In case you haven’t been following this story, the Motion Picture Association of America, the trade group for Hollywood headed by former senator Chris Dodd, has been accused of “improperly” (that’s the right word at this point) influencing state’s attorneys general in an effort to make life hard for Google. Google, Hollywood believes, makes it too easy to find “pirated” content online. So the barons of the big screen may have been calling up buddies in AG offices around the nation to put pressure on the Internet giant. The Attorney General in Mississippi appears to have been a particular Hollywood friend. Odd place for the studio execs to find an ally but hey, politics is weird like that.
Passwords are too easy to hack we are told. Much better to have a government issued Internet ID one must sign in with every time one logs on. Much better to have the government issue a license to access information.
One password to rule them all.
What is particularly of note in this article is how Google recently sought to work with conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation after working closely with Obama and Co. This Google/Heritage relationship apparently was key in defeating SOPA which Google (along with the rest of tech) saw as an existential threat driven by Hollywood which is strongly associated with the Democrats. Interesting how those lines were drawn.
Remember SOPA? The hiddeous beast of a bill sponsored by Hollywood which sought to jam the file content sharing genie back in the bottle? The bill that the whole Internet world rose up against and forced the politicians to back down on? Remember that? Well one of the lobbyists who headed the effort to severely restrict the Internet so that the media companies could cling to their outdated business models has now been nominated by Obama to head the effort in the secret (to us – hundreds of corporations are in on what is going on) Trans Pacific Partnership talks.
These companies probably legitimately care about Internet freedom, and they are probably sick of being pushed around by the Feds, but this letter has everything to do with business. If people can’t trust that their Gmail is secure (and boy is it not) this will eventually affect Google’s bottom line. If people think that doing business with Microsoft also means giving the NSA a back door into the heart of their enterprise, people will stop buying Microsoft.
The French have spring for protests. Looks like Americans now prefer Fall.
If you care about freedom, if you care about liberty, you owe both of these men a debt of gratitude. I know I owe them.
3D printing is a massively disruptive technology. Sure, one can print a gun with this technology but one can build a gun if one really wants to from materials at a hardware store. “Zip guns” which are made from everyday industrial materials have been around since the gun was invented. But there is a much bigger issue in play here.
Have no doubt, Aaron Swartz’ leadership in the anti-SOPA effort was what drove the overzealous pursuit of a grandstanding federal prosecutor. Never let the controllers take the Internet. Never.