Thursday, June 26, 2008

ACTA Paranoia?

ACTA paranoids - or those who are merely observant - will not be comforted by the U.S. Senate hearing that just took place regarding searching and seizure of laptops without any basis for suspicion, a practice so far vindicated by no less than the the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to the NY Times, quoting a Homeland Security official, infringing IP is one of the things that border guards are looking for.
[Senator] Feingold expressed discontent that the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the customs and border agency, did not send a witness to testify. He said a written statement by Jayson P. Ahern, deputy commissioner for the agency, provided “little meaningful detail on the agency’s policies.”

Mr. Ahern’s statement said that the agency’s efforts did not infringe upon privacy and that it was important to note that the agency was “responsible for enforcing over 600 laws at the border, including those that relate to narcotics, intellectual property, child pornography and other contraband, and terrorism.” (emphasis added)
So, could a ripped CD or a downloaded unpaid for MP3 could result in action by Homeland Security?

It seems to be right up there with narcotics, child porn and terrorism. And this is pre- ACTA.

Would they really do anything about a few ripped CDs or downloaded MP3s?

Would large record companies sue children and dead grandmothers?

Today the border - tomorrow your home?

Oh, brave new world....

As I must repeatedly stress, being in favour of balance, privacy and the best use of policing resources is not tantamount to condoning piracy. It's all a question of reason and rationality.


1 comment:

  1. According to this: half of 14 to 24-year-olds in the UK are happy to share all the music on their hard drive. I think rigid enforcement, if that was even possible, and even with a full scale ACTA I doubt that it is, is unwise - it would by necessity entail significant incursions into personal privacy for what is likely ultimately going to be a failed policy.