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Some relevant background given the recent publicity of how much our governments pry into our personal lives.
Whatever your take on recent revelations about government spying on our phone calls and Internet activity, there’s no denying that Big Brother is bigger and less brotherly than we thought. What’s the resulting cost to our privacy — and more so, our democracy? Lawrence Lessig joins Bill to discuss the implications of our government’s actions.
Yet another reminder about the permanence of your digital comings and goings. Some of the reasons mentioned here are why I choose to blog under a pseudonym :)
An explosion and/or fire at Shaw Court in Calgary has knocked out a significant quantity of telecommunications equipment, affecting not only bank machines and radio stations, but stuff like 911 service and the program that tells ambulances which hospital they should take a patient to.
Calgary Fire Department spokesperson Jayson Doyscher tells OpenFile: “the sprinklers have been keeping the fires in that room at bay. Just due to the amount of electrical equipment in there, we’re trying to make sure that we can secure it so firefighters aren’t at risk before they go into that room.”
I’m going to repeat the salient bit:
…SPRINKLERS…in that room…ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT…
SPRINKLERS + ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT?!
Normally when you talk about mission-critical infrastructure, you’re talking about stuff like the servers that handle banking and the stock market. And for that kind of thing, the technology exists to have redundant servers in multiple locations that can fail-over almost seamlessly if something like this happens. We don’t have all the details, but chances are some of this stuff is weirdass old mainframes and actual physical mechanical switches that can’t be failed over quite so easily. Still, why in the name of the Invisible Pink Unicorn and the Flying Spaghetti Monster would you put sprinklers in with them? I mean, I know the obvious answer, which is that halon is expensive. But whose brilliant idea was it to cut this particular corner? Maybe it’s just me, but I think 911 service is a bit more important than the stock market.
Apple Sheep – fall in! The next exceedingly incremental step of the latest Apple generative tech monolith is available. Blah blah blah better video, better camera. But hoo-boy, if you like the Ipad(3?) then just wait till the ipad(s?) comes out. I would have focused more on the generative aspects of Apple technology, but in lieu of making my own ranty video, this one will have to do.
Watch, gentle readers, what happens when elite interests are not given priority. The outcry, the wailing and gnashing of teeth, the injustice of it all. The MPAA CEO Chris Dodd called out the irresponsible websites – Wikipedia, Reddit etc on their egregious behaviour:
“A so-called “blackout” is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals.”
Ah, so the authors and money men who sponsored and rammed through the DMCA legislation are back for more, and of course it is all just to protect American Jobs, Apple Pie and All that is What is Right in the World (aka profit). The MPAA and friends screwed up this time because they over estimated their purchase of the American Congress and grossly underestimated the will of the American people. I’m not a huge fan of the American body politic, but this time, for once, the good guys won. The corporate lobby and its billions just got rolled by a ground swell of people calling/emailing/tweeting etc their elected representatives and telling them in no uncertain terms that if this passed, so too would their comfy digs in congress. Huzzah!
It would be me remiss of me not to point out that similar elite interests have been much more successful in herding the American populace in other areas. Perhaps the MPAA and related corporate lobby should have declared a “War on Piracy”, as that seems (going to war on common nouns to be specific) to have a much better track record in
press-ganging convincing the people of America to support their government when it does horrible things in their name.
One of the instruments of douche that has been doing his very best to whip American into a blind frenzy just happens to be a representative of the Global Intellectual Property Center affiliated with, of course, the US Chamber of Commerce. Enter Steve Tepp. Steve Tepp, along with the US Chamber of Commerce is only interested in saving US jobs and making the world a better, safer place for
Steve was recently interviewed on CBC’s The Current by Mike Finnerty. It is a 20 minute interview, but I highly recommend you listen to the whole thing as Steve gets his ass handed to him by Rob Beschizza the managing editor from Boing Boing.net. I’ve transcribed and will reproduce some of the highlights from the interview. Watch closely how our boy Steve attempts to frame this issue:
“This issue is fundamentally about American Jobs and protecting consumers.“
Wow, the MPAA CEO and Steve are all about JOBS. Like holy-frack they are right there beside the rest of the 99% fighting just to make ends meet. They just want to protect the little guy! They certainly would not want to scaremonger or obfuscate what SOPA is really about.
“Criminals are abusing the internet to steal the most creative and innovative products that are out in the marketplace.“
” [...] New twists, children’s toys, automobile parts, medicine its all fake, its all made in unsupervised facilities, it can be shoddy, people have died. This stuff can be extremely dangerous.”
This from the same people who regularly decry the EPA, food safety and consumer protection and worker health/safety legislation in general as ‘dirty socialism’ suddenly finds is voice and moral outrage at the very notion of Americans buying shoddy unsafe products.
Profits Lives are on the line!
Steve tries very hard to be the good corporate PR flack but ultimately fails when confronted with the facts of the situation. SOPA like the DMCA act before it, exists only for business entities to consolidate and defend their ‘intellectual property’ in perpetuity. In essence they want a bigger stick to punish people who dare to mess with their profits.
Not this time Steve. The democratic spirit of America awoke for a little while and slapped you down. Hard. A small victory for internet freedom and expression, but the repressive forces of the corporatocracy have already fired back, taking down MegaUploads and charging people with copyright infringement and piracy. Anonymous fired back, taking down several government web sites as well as the MPAA’s own website.
This issue is not going away. The siren call of avarice is much to strong to let little things like freedom of speech and freedom from censorship to get in the way. Stay tuned for round 2.
*update* – Need Background on the issue? Check out the TED Talk.