Home > All, General Rants, Politics, Security Issues > I have seen the ACTA future – and it stinks

I have seen the ACTA future – and it stinks

February 15, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Somebody said to me, “What do you think about SOCA taking down rnbxclusive?” I knew nothing about it – so I went and had a look. This is what I found.

The IP address simply resolves to my ISP. But given the noted time, SOCA can now require from that ISP details of who, that is, me, was using that address at the time. Gotcha.

And look at what they threaten. “You may be liable for prosecution and the fact that you have received this message does not preclude you from prosecution.” I am being threatened by SOCA.

Now you could say that the threat pertains to the message in red: “If you have downloaded music using this website…” But the layout separates the two. The implication is that the two sentences are not directly connected. It is a pure, blatant threat designed to frighten me, and any other visitor. And it stinks.

The next sentence is even more illuminating. “As a result of illegal downloads young, emerging artists may have had their careers damaged. If you have illegally downloaded music you will have damaged the future of the music industry.” That is not a statement from a law enforcement agency; that is a statement from the music industry. And, needless to say, I know more genuine experts who would disagree with this claim than I know of music ‘experts’ who would support it. What is SOCA doing disseminating music industry propaganda?

I am not alone in my concerns. Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, comments, “It is fair to question whether the involvement of SOCA has diverted resources from investigating serious public threats such as people trafficking, drug importation and gun running and it is laughable to suggest that anyone downloading a few songs from a music blog constitutes organised crime.”

SOCA, remember, is the Serious Organized Crime Agency.

I will go one step further. This is the future of the internet for everyone if we allow ACTA to be ratified. We will see more and more notices like this pertaining to anything that governments and rightsholders don’t like. It is the beginning of the censorship of the internet. We’ve already got it in the UK courtesy of the absurd Digital Economy Act. So the world must stop ACTA now, and the UK must repeal DEA now.

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