles manufacturers, succulent delicacies, but no, we are prohibited from bring us closer to the table and if we tested the food it is our fault. Have no doubt that the final consumer of content also contribute to the problem of piracy, but let's be honest: are not the only culprits. We should share the blame for all actors involved in this work.

Laws against piracy is a threat against internet dedicar.

Since the UN is expressed the concern of "protecting freedom of expression on the Internet". For international agencies "laws regulating Internet must take into account their special characteristics as a unique tool for transformation".

In the middle of the debate and initiatives from the sopa law - Stop Online Piracy Act - in United States and the closure of the web site for the exchange of files Megaupload, international agencies are "concerned" about the protection of the right to freedom of expression on the Internet.

"While these rules have the legitimate objective of ensuring protection of intellectual property rights, are serious concerns with regard to their impact on the right to freedom of expression", they made and added that "some versions of bills could silence expressions that are absolutely lawful".

Such is the example of an initiative, which aims to "create an out-of-court"notification and termination"procedure, requiring web sites that they control the content generated by users, to identify violations of copyright, and to allow that all of a web site can be affected even if only a small proportion of their contents are considered to be illegal".

They also recalled that in June of last year, the special rapporteurs of the UN and the IACHR, in conjunction with his colleagues from the Organization for security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the African Commission on human rights and peoples, issued a joint statement on freedom of expression and the Internet.

The Declaration noted that "while freedom of expression, even over the Internet, does not have absolute nature, should be specific approaches to respond to illegal content which, at the same time, recognize the unique characteristics of the Internet and its ability to promote the enjoyment of freedom of expression".

Also the Declaration expresses that "should not be required to brokers control the user-generated content" and stresses the need to "protect them with respect to any liability, provided that they not specifically involved in content or when they refuse to comply with a court order requiring their disposal".

With regard to legislation, they argue that this "should not include definitions broad and vague, nor affect disproportionately to websites and legitimate services". "Any measure that affects expressions that circulate on the Internet should be designed with the specific purpose of preserving the unique ability of this medium to promote freedom of expression through the free exchange of information and ideas instantly, and at low cost, regardless of frontiers".
New threats to Internet

Other threats to freedom of expression on the internet, after SOPA and PIPA laws already dead:

The RIAA and MPAA (even without legislation)

The chief forces behind SOPA/PIPA and suing children, the MPAA and the RIAA are like the cackling, evil villains of the battle for Internet freedom.  If you believe their numbers, Internet piracy is destroying the American economy, disenfranchising artists (because we’ve all noticed the lack of entertainment being produced), and probably kicking puppies and molesting children (who knows?).  And if you don’t do what they tell you to, MPAA president Chris Dodd will straight up prison-shank you. 

Well SOPA/PIPA was defeated, right?  What do we have to fear from the MPAA and RIAA if they can’t get their legislation passed?  When you have millions of dollars and friends in high places, you can exert a lot of pressure even without laws.  Even excepting the RIAA’s practice of suing people for exorbitant amounts of money, there are plenty of examples of them pressuring search engines, ISPs, Universities and even entire countries to get what they want.  


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was a 1998 copyright law intended to take copyright law into the 21st century.  Ostensibly a good idea, the DMCA was supposed to allow the Internet to continue being awesome, while also protecting the legitimate copyrights that could be easily infringed in the new digital environment.  But of course you’ll notice that this law was passed almost a good decade before streaming video was extensively widespread.   

This has led to several interesting abuses of power.  Under the law (and subsequent court decisions refining its scope), the owner of a copyright has the right to request infringing content be taken down.  That sounds all fair and good, but we’re trusting overly-litigious, private companies to responsibly claim copyrights and not use it as a cudgel to suppress customers and competitors.  Which is exactly what they did (the cudgel part, not the responsible part).  They’ve repeatedly claimed that they don’t need to consider “Fair Use” when taking down a video.  And according to Google, almost 40% of claims are illegitimate, and as many as 50% of claims are directed as competitors. 
The law’s in desperate need of updating, but assuming that it will be re-written by politicians who openly admit they have no idea how the Internet works and are solidly in the pocket of companies that get physically ill whenever someone doesn’t pay them, odds are it will only get worse. 
New threats to Internet

Private Companies

In all the talk about SOPA and dangerous government censorship, it’s worth remembering that your Internet check goes to a private company, full of fallible individuals that can’t be booted out of office in the next election.  And there are many, many companies out there with millions of dollars and vested interest in controlling how they are portrayed on the Internet. 

The list is extensive and reads like the lovechild of George Orwell and Eugene V. Debs.  The Boston Globe and Diebold edited Wikipedia extensively to make themselves look better.  Verizon blocked the messages of an abortion rights group because it policy forbids the transmission of “unsavory” information.  Multiple companies shut off third-party donations to Wikileaks.  The cases go on and on.   

Internet Service Providers

You likely have a long, torrid relationship with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) that, like any good relationship, is filled with hate and resentment.  Many of you may be familiar with Comcast, the proud winner of “Worst Company in America”.  But aside from the worst customer service on the planet, they’re also have a long history of doing their damndest to section off the Internet into little boxes and charge an exorbitant admission fee.  All while tracking your personal information and handing it over to the government at the drop of a hat.  

