Author Topic: Anti-terrorism/digital piracy laws vs. Human rights and democratic constitutions  (Read 5016 times)

Emp_Dragon

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I've got no knowledge about such laws outside Europe, but within Sweden and the EU there are a number of such laws beeing debated and implemented in the highest political levels directly against public oppinion and against human rights and expressed wordings of many national constitutions.

Nationally in Sweden, there is the FRA & IPRED laws, the former grants the Defence Radio intelligence bureau the right to wiretap any and every form of communication crossing the national borders. Due to the geography of Sweden, a lot of the telephone and internet trafic is routed through neighbouring scandinavian countries as many scandinavian telecom operators operate in all of the nordic countries. Ergo: more or less all communication in sweden is constantly monitored by our own government.
The IPRED law is derived from a EU directive and in effect grants private enterprises police authorities in regards to intelectual property such as music, films and video games.
Then there are other EU directives that are debated in it's practically closed political hierarchy.
Among those there are two that stand out. the Data storage directive, a directive that, if implemented, will force telecom operators to monitor, record and store personal information about their clients for a set number of years and to hand over such information to government agencies who will be able to pass on that information at their own discretion.
Then there is the SWIFT directive that apparently will be voted on this thursday. That directive grants the US access to EVERY bank record in 27 European countries for the last 5 years and counting with no insurances what so ever.

charles

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Well this covers a bit  :-\

You'll have to tell me what ability the companies have to police their copyright in Europe, but I certainly understand how they need to protect it to some degree and that it's easier for the police agencies to hand the matter over to them so it doesn't cost the tax payers millions. But really I think it's a strategy that allows the governments to wash their hands of looking like the bad guys for chasing down piracy which remains a bit of a controversial subject, particularly in Europe.  I think there's another thread debating the rest of the copyright discussion in the debate room.

The passing and monitoring of all that personal information obviously covers privacy rights but I'm not sure if thats generally considered a human right.  I'm not sure what they want the banking data for but my best guess is they're trying to track down the movement of terrorist funding.  I'm guessing the telecom companies are simply required to keep records of telephone calls for a longer period of time than they currently do but if we're talking mobile phones then there's also a chance that they could keep a record of people's rough locations in relation to cell phone towers.  The sneaky part here is that they're not actually breaching our privacy by requiring the companies to keep the records, they're only breaching it when they actually access the records.

I guess this comes down to the question of how much right we have to our privacy but if we're also talking about these decisions being made without public input or behind closed doors to hide it from the public then it also covers democratic responsibility to remain answerable to the people and you're obviously not answerable if you're keeping the public in the dark about your dealings.

The UN has a covenant of rights which does include privacy, but the problem is there's a sort of escape clause that allows the rights to be limited "in time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation."  So with this whole terrorism debacle, they're legitimately removing and reducing various rights to privacy with the excuse of fighting terrorist threats to the life of the nation (and in truth, we're cheering them on to do it in 90% of the cases).

I'm not sure if they are but in my opinions, such laws which do break the privacy rights for whats seen as an emergency threatening the life of the nation, in this case terrorisim, should be restricted in two important ways.  1. The private information gathered can only be used to track and combat terrorism (The information cannot be used to combat any other crime or for any other purpose).  2. There is a fixed expiry date/time for the law and renewal/extension will require all the political processes that were used to put the law there in the first place.
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Emp_Dragon

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The policing of copyright by companies in Sweden allows companies to go to court to demand telecom companies to hand over customer records related to specific IP adresses suspected of illegal redistribution of copyrighted material and then issue economic demands without going through court a second time. However, to get the evidence needed to convince the court, wouldn't the company wishing to protect it's obsolete distribution process have to make an illegal entry into the suspect's computer?

And the threat of terrorism isn't great enough to warrant these kinds of intrusions into people's privacy, in fact, the laws themselves is likely to produce an even greater threat to the western society as public outrage against these opressive and injust violations of the right to privacy and to be treated as innocent until prooven guilty will increase and if countered with further state opression, will result in a general collapse of the EU as one after another, the member states' governments are overthrown through civil unrest and revolutions.

charles

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Obsolete distribution process?  Now there's one to be covered in the other copyright thread *lol*.

