What's inside your home is yours, except computer files

What's inside your home is yours, except computer files

Summary: Surveillance methods being used are in the same league as those used by the NSA, CIA, MI5, MI6 and China's MSS. A real and genuine underground of revolt brewing. This isn't two street gangs fighting it out in your local hood.


"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause..."

- Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

I've written two controversial pieces concerning intellectual property. One with the view that if it should come to pass that the MPAA / RIAA / xyz advocating new enforcement law to monitor users of the Internet and are found to have illegal copyright material, then who should regulate it, in which I proposed that the FCC is one possible solution.

I wrote immediately thereafter that intellectual property associations are going way overboard and border on the absurd? Just because file sharing is going over the internet, should these associations  have the right to find you guilty, have multiple different mediums content distribution, many of which are free to the public while being able to sue you for infringement? They need to change their business models.

This week, 50,000 new lawsuits have been filed against downloaders. It's only going to get worse.

The history of copyright and intellectual property rights goes back to the 1700's. The free distribution of copyright works has never been impeded like it is today. Some intellectual rights owners are beginning to feel the heat of just how far some organizations (that they belong too) are going to find you. Is McCarthyism ringing in their heads? Are they experiencing uncomfortable emotions?  Billion dollar conglomerates suing Grandma's children for 50 grand through their associations is not good PR.

Surveillance methods being used are in the same league as those used by the NSA, CIA, MI5, MI6 and China. A real and genuine underground of revolt is brewing. This isn't two street gangs fighting it out in your local hood. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act enacted in 1986 is out of date. No kidding.

Google, Microsoft, AT&T, eBay, Intel have joined with the ACLU, EFF and others to form a coalition, Digital Due Process. I know what you're thinking, yet another PR stunt by the moguls who already have their billions and trying to talk out of both sides of their mouth. But if you read through their website, recognize the experienced legal entities associated with this organization, there is a sense that it maybe more than a sham. It's well funded, has put forward its ideas and concepts. Now it is up to you to figure out if its worthy of entering dialogue with. The stakes are significant. The quotation of the 4th amendment is on their front door and not a trivial matter - for anyone. Either they are serious about privacy and surveillance reform, or they aren't. Digital Due Process.org  believes that the ECPA should be updated, which is probably the only thing everyone agrees with. How reforms take shape is another matter.

Are the companies associated with Digital Due Process hedging their bets or is this laying the foundation balancing their fortunes with giving back as Andrew Carnegie did? I'm sure you will voice your opinion.

Update: Google posted on their privacy blogspot views on Digital Due Proccess and created a basic video.

Additional resources:

When is an employer allowed to read your email?

Internet vs. US Constitution

Are the MPAA and RIAA out of their minds?

Warner Bros. recruiting students to spy on file sharers

The FCC should be the regulator of ACTA treaty

FCC releases 'Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan'

Online piracy laws: Is it just about the money?

Canadian MP: Tax media devices to pay for copyright infringement

British Telecom chief: File share users should be fined, not disconnected

British wireless internet users - you're guilty

Net Neutrality: Why the Internet will never be free. For anything. So get used to it

AT&T to FCC: Open to Net Neutrality ideas - with conditions

Net Neutrality: You own the Internet - make sure it becomes Law

Internet: A threat to government or the other way around?

Electronic Frontier Foundation links net neutrality to copyright

United Kingdom National Archives

French solution to illegal download and copyright infringement - tax Google and Yahoo

Google loses book copyright case in France

Lobbyist: Canada cans copyright deal in exchange for U.S. dropping Buy America

European Parliament notice to ACTA negotiators: Open up discussion and be transparent to the public

Topics: Google, BT, IT Employment, China, Privacy, Patents, Legal, Intel, Government, AT&T

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  • More of this ...

    ... http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/26/ofcom-sky-channels

    Time to loosen the grip of the global giants until they get the message. So you fined 0.1% of your customer base? How about we take 50% of your revenue ... and open you up to further competition? Or should we sit down and cut a new deal in everybody's interest? No? How about you lose your license in Phase 2? You don't want to ask about Phase 3 ... take it from me. You have to know? Your former revenue stream just funded a new penal institution. They don't have HDTV or 3D inside. They do have INTEL inside ;-)
    • Are you defending thievery and complaining about those who are robbed?

      You seem to be saying the 'giants' should accept this theft or face the rath of the theives. Am I reading you right? Are you advocating on the side of lawlessness and advocating FOR the thieves?

      I hope I'm wrong.
      • the thieves

        are the big corporations that robbed the people by bribing lawmakers for crooked laws and offshoring jobs.
        What goes arround comes arround!
        Linux Geek
        • Ka-ping! Hit that nail.........

          square on the head.
          Ole Man
          • By that reasoning...

            ...If I don't like the price Target is charging
            for a DVD, then I have the right to steal it?
            Or if I think Porsches are too expensive, then
            I'm entitled to boost the next one I see?

            Grow up.

