Warning: Protect Your Digital Rights And Security!
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Warning: Protect Your Digital Rights And Security!
The MPAA is trying to take your rights away. It is lobbying for the so-called "Super DMCA" bill, which would, according to the EFF "effectively make it unlawful to connect anything to any wire in your house that you pay for, absent the "express consent or express authorization" of your service provider(s)."
The bill also "sets an extremely dangerous precedent, potentially authorizing a judge to force a software vendor to forcibly "downgrade" existing devices in the hands of legitimate customers by means of an "auto-update" or other remote control"-EFF
[prohibitions against devices which] "Transmit" and "retransmit" would appear to reach any home networking equipment, which retransmits communications that arrive from the Internet. Under the language here, all home networking equipment that has not been "expressly authorized" by your ISP would potentially be suspect..." -EFF
This bill would outlaw Firewalls, VPNs, as well as legitimate software such as LaBrea which is designed to prevent the spreading of worms through computer networks.
Even worse: Several states have already passed legislation modeled after the MPAA bill
Jim Rapoza, eWeek So if you live in one of these states, you are now breaking the law if you run a firewall. And if you're an IT admin that has all of your internal systems running on NAT, you could face as much as five years in prison and up to a quarter-million-dollar fine.
The original language seems to be trying to prevent cable theft and such but due to tecnically inept lawmakers who are unaware of the danger of such broad prohibitions we may already be running under laws that threaten the security not only of individuals and corporations but of the entire Internet. Write your legislator (I think snail mail is more likely to be read than an e-mail) to tell him what you think. And most of all next time you vote be aware of the issues and your representatives stance on them. Another simple way to prevent this from becoming a trend: Petitions with names of people who will not vote for ANY legislator who promotes or approves such laws.
Personally, I dont really care if a law like this passed or not. I would run my apps and keep my routers anyway. I would let them arrest me so that I can take them down in a court of law.
See, we have the right as citizens to protect our personal property from damage or attack. This would include our computer systems and those things we purchase to protect those systems. Any law that is passed that effectivily disables that would be in violation of that basic right, and could theoretically open the door for rampant lawsuits from people against the states who pass these laws.
I dont think that those few states that have passed those laws will be able to keep them up after this defense. To bypass it, it would be required that no one can own a computer anymore, and that it is simply licensed. I dont see them being able to do that very easily. Sure the hardware folks at HP/Compaq, Gateway, etc. might enclose that as a clause, but to stop someone from being to buy parts to a computer and build one would get way to many people and companies angry.
Now software is different. A software company that licenses you an app can have a say in this issue since they own the software and you do not. However, those that use Linux and open source software would not have this as an issue since you are not licenseing but owning it.
In fact, upon thinking about, if you own your operating system, then updates and such would not be possible even by the apps you licensed. Since those apps must have an OS to run and do their stuff, anything that would place your property, in this case your OS, at risk would effectivly be in violation of your rights.
It will be fun to watch these states lawyers figure a way to defend their laws once they get challenged.