Some libertarians may be choosing to side with anarchists and progressives on cybersecurity, by reducing prosecution of privacy and security online (which would make it harder for us to argue government surveillance online is a big deal), and by opposing cybersecurity information sharing, but we need to go forward in the direction of security and rule of law here.
The problem with “Aaron’s Law” is that by reducing the penalties for online break-ins, we’re effectively sending the 4chan-style message that “online isn’t real.” Which not only coddles the anarchist threat at home, and the state sponsored threat abroad, but it ironically undermines the message the libertarians have elsewhere: that government spying is a bad thing. If we’re going to argue that in the case of Aaron Swartz that actively breaking into resources and unlawfully distributing data is harmless, then how can we then argue that listening by government – without even disseminating it – is a bad idea?
We need to prosecute anarchists and hackers aggressively. Aaron Swartz could have pled guilty for a lesser sentence. He chose to try to fight it to make an ideological stand, and he (sadly for his friends and family) could not live with that choice. But that’s no reason to reduce the penalties as that would only create more Swartzes later.
Libertarians used to believe in incentives, too.
But seriously, if we’re going to develop tools to be used by anarchists, terrorists, drug dealers, and human traffickers, then we need to also develop the tools needed to stop them.
Terrorists would love to be able to break into our computers and cause mass death by attacking the right systems. We all know they’d love to create another 9/11. It is in my opinion a low probability scenario, but then again few of us expected 9/11, either. So we need to make sure information isn’t siloed, and gets where it needs to get.
I agree that any patent reform must be balanced, which is why I like the idea not of comprehensive reform, but of a narrowly tailored bill such ast he one that [mc_name name=’Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B001248′ ] is pressing: the “TROL Act, Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters.” If you’re going to use the patent system to sue people, then we hae to make sure the patent system doesn’t allow abuses. As Burgess said, “What we can try to do is identify baseless threats and deceptive acts in abusive letters and provide civil penalties where it is clear that abusive patent holders intentionally violated those bad acts…. With an eye towards protecting small businesses and consumers within the constitution I hope my colleagues will join me in advancing this bill today.”
Both sides of the patent debate claim to back the little guy. The problem is there are little guys who abuse innovators, and little guys who are honest innovators.
FCC is going to use Net Neutrality to create a system of guilty until proven innocent.
The title of this Wired post on copyright run amok is hyperbolic, as the public has the choice simply not to buy products from firms that abuse DMCA, such as Keurig. But I’ve been saying for a long while now that copyright is too long and too strong, and this stuff is going to keep happening until we do something about it. It’s a shame that RSC backed off of this. We need conservatives to take the lead here, since Democrats are completely in the pocket of Big Hollywood and never will.
I must dissent with the idea that terrestrial radio should get credit for ‘free promotion’. Ask any freelance artists or designer ever: “But think of the exposure!” is the excuse people make when they want to be cheapskates.
Senate Democrats claim that The Time Warner-Comcast merger would reduce choice. I challenge them to tell us which customers, in which markets, currently have a choice between those two providers.
Norway is ending FM radio, and I applaud that. Radio is an old, dead-end technology. The spectrum is better used on new technologies.