Depends what evidence they have I guess.  If they're monitoring the bittorrent sites and other places then all they need to see is someone illegally upload their content and then they can just take note of the IP address.  They're usually after the people illegally uploading or distributing their content more than those downloading it (always best to attack the source).  Unless the culprit is uploading through a gateway it's relatively easy for them to note which ISP is assigning the IP address and then demand them to hand over the details of which customer what assigned that IP address at the time of the crime

Obviously it should be a case of them reporting it to the authorities and the authorities chasing the further evidence from ISPs together with prosecuting in court.  But, as before, the governments have decided they don't want to cop the flak so they've handed it to the companies so they can sit back and agree with the public that the companies are terrible for prosecuting this or that person and look like they're on the public's side.

Obviously the threat of terrorism isn't as great as they make out but I guess thats why it's called terrorism since the terror it creates and threat it boasts causes greater damage than their actual attacks ever do.  It's the same with pedophilia where the size of the problem is blown all out of proportion until people are afraid to post pictures of their kids on facebook to brag (seriously, any pedophile will just do a google image search for "naturist" before they bother with seeing some kid in clothes).  Even the standards on food processing, etc is just beyond belief requiring extra work that raises the prices considerably all to prevent the most remote chances of some unlikely food poisoning occurring.

That sad thing is that public outrage to the removal of rights isn't increasing.  The fear of government oppression is overcome by the fear of terrorism and certainly it can't be denied that more powers and less hurdles with things such as privacy laws will allow authorities to better investigate and stop terrorism.  Unfortunately we're just not seeing the potential threat of a government with that much power.
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Emp_Dragon

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It's just that due to the economic system, until now, people have been well enough off to ignore infringements since they don't notice them. But now when companies are outsourcing for cheaper labour, more and more people in the developed world are loosing their jobs and eventually slip between social security grids. That is what's going to destabilise western society, our very own economic system. It was slower in collapsing than the soviet system, but it will collapse none the less, and it will fall harder.

charles

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Yeah, the global organisations have generally stayed out of the 3rd world countries and favored the Western nations, despite higher cost of labor, due to lack of infrastructure and high risk in the developing countries.

In the past the infrastructure has generally been too poor with unreliable shipping ports, rail and road transport, telecommunication, electricity and a lack of public services such as schooling and food supply for any professionals they do need (managers, engineers, etc).  Any strike action is also often more violent (Molitov cocktails, attacks on managers, etc) not to mention that crime and corruption can be more common, causing a truckload of product to go missing from time to time.  But thats all small stuff if you're in a country where the government can suddenly decide to take over your business on a whim, without compensation.

Whats happened is that these developing countries have now developed to a point where they've shown for some-time that their governments are stable, their infrastructure is improved and maintained, crime is kept in check and in general, the risks have been reduced significantly.  But, despite the development, the labor is still cheap, the safety regulations and standards are lower so it's cheaper to operate and compensation for any injury is usually much smaller (if it's required at all).

This as opposed to a developed nation where there's the least risk but significant money is required to meet safety standards, employee costs are high and insurance premiums are just insane as people sue for anything and everything.

But we have a fair way to go.  Japan is the most extreme example of a country where the cost to operate is incredibly high with even garbage collectors often holding at least a diploma, making it difficult to find employees for the more menial tasks without paying high prices.  But Japan has pushed through this by focusing on business that requires high numbers of educated, professionals as opposed to raw labor.  The rest of the Wester nations are leaning towards this as well, with focus on Information technology and engineering.

Not to mention the fact that there's much labor work which simply has to be done in the country of choice (eg, mining, farming, construction, etc).  Generally its the manufacturing industry which is moving overseas and while they might employ thousands of cheap labor there, they generally only employ hundreds of workers in developed countries since it's cheaper to automate rather than hire the more expensive labor.
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Kilravok

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Ecconomical colonialisation is a big threat to our ecconomy.  A nation can not really survive if it outsources all its production into developing countries and itself only keeps accademical and service professions. Even if we don;t need to produce anything ourselves, we still need the professional engineers (as opposed to diploma engineers) and qualified craftsmen, at the very least for maintainance of the infrastructure and domestic utilities.  But it is right, the ecconomical situation is more likely to cause an armed uprise than the terror situation.

