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Congress Plans DMCA Sequel: The SSSCA 935

Declan McCullagh writes: "If you thought the DMCA was a nightmare, wait 'til you find out what Congress is planning this fall. The sequel is called the "Security Systems Standards and Certification Act," and it requires PCs and consumer electronic devices to support "certified security technologies" to be approved by the Commerce Department. Backers of the SSSCA include Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.), who heads the powerful Senate Commerce committee, and, reportedly, Disney. Wired News has a report, and I've placed the SSSCA draft text (new! more criminal penalties!) online here. D'ya think that maybe Congress doesn't like OSS very much?" This is only a draft, not even introduced as a bill yet, but it sends chills down my spine - this is the big one. If passed, it would require all personal computers to have digital rights management built in, under penalty of law.
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Congress Plans DMCA Sequel: The SSSCA

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  • by libre lover ( 516057 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:02AM (#2267246) Homepage
    7215 Fernview
    San Antonio, TX 78250
    September 8, 2001

    The Honorable Representative Charlie A. Gonzalez
    327 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    Dear Honorable Representative Charlie A. Gonzalez,

    It has come to my attention that Rep. Fritz Hollings (D-S.C.) will introduce a bill titled the The Security Systems Standards and Certification Act which will make it impossible for me to use the Linux computer operating system on equipment covered by the Act. I regard my right to use Linux to be as inviolate as my right to write you this letter. Indeed, I am using Linux for that purpose right now. I'm a Democrat, but if you do not vote against this bill I will vote for your opponent when your term is up.


    Thomas M. Bruns
  • Surely not (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:03AM (#2267249)
    It would be a civil offense to create or sell any kind of computer equipment that "does not include and utilize certified security technologies"

    Could this really come to pass? Making it an offense to solder together a few chips, to play MP3s (for instance). Somehow I doubt anything this draconian would really happen. But then again, America excelled itself with DMCA so who knows what next :-)
  • Re:Armchair Bitching (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 2MuchC0ffeeMan ( 201987 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:16AM (#2267303) Homepage
    making us aware of it would help out alot.
    i mean, anyone here of this before it was posted?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:17AM (#2267312)
    I'm a writer of SF and If this bill goes though I'll have to retroactively change some of my work because I hadn't predicted this kind of legeslation for another fifty years, and it is the core of one of (imo) my best stories. With out giving anything away, I had forseen the creation of 'the black net', and underground version of the internet, using technology outside of the goverernments control, to allow the law abiding to go about their every day communication in private. This is is only a short story but when the revisions are finnished I'll make sure all the /.ers get to know about it...
  • by Kryptonomic ( 161792 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:20AM (#2267331) Homepage
    Closing up the hardware and software and requiring certification for both is corporations' only effective way to attack unauthorized access to IP.

    Remember what the Sony executive once said about taking the "battle for IP rights" to each users home and computer.

  • by dogbot ( 520061 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:23AM (#2267347)
    >You make some computers in canade, ship'm to the US, and get arrested as soon as you set foot on US soil??

    The bill covers importing them into the US. Exporting them for Canada probably would just result in harrisment, unless Canada co-operated.

    But how about Canada or Mexico as an "onshore" data haven. If your company has inductrial secrets the US gov't might want, would you like to forced to using an NSA approved crypt?

    Why not stay inside the trade zone and outside the data zone? Of cource Canada got rather wimpy about stading up to the US these days,and Mexico won't, so it will probably go North America wide - what about Argentina - NAFTA grows.
  • by crazney ( 194622 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:23AM (#2267348) Homepage Journal
    I recently read the Communist Manifesto [] by Karl Marx.. Basicallt, he predicted that the workers would eventually become sick of the dictatoring rich and powerful, and would overthrow them by force.

    Now, obviosuly this didnt happen. With the introduction of a descent democratic society in the world, their really wasnt any need for such a thing.

