I have said this often – and in many ways.
I have lamented the disconnect that exists between the people who fight for civil liberties in general and freedom of speech in particular and those who are battling the copyright trolls and those hardly audible voices that are trying to raise alarm about the abuse of patent laws.
Part of the problem – in my never-humble-opinion is that each of these groups comes from a completely different sphere of interest/infuence and, for all practical purposes, from different cultures.
They do not dress alike.
They do not follow the same trends in popular culture.
They do not agree on what ‘societal norms’ are today.
They do not read the same news sources.
And – perhaps most importantly – they do not use language the same way: not only do they not use the same words to express themselves, when they do use ‘common’ words, they do not use them in the same sense.
Example: when Canadian Free Speech acvocate Ezra Levant was being sued for defamation by an HRC troll by the name of Vigna, one of the ‘defamatory’ statements was that Mr. Levant accused Mr. Vigna of ‘hacking’. The judge then started a bit of a lengthy discussion about what does the term ‘hacking’ really mean: the consensus – undisputed by Mr. Levant’s sounsel – was that ‘hacking’ implies an illegal act!
Sitting in the audience, I came close to screaming out: it does no such thing!!!
‘Hacking’ simply means ‘an innovative use of existing code/coding’!
I can easily say that I ‘hacked together’ a new app from bits of code I had from before: no illegal activiy implied! Sure, many people can use hacking for illegal purposes, but ‘cracking a problem’ is not the same as ‘cracking a safe’ – so the word ‘cracking’ does not, in itself, have illegal connotations.
Same with ‘hacking’.
BTW: Mr. Levant was found to have defamed Mr. Vigna for saying he had ‘hacked’ something…
No wonder that the first two groups (civil libertarians/free speachers and anti-copyright-people) as ureasonable and weird… (The last group is perhaps less distasteful to each of the first two, but, being mostly scientists, they are just not that great at communicating just how dire the situation really is….they are trained to overcome problems – not bitch about them: so, that is what they do. Which does not mean the problem is not there and is not desctroying our way of life!)
So, why is the message not resonating?
‘At this point in the discussion, the copyright industry will complain that they only take action for the illegal bitpatterns found, and that there is no infraction on the right to legal communications. And in doing so, they put themselves in the exact same spot as the old East German Stasi, which also steamed open all letters sent in the mail – but only took action on those with illegal content, just like the copyright industry describes as their preferred scenario. Stasi, too, sorted legal from illegal, and left the legal alone.’
And that is exactly what the copyright industry is demanding: decrypt and check all the communication, permit the legal bits through and hand the rest over to law-enforcement agencies!
Please, consider the following court ruling in the UK: All UK ISPs are now compelled to block access to Pirate Bay.
onsider what is necessary to accomplish this: each and every bit of communication has to be decrypted, analyzed and then either permitted to pass through or not.
That means that a private company not only has the right – it is compelled to – read each and every single email everyone sends.
What do they do with the information they receive in this manner? The ruling does not bother itself with such mundane details….
Sorry – please, insert the worst invectives of your choice here….
Because in a very real sense, this does indeed mean the end of private speech on the internet and the end of anonymous speech on the internet.
And let’s not forget our not-so-distant history: anonymous speach is the cornerstone of liberty!
Without anonymous speach, there would be no Federalist Papers.
Without anonymous speach, there would be no way to overthrow tyrants.
No wonder those who want to hold power will use any pretext that presents itself in order to eliminate private communication and anonymous speech!!!