            I detest intrusive/overboard DRM measures as
            much as anyone, but it's disingenuous and
            immature to pass off wholesale theft as
            "stickin' it to The Man."
  • RE: What's inside your home is yours, except computer files

    What's inside your home is yours... except that which you steal from others.
    • If only it just the guilty.

      The physical reproduction of CDs and DVDs is
      <i>just</i> as big a problem for these
      companies, but the government doesn't enter
      your home and check to make sure you haven't
      stolen any just because Blockbuster complains
      you haven't rented anything from them in a
      while. Yet somehow Sony doesn't face federal
      indictment when their CDs install rootkit on
      their customers PCs? We don't need new laws, we
      just need a legal system that properly
      interprets the ones we already have.
  • If I buy something for my son, is that called file-sharing ?

    Since I pay for it, it's mine. But I bought it for him, so who's in the wrong here ? Me or my son ? Seems the consumer is more and more at a loss.
  • Not a scam or PR stunt if you think about it.

    These things will and do affect companies like MS, ebay, Google, ect. directly

    For one the ability to have clear laws and standards in place so as to be able to create software to take advantage of them without having to second guess what come next, and secondly, maybe more importantly, that they aren't forced by the government to become [i]the[/i] watchdogs for these entities.

    Imagine eBay having to verify that the DVD's being auctioned on their site are legit?

    Imagine MS or Google having to build their software that would detect and send data to the RIAA or government everytime someone rips a DVD or CD?

    Windows Media center is great addition to Win7, so imagime if it where legal to copy material you bought, to a computer you bought, so you can take full advantage of it?

    Does MS want to get caught up in some legal battle because their software gives you the ability to watch the movie on any computer in your house, as opposed to just the one it was downloaded on? Does Google want to spend the money to police Yuotube all day long?

    The worse the laws get, the more an more it affects those comapnies that interact with the media in question, be it email, documents, music, movies, physical media, or media devices.
    John Zern
  • Ironic to see Google advocating privacy

    They accumulate more information about more people than any of the spy agencies. Classic mis-direction.
  • Facts.....?

    1. The MPAA/RIAA are know and convicted criminal corporations who have no credibility of any kind and should not be takken seriously by any court of laws.
    2. Logs (test files) are way to easy to spoof and manipulate to be accepted as evidence in any court of law

    but the sad fact is: the USA justice system is a supermarket where any one with money can buy any law/verdict they want.

    next time you buy "content" from members of the MPAA/RIAA, remember that those 2 criminals group have destroyed more american lives then any terrorists ever did. you are better off d/l "content" from P2P network and send the artists a check, this way you are sure they will get money for they word.
    • How are they convicted criminal corporations?

      Were they found guilty in a criminal court for something that they've been doing?
  • you are clearly not a lawyer

    the fourth amendment protects us from government, not
    corporations. the entire premise of your article is flawed.
    • I knew that....

      I readily admit to not being a lawyer... but you appear to miss the point.

      Government will be prosecuting you through the courts using federal laws (i.e. ACTA, Privacy, ECPA Act) on behalf corporations both for prosecution and defense?

      Did you go to the website Digital Due Process I displayed as a link in the article?

      Just a few concepts come to mind:

      Search and Seizure process you want to leave that to the government to determine how a law is legisilated or civil court?

      How about evidence process...

      The list is endless. Flawed is an accurate statement - the current state of how corporations use law, not the article. That's my opinion.

      Why do you think High Tech companies joined the Digital Due Process org in the first place?

      Thanks for writing.
    • Not true

      The constitution and its constituent amendments
      represent inalienable human rights that cannot be
      denied by <i>any</i> mechanism be they private or
      public. We just specifically enumerate the crimes
      when someone breaks into our homes. Those laws
      don't exist separately. They are <i>justified</i>
      by the constitution.
  • RE: What's inside your home is yours, except computer files

    I have given a lot of thought here.

    Ten years ago I jumped on the Napster bandwagon. I downloaded
    what I could then. Since then I have not done anything illegitimate.
    I do not approve of the tactics of the RIAA or the MPAA. Nor am I
    fond of their pricing.

    I have always believed that the artists should get paid for their

    I now support methods of marketing and distribution that fit my
    beliefs and budget but that also allow me the same rights as if I
    owned the cd or cassette. That means that I do not buy digitally
    where drm is built into the files. I own multiple media players and
    computers. It is not fair that I can buy digital music and play it on
    two or three devices, but I can play that cd or cassette on as many
    machines as I can stuff it into.

    To me, this is just one part of the problem. In my opinion, if these
    were priced competitively, people would be less likely to pirate

    While I understand and agree with the right of the film industry to
    protect the movies they produce, I would appreciate the ability to
    load movies onto my digital media players and watch them on the
    go. After years of pissing off consumers, they are finally including
    digital copies in the combo packs of new releases. But what about
    my favorite flicks or my kids favorite flicks from years ago before
    these combo packs? It is pointless to pay for software to do that
    because it is crippled right out of the box and will not convert the
    dvd's due to copy protection.
  • RE: What's inside your home is yours, except computer files

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