    But, WHAT NOW? I dont know about you my friends, but THIS is NOT a democracy. If I was a United States Citizen, and this thing does get through, I would GET THE FUCK out of there.
    Or, alternativly.. REVOLT.. If this thing does get through, dont stop with measly protest people.. GET OUT THERE AND FIGHT.. seriously, can you really live in a sociaty based on facism, one which the rich companies CONTROL the government? I KNOW I COULDNT!


  • The Right to Read (Score:1, Interesting)

    by gorf ( 182301 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:23AM (#2267350)

    See The Right to Read: A Dystopian Short Story []

    When I first read it, it seemed far fetched, though I could see what it was saying and it's relation to the DMCA. Now I'm not so sure.

    This is the second step to that situation, folks!

  • by Johnny5000 ( 451029 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:33AM (#2267395) Homepage Journal
    Nip this in the bud. Here's what to do:

    Get in touch with other people from Slashdot in South Carolina. Come up with a good day when most of you will be availible.

    Go to a local university's website, and look up student groups- look for libertarian, socialist, and computer clubs, email them ome info and say you'd be interested in helping organize a public protest. Ask them to contact people they know would be interested. Tell them the day you want to have the protest.

    The protest should be at a government building- courthouse, city hall, it doesnt matter.

    Set it to be at noon, so people will be out on the streets, for their lunch hour.

    Make signs, prepare a statement for the press, etc.

    Call local TV stations and newspapers, telling them you're going to have a protest, and they should come. Trust me, they'll jump at the chance.

    Show up and make a big scene, but make sure the message isnt lost.


  • by Safety Cap ( 253500 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @11:55AM (#2267488) Homepage Journal
    You cannot remove the digital rights management code (not just software)

    Sec. 103: Prohibited Acts

    (a) Removal or Alteration of Security -- No person may --

    (1) remove or alter any certified security technology in an interactive digital device; or basically, if you hack your own box, you're breaking the law.

    Screw that! Its my box, and no one is going to say how I can use it. I'll have to import all my components from Hong Kong, which means more trips to Canada and Mexico.

    (sigh) Maybe I should just move to the Cayman.

  • by kinnunen ( 197981 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @12:02PM (#2267518)
    1. Create a copyprotetion technology (it doens't even have to work because braking it is illegal).
    2. Patent said technology.
    3. Make said technology the only copyright protection for next generation CD/DVDs.
    4. Gather patent licensing fees for every PC that comes with a CD/DVD drive. They can set the license fee as high as they want because a computer without this tech is illegal.
  • by D Anderson n'Swaart ( 453234 ) <> on Saturday September 08, 2001 @12:02PM (#2267522) Homepage
    • You make some computers in canade, ship'm to the US, and get arrested as soon as you set foot on US soil??
    While this isn't going to happen with this bill (see comments above/below, whatever it's been covered), if the law is passed (god help us all) it starts to look like a trend:
    1. DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act)
    2. SSSCA (Security Systems Standards and Certification Act)
    3. ITCA (Information Transfer Censorship Act)
    4. IACA (Information Access and Control Act)
    5. New United States Constitution incorporating FSRA (Freedom of Speech Revokal Act)
    6. First Amendment to New United States Constitution, featuring the ETCA (Encephalograph Thought Censorship Act)
    7. establishment of Ministry of Love, Ministry of Peace, err, what's the other one again?
    All made possible, of course, by the wonderful corporations paying the senators, judges and lawyers. The road to hell isn't paved with good intentions. It's paved with money.
  • by OnanTheBarbarian ( 245959 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @12:04PM (#2267530)
    I thought we'd seen the high-water mark for these kind of encroachments before the Skylarov case. This fresh enormity, and Abobe's little "push for prosecution, then wash their hands of it" have convinced me that fair-minded, above-board activity to oppose these idiots doesn't go far enough. Given the incredible degree to which the MPAA/RIAA and all the other corporate whores are willing to go to corrupt our basic rights, I say we're thoroughly justified in pirating their music/software.

    This is a big step for me. I'm against piracy on principle, and prefer the convenience of just going out and buying the product rather than futzing around with Napster or it's sucessors. However, with every music CD I buy, or DVD I rent, some portion of the money I'm spending is being used to erode my liberties. To hell with that. I probably should boycott, but I don't feel particularly inclined to make my life uncomfortable and principles are clearly getting thrown out the window on the other side, so what the hell.

