Did the powers that be all suddenly realise what people have been using the internet for?
2011 and 2012 will be remembered as the year of activism across many fronts around the world, but also online, where the threat of censorship was finally taken seriously by the general public.

The net is abused by pedophiles, KKK members, pro-ana sites, lame jokes, and a whole smorgasbord of unseemly characters of all ages but it's still one of the rare spaces where we are predominantly tolerating each other to varying degrees.  If we pause to consider how scarily vast the online world has become, you might say that the self-policing of the internet has gone rather well, on the whole.

As for the copyright issues, musicians are beginning to change their approach to making a living and putting the focus on live shows and merchandise rather than record sales.    That sounds like a simplification because it is.  The Pirate Bay has officially switched to magnet links, so copyright enforcement is getting complicated and messy.   The main thing is to recognise that file-sharing isn't going away and work from that perspective rather than trying to go back in time and close Pandora's box.

There was PIPA, SOPA, ACTA (which unfortunately is already ratified in many countries) and now CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act).   Hopefully we don't have too many more acronyms ahead of us before this debate settles into a consensus that, for the most part, online activities can only ever be tenuously reigned in by the public itself  - with the influence of Reddit and Twitter revered by even the most powerful companies as make-or-break risks  to be factored in their business plan.

All of these acts and their status is hard to keep up with, but just looking at a tidbit from this handy chart made me certain that these regulations are not designed with the protection and privacy of everyday people in mind;

H.R. 3674, the PRECISE Act of 2011 (Lungren)New semi-private entity called the National Information Sharing Organization (NISO), which will be overseen by a board of government and private sector officials, and include a membership of cyber related companies federal agencies. The NISO will be responsible for distributing cyber info amongst its members and to the public. (Sec. 248(a)(2) and(3)). 

Of course there's a petition you can sign. 

No comments:

Post a Comment