Monday, 9 November 2009

Government continues to infringe on our civil liberties

It seems the attack on our civil liberties gathers pace especially to combat new technology. The first is ACTA Internet Chapter, which is in essence a copyright infringement directive but you can bet that like all laws it will be abused, much law the UK RIPA (a law to give the State extra powers to snoop on people suspected of being a terrorist) which councils use to spy on members of the public for reasons that are nothing to do terrorism.

The main concern is for bloggers. Don't think that this is a US thing, the EU is in on it as well. So start complaining about the government on you blog and you may find that all of a sudden those pictures you've had on it for ages or the video clip suddenly belong to someone and you've breached copyright.

ISPs have to proactively police copyright on user-contributed material. This means that it will be impossible to run a service like Flickr or YouTube or Blogger, since hiring enough lawyers to ensure that the mountain of material uploaded every second isn’t infringing will exceed any hope of profitability.

ISPs have to cut off the Internet access of accused copyright infringers or face liability. This means that your entire family could be denied to the internet — and hence to civic participation, health information, education, communications, and their means of earning a living — if one member is accused of copyright infringement, without access to a trial or counsel.

That the whole world must adopt US-style “notice-and-takedown” rules that require ISPs to remove any material that is accused — again, without evidence or trial — of infringing copyright. This has proved a disaster in the US and other countries, where it provides an easy means of censoring material, just by accusing it of infringing copyright.

More info here

And here

The second article refers to pre-pay mobile phones. This refers to Spain but you can guarantee it will be coming to the UK sometime soon either directly or via an EU diktat. Pre-pay mobile give you an anonymity unlike contract phones which are always registered to the owner and can be very by the contract and pay method. So if you have a contract phone, you can be tracked by you phone signal, as every mobile phone has a unique identifier, a bit like a car registration number. At the moment the technology, it only pinpoints to about 500 yards accuracy, but as technology improves that'll come down to next to nothing.

So, at any given time, when your mobile is switched on, your exact position will be known. Of course that didn't matter if you had a pre-pay, that is until now, if you're in Spain. If you've got a pre-pay phone and you have registered  it, it was switched off today by the service provider. This has been done in the name of terrorism but you can bet that it'll be abused (incorporated into government systems) at a later date.

Read the full article from The Register

The first comment in the comment section is quite funny. What happens if the terrorist brings in his own phone from abroad?

Lastly, we're all being databased if we're deemed to be of interest to the police/government, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), runs a central database which lists thousands of so-called domestic extremists. It filters intelligence supplied by police forces across England and Wales, which routinely deploy surveillance teams at protests, rallies and public meetings. The NPOIU contains detailed files on individual protesters who are searchable by name.

Vehicles associated with protesters are being tracked via a nationwide system of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. One man, who has no criminal record, was stopped more than 25 times in less than three years after a "protest" marker was placed against his car after he attended a small protest against duck and pheasant shooting. ANPR "interceptor teams" are being deployed on roads leading to protests to monitor attendance. So, you don't have to do too much to get on their database, be careful if you go to protest about the closure of local services, you could be classified as a domestic extremeist.

Original article here

So, one day they'll be able to link all of these and others together. It might not happen any time soon, but it will happen eventually and some of the freedoms that we took for granted will have disappeared, it's going to be a very controlled monitored society.

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