    Maybe a less profitable music/movie industry would have less money to hire lawyers and congressmen.
  • by griffjon ( 14945 ) <> on Saturday September 08, 2001 @12:13PM (#2267565) Homepage Journal
    I was lazy and didn't snag refrences, so perhaps others can add to this:

    I'm sure the SSSCA sounds like it only defends against rampant pirating of movies and other copyrighted material--but the slope is a very, very slippery one. The recording and movie industries are very paranoid about how their products are being used (without regard to their increasing--*not* decreasing--profits). Do you have the right to listen to your music however you'd like? Fair use tenets say yes (and you can even make a backup copy), but already technology is on the shelves that doesn't allow you to play the CD on your computer or high-end stereo systems and modern car CD players.

    The question you should be asking yourself is whether you are on the Hill for your constituents--the consumers, whose rights are being infringed, or the corporations on this issue. Fair Use doctrines are being ignored by laws such as the DMCA and this draft of the SSSCA, and thought this will first impact the digerati who copy all their music to their computer for easy access, it will rapidly effect the average American who can no longer watch a movie with calling in to get permission from the studio (This happened with DivX, which failed miserably on the open market), or play their CDs at all in their car stereos.

    If this is riding in after the recent "Code Red" attack as a solution against future problems, perhaps the answer lies in better regulation of security testing by developers (such as Microsoft, whose servers were the only ones effected by Code Red), rather than the consumer's home system, which didn't even participate in this attack.
  • by Proteus7 ( 468513 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @12:15PM (#2267572)
    Since Disney and Hollywood so obviously and fervently want us all to drop dead, why is Slashdot still hyping 'Tron' and publishing Jon Katz's reviews of Holly wood movies?

  • I'd start with... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @12:15PM (#2267574) Homepage Journal
    I'd start (In fact, I WILL start) by sending the South Carolina branch of the Republican party a bit 'o money. The Republicans tend to be just as bad (The DMCA is Orrin Hatch's baby after all) but they're the only ones with a chance of winning against the Democrats. Your best bet is to change politicians the way you change diapers. If no one stays in power too long, no one can ever get to the point of doing a whole lot of damage. Just always vote against whoever's in office at any given point. And while it may make you sick to vote for a republican (or a democrat) they're your best bet for getting the current guys kicked out. Better that then wasting your vote on some guy from the nipplebiter party who will only get 3 votes in the election.
  • by mikethegeek ( 257172 ) <blair AT NOwcmifm DOT comSPAM> on Saturday September 08, 2001 @12:57PM (#2267829) Homepage
    "We have to make it clear that that under this regulation, a computer would be a worthless hunk of junk. It would be useless to industry, researchers, and to home users."

    That's the whole point. They WANT computers to cease to exist, at least, as common things "common" inividuals can afford to have. In the world of this law, computers would be replaced with an appliance "information access" device, that would be much like a DVD player in how little "fair use" you have.

    No doubt there will be exceptions allowing the corps, and academia to have computers (which will once again become big huge mainframe things) for their own uses.

    In other words, with a stroke of a pen, the IP cartel plans to turn back the clock to 1960.

    My GOD this is scary stuff! This is nothing less than the proposal of the creation of the world of Bradbury's "Fareinheight 451" and "Demolition Man" in one BROAD stroke... How long before we stand to sing the "Corporate Hymn" as happened before government-held gladitorial games to placate the ignorant, easily distracted masses (who allow the government to pass laws such as the DMCA and this) as in "Rollerball"?

    If they are making a mistake, it is in going for so much so quickly. But, the ease in wich they got the DMCA must have emboldened them.
  • by warpeightbot ( 19472 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @01:31PM (#2268000) Homepage
    If you can't sell a computer that's not security equipped, we who want to control our own technology will be like the people in a cyberpunk novel or in the Matrix, who have to cobble together their own technology apart from the mainstream.
    I remember there being a rather brisk trade in hi-capacity pistol magazines after they said you couldn't sell any new ones to the general public... does this mean my li'l ole AMD K6-2/400 is going to be worth its weight in gold-pressed latinum next year? Hmmm....

