Being the skeptic that I am, I knew the day was coming when Big Brother would co-opt the internet. It provides way too much freedom and uncensored information for them to allow it to continue as is. I wasn’t sure how they would try to justify it here in the United States, but I need wonder no longer. Here’s the story from Wired Threat Level:
The United States is nudging the international community to develop protocols to suspend the internet connections of customers caught downloading copyrighted works, according to a leaked draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.
The United States is leading the 2-year-old, once-secret negotiations over the so-called ACTA accord. The Jan. 18 draft, about 56 pages and labeled “confidential,” just surfaced, and follows a string of earlier, less comprehensive leaks.
The leak shows that the treaty, if adopted under the U.S. language, would for the first time hold internet service providers responsible when customers download infringing material, unless those ISPs take action by “adopting and reasonably implementing a policy to address the unauthorized storage or transmission of materials protected by copyright or related rights.”
Here’s how this will work. To catch these nefarious criminals who download copyrighted works, Big Brother is going to turn our internet service providers into spying cops. In order to stay in business, the ISP’s will have to monitor every download to be able to determine which ones are “legal” and which ones aren’t. All of this good information will, of course, be available to Big Brother to make sure the ISP’s are being good cops.
The method is similar to the one justified by the “war on terror” whereby border patrol agents can stop and search anyone within 100 miles of the border (which includes almost all of us), because some criminals cross the border. It’s a handy-dandy method of getting around the Fourth Amendment, which used to protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures.
And if you are among those Americans who say, “I have nothing to hide,” then you deserve what you get.