All the major providers are quickly jumping on to the Tiered Pricing bandwagon, ostensibly to provide cheaper Internet to those who only use it for light browsing and e-mail, and bigger, more expensive Internet for those with huge bandwidth requirements. 

Then there’s something known as Deep Packet Inspection. To oversimplify, it basically allows an ISP to know just about everything about your online activity.  Whether you’re browsing webcomics or Lexis-Nexis for work.  Whether you’re on a Skype call or browsing porn.  They can use this information to selectively block traffic they don’t like (or hand over information about traffic to the government).  Award-winner Comcast has already used this to block P2P traffic, and then threatened to fire anyone who talked too loudly about it.  

Protecting Children from Pornography

Who doesn’t want to protect children from being exploited for pornography? That’s the premise behind the Protecting Children from Pornography, and act that started working its way through the bowels of the American legislative process in 2011.  The purpose of this bill is to allow law enforcement personnel to peel back the protections of the anonymous Internet, and track down child pornographers. 

A noble goal that pretty much no one argues with.  The problem really needs no jokes, scare language or dressing up to be absolutely chilling: this bill requires your ISP to track all of your personal information—your name, address, credit card number, browsing history, etc…–for 18 months.  And they’re supposed to turn it over to law enforcement without a warrant.  All the officers need to do is ask.  To be fair, the bill specifies that they must say “please with sugar on top” and they have to promise to be “extra special careful that this isn’t used irresponsibly”.

NSA Warrentless Wiretapping

But before you get too up in arms about Protecting Children from Pornography, rest easy in the fact that the government can basically track you without a warrant anyway.  Remember that whole warrantless wiretapping thing a few years back?  Well despite all the hopey changey-ness floating around Obama, he’s continued using this method.  While it’s not a complete database on every American searching the Internet available at the drop of a hat, it’s pretty damn close. 

The “good” part about the NSA wiretapping, is that they still need to get approval from FISA courts, and the suspects need to be part of an ongoing investigation.  Which makes me feel so very safe knowing that this terribly powerful tool will never be misused or abused by our sterling elected officials and their record of professional ethics that are beyond reproach. 

Government Censorship (Under Existing Law)

For all the dangers that private companies and groups and represent to Internet freedom, they have nothing on governments around the world, who have been censoring things since Caveman King Grog didn’t like Torg’s word for “rock” and ordered Torg executed by smashing.  We’re a little bit more civilized these days, and politicians at least have the decency to pretend like they’re protecting us from something terrible (usually pedophiles, sometimes democracy).  For all the fear surrounding SOPA/PIPA, the US government has no problem causing hell for websites it doesn’t like.  Just ask MegaUpload and Wikileaks, both which were shut down briefly without due process. 

And let’s not even get started on censorship in other countries.  Not even counting giant blockers like China, even developed nations who should know better have been blocking access to thousands of sites.  One of the more hilarious examples is the censorship regime in Australia, which is probably the most famous for using the “Won’t someone think of the children!?!?!” justification.  But when a secret blacklist of blocked sites surfaced, it turns out Australia was in fact using over half its time protecting its citizens from the dangers of dentists and dog kennel websites. New threats to Internet

Zombie SOPA

Reports of SOPA’s death may in fact have been somewhat premature.  The bill is not becoming law any time soon, but it’s only been shelved for the time being.  It still enjoys the support of at least 65 representatives in the House, not to mention the piles of money the MPAA will continue to put into buy votes. 

It’s a guaranteed certainty that this bill, in some form, will rise from the grave and wreak havoc of the freedom of the Internet once again.  Lamar Smith, the bill’s chief sponsor, isn’t going anywhere and—keeping with the venerable Washington tradition—will continue to be dumber than a pile of rocks about the Internet.  The bill will likely be quietly passed through a committee and voted on before the Internet can notice and mobilize a counter-attack.  After all, you can’t expect apathetic Americans to care about politics all year long, right?  That’s just exhausting, we have episodes of Glee to catch up on.  And they can’t black out Wikipedia several times a year, can they?  New threats to Internet

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Sometimes referred to as “SOPA’s evil twin”, ACTA is a multilateral trade agreement designed to create a new and more robust system for protecting intellectual property.  Did you get the impression that this was a legitimate piece of legislation?  Sorry it’s actually a jumbled mess that was mostly negotiated in secret, outside of the current international body governing intellectual property, and without the input of most developing nation.  

So what’s so bad about it?  Well part of the problem is, no one really knows.  The treaty is too much of a chaotic mess of overlapping, overly-vague provisions that prescribe unnecessarily harsh punishments for levels of piracy that are never clearly defined.  One specific provision that has people especially worried is the removal of safeguards that shielded ISPs from legal repercussions as a result of the actions of their users.  Meaning that if you pirate a song on AT&T’s network, the copyright owner can go after AT&T.  And God knows what that lack of protection will do to ISP’s already draconian policies toward users.   

ACTA is so overwhelmingly unnecessary, and has already led to protests number in the tens of thousands in Poland and other cities in the European Union.  After the pitched battle over SOPA/PIPA and now this battle over yet another 4-letter word, it just leaves one wondering: in the middle of one of the worst economic downturns in recent history, with their approval ratings hanging around the single-digits, why are they so obsessed with passing an obscure and oppressive copyright law?New threats to Internet