    Yeah, I forsee a rather large Internet underground if that happens... and things could get pretty ugly.

    A wise man once said that the Tree of Liberty is watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants alike. Somehow I get the feeling that Tree is feeling pretty parched about now.... and the tall, redheaded Virginian who said those words two-plus centuries ago would say it needs watering. Perhaps this time we only have to kill careers, not the induhviduals that carry them on...

    The choice, I think, is up to those who would be tyrants. They had best realize what they are choosing.

    The trouble with a political joke is
    that he or she will often get elected.
    -- James E. Buell

  • by arbitrary nickname ( 325162 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @02:24PM (#2268270)
    If this happened, it'd basically kill any innovation in the US tech industry. It'd be left with a Microsoft-AOL-Time Warner-RIAA-MPAA cartel controlling all technology, the Internet, and all other media.

    I'd expect many of the most skilled engineer/coders to want to leave the US at an early age, and move to a free country!... Or maybe people will completely lose interest in technology...

    Maybe less developed countries will start to overtake the USA and Europe in the tech sector?...

    Maybe we'll see 'geek terrorism' - unemployed and very angry programmers in suicide bomb attacks against the megacorps?

    Or maybe we'll actually start to see the general public getting pissed off with copy/access controls - when CDs are unrippable, DVD audio brings region-coded music to the masses, and Windows XPP (Xtra Piracy Prevention) won't even let you make backups of you're own Word documents, which are only ever stored remotely on an MS central server...

  • by chazzf ( 188092 ) <[gro.thguohtpeed] [ta] [notlufc]> on Saturday September 08, 2001 @02:28PM (#2268282) Homepage Journal
    807 South University Avenue
    Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

    September 8, 2001

    The Honorable Senator Carl Levin
    SR-269, Russell Senate Office Building
    U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    Dear Honorable Senator Carl Levin,

    It has come to my attention that your colleague Senator Fritz Hollings (D-North Carolina), in conjunction with Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), intends to introduce a bill entitled the "Security Systems Standards and Certification Act." This bill would, in theory, make it a crime to utilize the Linux operating system. Linux, originally written by a Finnish college student in 1991, is based upon the venerable UNIX operating system, and has become the operating system of choice for the professional technical community.

    Perhaps even more importantly, this bill would further restrict my already hamstrung digital rights. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, passed in 1998, dealt a serious blow to digital rights by prohibiting, in some cases, "fair use," something clearly protected by law. If I can record a television program with my VCR, shouldn't I also be able to load it on to my computer. Also, since making a backup copy is protected by law (i.e. making a tape recording of a compact disc), shouldn't I be allowed to make a digital backup instead? Logically, I should be able to, but the DMCA has criminalized this by allowing record companies to disable on the CD my ability to make such a copy and by then making in a crime for me to bypass this.

    I am concerned that the federal government has ceased to represent me and has instead begun to represent the corporations. We met, Sir, at a Democrat fundraiser last year in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. There, I expressed my admiration for your years of tireless service to the people of my state. I read with pleasure this very morning your decision to curtail spending for the overly expensive and strategically unbalancing National Missile Defense system. I voted for your colleague Debbie Stabenow last year, and I voted for Albert Gore. I have been a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party. I am fearful, however, that the Democratic Party has ceased to represent me. Programmers are afraid to enter the United States. Indeed, we risk losing our place as the world leader in computer development because our ever-restrictive copyright and technological laws will frighten away all the best talent. I ask you, Sir, to please consider this when debating the SSSCA and other technology laws. Thank you for your time.


    Charles G. Fulton
  • by kaltan ( 133872 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @02:39PM (#2268329) Homepage
    In that case, shouldn't companies like RedHat etc. inform your government and protest against this result of the law ?

    Another remark, this law (and the DMCA too in lesser extent) reminds me of what happened when alcohol was banned in America : the maffia jumped on it and sold suddenly 'illegal' goods to the masses.