As for the Terror situation, yes, I support the winning side, who would want to side with loosers? Terrorism has already won the war hands down before the war really started. One act of terror, and the goverments, forces and services that are sworn to protect our freedom and safety have themselves become the greatest threat to our freedom and safety. 
The terrorists are just leaning back and watching the show with popcorn and cola while non of us are safe from unjust persecusion and we all have our freedom cut away slice by slice.  I often think the whole terror attacks were nothing but a scam, conjured up by the goverments to have an excuse. You don't seriously believe the strict anti-terror regulations will be eased off when things calm down, do you?  They can have definite evidence that all terrorgroups are gone forever and won't come back, and we will still have to go through the nudity scanner at airports and have creepy pervert law-enforcers listening in to our every phone call and internet chat and opening our letters and e-mails.  The Terrorists have already won by winning our representatives for their cause, to disrupt the peace and lives of everybody else.  No-brainer whom I'll support.
How was that saying? "He who sacrifices freedom for the sake of security deserves neither"  It doesn't happen often that a politician says something intelligent,even less often is it that a politician speaks the truth, but that quote is worth knowing. Right along with "Bankers are a greater threat to any nation than terrorists"

I think it is overdue to have an armed uprise in Europe.....Democracy means all force comes from the people...its time the people use that force and make Democracy happen

charles

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I'm not one to put any credability into the idea that the governments conjured up terror attacks to enact their big-brother laws.  Governments tend to more look for excuses or opportunity.  The terrorist attacks happend, in my opinion, without any assistance from the western governments or the any purposeful negligence by them.  But they happened and the governments have taken advantage of them.  Really I blame people to a good extent as well.  Lets face it, even if the governments were reluctant to take away our rights, a significant number of people would have actually been in the streets protesting that they weren't.  Hell, there were celebrations for the enactment of some of these laws.  We didn't loose our rights with either a bang or a whimper, we bloody well shouted horray! :'(

The rights and freedoms we enjoyed in the 90's were not only hard won by those of the great wars but a significant number were also won by the activists of the 60's, 70's and 80's who filled the streets and carried their signs to force the governments to relinquish control.  The problem is that those people grew old and satisfied with their efforts while the younger generation grew with little to protest over or worry about.  A quick War in Iraq (the first one) and a slow but steady effort to reduce censorship laws or legalise certain drugs, but nothing that was prolonged, significant or encompasing enough to really affect a whole nation to stand up and fight.  Its also been a time of economic prosperity.  Sure we had a few minor recessions in the early 90's and around the beginning of the century, but nothing to compare to those before them or the more recent one thats come primarily from the U.S. herself (yes I know a good deal of control lies there but this time it was the affected assets themselves and not just the investments in the assets which were primarily in the U.S.).

Now people are at war, in economic crisis and oppressed by laws on a much more encompasing, significant and prolonged scale.

Thats what I call a tinderbox waiting to ignite and while it might not ignite as brilliantly as some of the protests of the 60's to 80's, it'll still be an uprising for change.  The teaparty in the U.S. is rallying up people to affect their government more directly but their antics aren't just rallying the people who support their causes, its rallying those opposed to them.  If it wasn't the U.S. election would have been much more of a landslide.
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Brekkjern

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The thing is. We don't really loose anything of convenience. We just get monitored, told we can't take pictures here and etc.

Before, people were protesting because they would loose something they held dear or wanted something the government would not give them. Now the governments have perfected the art of giving us room, but still controlling us. At some point they can start taking away things we enjoy.

Brekkjern

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Just came across this today.

http://www.webpronews.com/swiss-government-declares-downloading-for-personal-use-legal-2011-12

Seems like some governments have some sense then. If I am understanding this correctly, you can not charge the person downloading the content for copyright infringement. Only the one sharing. This protection is very much needed as then the police/content providers will go after the source of the piracy instead of the weaker and more profitable user.