Monday, December 26, 2011

How Russian and Chinese Styled 'Copyright Laws' Could Crush Dissent in America

Washington Blog writes:

Leading American Internet businessmen warn that the draconian copyright bill on the verge of being passed by Congress would let the US government use censorship techniques “similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.” 
If you want to know what the United States would look like after this bill is passed, just look at what’s been happening in Russia:  The Russian government has been crushing dissent under the pretext of enforcing copyright law. 
As the New York Times noted last year: 
Across Russia, the security services have carried out dozens of similar raids against outspoken advocacy groups or opposition newspapers in recent years. Security officials say the inquiries reflect their concern about software piracy, which is rampant in Russia. Yet they rarely if ever carry out raids against advocacy groups or news organizations that back the government.
[A] review of these cases indicates that the security services often seize computers whether or not they contain illegal software. The police immediately filed reports saying they had discovered such programs, before even examining the computers in detail. The police claims have in numerous instances been successfully discredited by defendants when the cases go before judges.
The plainclothes officers who descended upon the Baikal Wave headquarters said they were from the division that investigated commercial crime. But the environmentalists said they noticed at least one officer from the antiextremism department, which tracks opposition activists and had often conducted surveillance on the group.
Baikal Wave’s leaders said they had known that the authorities used such raids to pressure advocacy groups, so they had made certain that all their software was legal.
But they quickly realized how difficult it would be to defend themselves. 
They said they told the officers that they were mistaken, pulling out receipts and original Microsoft packaging to prove that the software was not pirated. The police did not appear to take that into consideration. A supervising officer issued a report on the spot saying that illegal software had been uncovered. 
...Since the American copyright bills (SOPA and PIPA) target online activities, the same thing happening to Russian critics’ computers could happen to the websites of any Americans who criticize the government, the too big to fail banks, or any of the other powers-that-be.
Indeed, the American copyright bill is modeled after the Chinese system.  As I noted Monday:
Given that Joe Lieberman said that America needs an internet kill switch like China, that the U.S. economy has turned socialist (at least for friends of those with control of the money spigot), and that the U.S. government used communist Chinese torture techniques specifically designed to produce false confessions in order to sell the Iraq war, I guess that the bill’s Chinese-style censorship is not entirely surprising. 

1 comment:

  1. This has nothing to do with any type of copyright law, and has everything to do with the ever-increasing police state. Lincoln pulled this kind of crap during the Civil War and he certainly did not need any fancy new copyright legislation to pull it off. The solution to this is some kind of blanket amnesty for anyone that shoots a a uniformed/badge wearing gang member that tries to steal your property, and/or a law mandating massive jail sentences or death for police that step out of line. Once a few dozen cops are in jail for life, or are in the chair, the rest of them will take the time to consider the legality and justness of the acts they perform.