    As an European, i'll probably violate half of the American IP laws within the next 5 years. I don't think i'll ever go back for a holiday. You guys frighten me. The way companies influence your government through election money is like alowing the worst part of kapitalism to determine the law : the interest of the shareholder supercedes the freedom of the individual.
    Like in europe (well at least in Belgium, but in most other countries too), companies funding in elections is limited by law, thus restricting such dangerous evolution.

    I don't think you can ever win by fighting the DMCA, the SSSCA and so on ad infinitum.

    You have to fight company involvement in government by restricting the funding. That's the only way out, or you'll only loose more and more freedom.

    Don't try to stop each bullet, that's impossible, stop the shooter, you'll feel much safer.

    PS : Here, elections are paid by the taxpayer. The amount of money involved is many orders of magnitude lower than in America.

  • by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @02:53PM (#2268381)
    >1. Red Hat will refuse to incorporate this copy
    >protection code, will be sued

    It's worse than that. The officers of the company will be threatened with criminal prosecution, federal fines and jail time.
    My biggest problem with DMCA has always been
    that it moves civil matters into the criminal
    realm. There might be case law somewhere that
    amounts to an achilles heel for the DMCA on the
    basis that copyright is a civil matter and should have civil remedies. But, America is
    a police state now. Maybe we need more ugly laws
    to be passed like this, so that more people will realize they live in a police state. Seems that today it's quite possible to live in blissful ignorance of this fact. US law is ultimately enforced by the most technologically advanced military force that the world has ever known.

    >Because they only use that OS for PIRACY.

    It's our own fault that if by then there aren't
    a few heavy players who would rally against that argument. If big companies with a stake in Linux
    or anything else sit on their hands during this,
    the WE DESERVE to be "forced to run windows" or
    even to have computers outlawed.

    Except for the fact that life would be wretched for the forseeable future, I'd really enjoy seeing things get far, far worse so that people would be motivated to put an end to the oppression. But as long as they're well fed, doped up, busy, and think they have something to lose, they'll never take up arms against the lawful authority. There's already a science built around the strategy of determining how far a government can push a populace before they realize they can't take it anymore. USA is nowhere near that point, but the fall of currency would be a good start. Bring on the $360.00/bbl oil! Let's have more abject poverty! (The more poverty the people enjoy, the less taxes the government has to build their war machine to use against their own people. The weaker the war machine gets, the better chances the people have against it.)

    The war for independence was also against the most technologically sophisticated armed force that the world had ever seen. And you can see the same phenomenon in the war between the states.

    We are generally to well taken care of to consider aggression against the lawful authority. We also aren't yet willing to give up our lives, limbs, senses, and minds, because things haven't gotten bad enough yet, we think we have more to lose than that. I do think that many Americans have lost some faith in the democratic process in recent years. Even those who had steadfastly believed it was an infallible institution had a wakeup call last November when even Bush supporters got upset about Florida. If something big like social security fails, the myth that the USA is financially solvent may start to unravel for a lot of folks. If the consumer debt (which dwarfs the national debt) suddenly can't be paid (let's say, 40% unemployment) financial institutions would start to fail. These are the types of incidents that would be stepping stones to urban skirmish, if not outright civil war or revolution. It's hard to see copy control getting people's backs up enough to engender change.

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Saturday September 08, 2001 @02:58PM (#2268397)
    ...across all wings. Copyright infringement ist illeagal (thats clear) and germans believe in law and order - but german politicians are (knock on wood) still intelligent enough to recognize that existing laws are sufficient to enforce rights of intellectual ownership. And Linux (OSS) is cool and hip if your educated about computers and every german politician would rather give his right arm than admit that he don't no sh*t 'bout them.
    But don't ask me how many dead kids it takes 'till they establish a universal speed limit....'guess all countrys have their quirks.
    Aside from that:
    There are attemps to establish some kind of DMCA rippoff here in the EU, but those are swimming upstream. As soon as someone gets something like that into Brussels it will (like everything else) be buried in tons of paperwork and exceptions. I goes something like so:

    First: Netherlands see humans rights endangered and file a complaint/obligation imediately == 2 weeks of press, no effect.
    Second: Germans tinker the issue two and a half months, see human rights endangered, but wait, no, also corperate interests, but wait, no, also danger for equalified chances of education, but wait no, some media giant could go broke and we've got 10 zillion more unemployed, but wait, no...and so on.... == 2 years EU wide pause on the decision, 10 EU wide education/economy ministers meetings in 10 differen't nice little european towns, bill is blown up to 17 fileracks of paperwork and comes back to EU parlament when all seats were changed twice and the whole issue has to be discussed over again...

