Internet Kill Switch II

In a previous post, Internet Kill Switch, I argued that the purpose of “The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010” was not to engineer backdoor kill switches into the network redundancy of the public internet(which would not only be technically infeasible at this point, but constitute an act of sheer idiocy) but rather to enforce regulatory compliance with “federal rules” for filtering/routing traffic. The predominate type of traffic that would be targeted would be copyright/digital piracy. I also wrote that this would, in a major sense, mark the end of the open internet in that the open cooperation in the forging of standards and protocols(particularly, security protocols) would be more or less subjugated to politics, enforced by the full might and power of the State. So, to whatever degree one might care to debate the role governments played in the formulation and adoption of the “collective internet,” it is clear that while the early efforts were, in effect, “planning for competition,” the role of the State now is increasingly moving toward “planning against competition.”

Frankly, this is not really idle conspiratorial speculation; it is an informed opinion. If you want proof, here’s a recent article illuminating how much the US internal Security Apparatus in entangling it’s tentacles into the enforcement of corporate copyright.

Now, it looks like law enforcement isn’t even trying to hide the fact that they’re taking orders from Hollywood. Dark Helmet points us to the news that Homeland Security proudly announced raids on nine different movie sites, which they accuse of infringing on copyrights. But what’s most interesting is where the announcements about these raids happened: at Disney. And who else was there on stage? Execs from other studios. Yup, Homeland Security isn’t even trying to make the slightest effort to hide the fact that it now works for corporate interests. It will announce legal activity from the companies, which stand to benefit the most from such activity.

The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement gives us the heads up on an enforcement priority of ICE: copyright.

The head of ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], John Morton, says that the number of illegal movie sites is dramatically rising both in the U.S. and abroad, and organized crime is behind some of them. ICE is putting movie piracy front and center in this new initiative, by making its first actions to protect the movie studios’ intellectual property.

I you want to indulge in a bit of conspiracy theory, consider “The Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010” to be the legal enforcement regime for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that is going to be adopted by the United States via Executive fiat, that is, by a mere stroke of the pen of an executive signing agreement.

I keep repeating myself but I think IP, in the end, is perhaps the defining battle line of the early 21st century, and will have the most ultimate repercussions on how humans will be governed or will decide how to govern themselves in the 21st century. Tell me what the “copyright laws” and “intellectual property laws” are at the end of this century, and I can tell you what type of governments prevailed in the end…


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