    I love this continent :-).

    Ditch America - embrace EU. I renunciated my american citizenship more than 10 years ago to get german citizenship and am getting happier every minute about it, reading all this DMCA stuff. And face it folks: People around the world don't give shit anymore if we've flown to the moon - they just eat more american junkfood. And you're not a McDonalds shareholder, are you? And the beer definitly IS better here :-).
  • by lonesome phreak ( 142354 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @05:05PM (#2268811) Journal
    Not yet, because subsection B states "does not apply to the offer for sale or provision of, or other trafficking in, any previously-owned interactive digital device". How long will that last?

    How long until you have to buy a new VCR, tape recorder, and such because the old one is illegal? It's not farfetched: in some states (CA) it is illegal to operate a car w/o proper emmissions controls. If it was manufactured before they exisitied, it has to be retrofitted.

    Also, once this is passed, there is a good chance that all the new software will not work on devices without said "scheme" installed.

    Of course, this will be a major boon to our economy. Everyone buying new consumer devices, more law enforcment, etc etc etc.

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin
  • by Skweetis ( 46377 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @07:37PM (#2269245) Homepage
    Writing letters to elected officials is probably better than just standing by as the aformentioned officials are bought out and the downward spiral to a corporate police state is completed. However, this is no longer a viable solution. Your elected officials don't give a flying fuck about your vote, or all five hundred thousand votes from everyone who frequents this site. If they even see your letter. Some staff member will probably edit it into oblivion or simply throw it out. Face it, the corporations own the country now, and we don't matter.

    Or do we? When you think about it, who are the half a million people who frequent this site? We are coders, system administrators, engineers, technical writers, etc. We don't do law and politics, we do C and Perl. The idiots trying to pass these laws may have forgotten, but we keep their networks protected so they can safely read their email, we programmed the traffic lights that enabled them to get to work to use the computer (that we designed and programmed) to draft this travesty of law. We are guarding all the doors, we are holding all the keys. We watch over them while they sleep. And we can give them one fuck of a wakeup call! I don't know of a computer in existence today that has these protections that might be required sometime in the near future. They need us to make this work.

    By now you probably see where I am going with this. If the SSSCA becomes law, all coding to meet the nefarious ends of the law must stop. Fellow geeks: if your employer asks you to create this stuff, refuse, quit your job, whatever it takes. If it is impossible for you to quit your job (completely understandable) then you must be subtle. Pussyfoot around without accomplishing anything as long as you can. Then when you finally have to do it, code up such a buggy piece of shit that the whole thing has to be redone anyway. Etc, etc, etc.

    Sysadmins, take the servers down, format the drives, and quit. You are probably holding tens of thousands of hours of work on your servers, and you are probably its sole guardian. Most companies who experience catastrophic data loss never reopen their doors. If your company wants to implement the measures described by this bill, threaten to destroy all of their data if development continues. Be clever about this. Set a cron job to do it anyway, so if they have you fired and arrested, it happens anyway. (Actually, this might be a bit drastic, we don't want to create anarchy, just kick some sense into people, but you get the point.)

    Programmers, engineers, sysadmins, this is a call to action (or inaction, however you want to look at it)! The world depends on computers too much to risk pissing off the ones who control the computers and we don't have to take this lying down! Get the word out to geeks all over the world, and if this completely unconstitutional bill becomes law, then we will be ready.

  • Re:Emigration (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 1010011010 ( 53039 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @08:15PM (#2269341) Homepage
    Too funny! But I actually mentioned to my wife this evening the very real possibility that we could be moving out of the country before too many years pass.

    • DMCA
    • SSSCA
    • Alteration of bankruptcy laws in favor of businesses, particularly banks (I read an interesting book once noting how the Federal Reserve System is a tool of authoritarianism)
    • New very easy criteria for a "reasonable search" []
    • Microsoft obviously getting nothing more than a minor wrist-slap at this point, which amounts to government endorsement of their sleazeball business practices.
    • Increase in the usage of automated surveillance technologies.
    • Increase in the number of criminals being manufactured by bad laws, and an accompanying increase in the incarceration rate
    • Increasing number of treaties binding us to other nations' hardly-enlightend laws; these same treaties also have the effect of reducing the control of Americans over their own government, as they are the "supreme law of the land" alongside the increasingly-mythical Constitution
    • Poor and descending quality of the U.S. Media. Look at any local news broadcast, or CNN.
    • Rise in "reality tv" and other gladiator-type specticle entertainment, like those crazy Romans liked so much

    Hell. Handbasket.
  • by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Saturday September 08, 2001 @09:54PM (#2269564) Homepage Journal

    While not trying to burst your bubble, nor am I disagreeing with your points, I do want to point out that Hollings got only US$2,000.00 from Disney. See: this [] at [] for a break down of Hollings contributors.

    A more interesting page is who did MPAA and RIAA give tons of money to. For that info, click here MPAA [] or here for RIAA [].

    Personally, I find it hard to beleive that someone would sell out for just US$2,000.00. Perhaps Hollings just needs a rap on the forehead to get him to stop being stupid.

  • Money is the key (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Reziac ( 43301 ) on Sunday September 09, 2001 @02:17AM (#2270059) Homepage Journal
    I note in the text of the bill that it proposes to appropriate (read: spend tax dollars) around HALF A BILLION DOLLARS. Which after the manner of gov't budgets, will expand to somewhere upward of $10 billion by the end of the proposed timeframe.

    ISTM the most effective fight would be to send a news teaser to the major media (ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.) and to those with any history of front-paging tech issues (CNN, San Jose Mercury News, etc.) which points out that "your gov't plans to spend [OMIGHOD LOOKAT ALL THE WASTED TAX DOLLARS] to prevent you from using your computer in any way not approved by [INSERT MAJOR BRANDS HERE].

    It doesn't need to be letter-perfect accurate, it just needs to sound horrible enough to create a major public uproar.

    Such a public uproar, largely courtesy of front page coverage by the SJMN, was likely what [temporarily] stopped the hard disk copyright-access-control scheme (the proper name of which presently escapes me).

  • by ssyreeni ( 469453 ) on Sunday September 09, 2001 @12:10PM (#2270793) Homepage
    So you have Compliant hardware, a Compliant OS and the few apps those let you run, presumably Compliant too; you cannot violate copyright on your machine. A few of the things Big Business really wants to protect are site designs, online documentation, code and so on. This would seem to imply that you probably can't even save a document you discover on the Web. Hell, you probably couldn't quote an original email in a reply—the original writer of course has a copyright on it by the Berne convention. You certainly can't link to stuff, if they can help it. And if they can control that much, they'll likely not let you escape the AOL frontpage or whatever it is your browser fires up with. Cut'n'paste, fuhgettaboutit.

    In a nutshell, there's not a whole lot you can do with your precious hardware if the Act ever gets passed.

    It seems somebody forgot about what computers are for: processing information. Since most of that is more about recombining existing data than about creating new, the result is that a sizable chunk of what computers are used for, now, suddenly becomes impossible. Then you'll have to think twice about whether buying a computer is really worth it. That, then, is the end of ubiquitous computing and the information age.

  • by lobsterGun ( 415085 ) on Monday September 10, 2001 @10:14AM (#2273091)
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. If computers are considered 'arms' by the government(At least for the purposes of export). Couldn't the second ammendment be used to defeat this sort of legislation? ok it's a stretch...a big stretch...a REALLY big stretch, but stranger things have happend.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak