#DDoS and Internet Freedom

A black & white remix of the UN Globe surrounded with a laurel wreath, an "invisible man" with a question mark where the head should be

Both participation and activism are very necessary to healthy democracy.

Along with all the other confusing things that are happening in the world because of the digital evolution is a new way of protesting. The first I heard of DDoS attacks was when it has been employed in the copyfight. On both sides, I might add. Although I’m not a tech person, I’ve necessarily been learning a lot from many who are for my StopUBB blog, but this DDoS business is something we all need to understand.

So I’m reprinting the comment I made on the Guardian’s Richard Stallman article The Anonymous WikiLeaks protests are a mass demo against control

Internet Freedom may well be the most important issue of our time.

First,

When the DDoS attacks began I spent days arguing against the Anonymous protest, but I’ve come to understand it is no different than any other peaceful protest. Amazon operates in digital space, so too must the protests.

How I arrived at this conclusion is detailed in my StopUBB blog post DDoS?

And Amazon has the right to not host a company.

Just as the public has the right to picket Amazon.
Like any peaceful protesters, the digital protests are using the same techniques employed by civil rights activists forever.

Please note: these protesters are behaving more ethically than the forces deployed in the DDoS attacks against WikiLeaks. We should be calling what “Anonymous” does Civil Rights Denial of Service protests, or CRDoS

Using digital means to do it does not change the fact that they are engaging in peaceful protest.

Second,

Corporations are NOT branches of law enforcement.
Corporations are immortal artificial constructs that are not accountable to citizens.
Corporations don’t operate on a level playing field with humans,
Corporations exist to make a profit. Nothing else.
Under no circumstances should corporations EVER be allowed to dictate morality or ethics to human beings.

As @FarrenWide points out, the blockage of electronic funds transfer is by far more dangerous.
Why should a banking institution be allowed to tell the citizens of any democracy how they may spend their money?”

That should NEVER happen.


The originating article by Richard Stallman can also be found at Defective By Design: Kettling Wikileaks
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ACTA Truth or Pravda?

mouse ears on the world: text says ACTA ATTACKS INTERNETABC reports that Agreement Reached in Tokyo Anti-Counterfeiting Talks

I tried to comment on the article, but even after jumping through hoops, it wouldn’t let me. If it has to pass a moderator my comment is certainly dead in the water. Which is a good reason to have a blog, so I can comment on articles full of misinformation like this one.

Why shouldn’t Kraft be prevented from calling their product “Parmesan” or have to pay royalties to Parma, Cognac, Roquefort or Champagne for infringing on these legally trademarked names? Isn’t that the point? REAL Parmesan cheese comes from Parma. Kraft’s Parmesan Cheese is COUNTERFEIT. That’s what ACTA is all about… stopping piracy, right?

Isn’t that why they want these laws? So THEY get paid every time. But paying someone else is a problem. They don’t want to have to pay others, I guess they like the RIAA/CRIA music business model where everything possible is done to avoid actually paying the artists.

This dilemma clearly illustrates the slippery slope traveled with the ridiculous changes to copyright, trademark and patent law that are being undertaken at the behest of corporate special interests. If you make laws and treaties to cover this foolishness:

you can’t have it both ways

although it is clear that they are trying to work it that they can have their cake and eat it too.

Ultimately it is consumers/citizens/society that will suffer the price of this corporate greed.

Corporations are changing the rules of ownership. What they are calling piracy is what the world used to know as sharing. They want us to purchase multiple copies of the picture book we read to our children. One for the reader, and one for every child it is read too. And they also want us to have to purchase it over and over again. So next year if we want to read it again we have to buy it again. Then we have to train our children not to memorize the catch phrase or poetry, because if they recite them at the Christmas concert without first having purchased a license they or their church or their school might very well end up in court.

Gone are the days that books can be passed from parent to child to grandchild. The world they want will make each new consumer will have to pay to access the content. Every time. Because they will own all the rights to all the creativity.

Like Parmesan Cheese, all cultural material is built on what came before. Ironically, almost every Disney movie is based on stories taken from the public domain. Yet the public domain is being attacked and eroded by these laws. What will they do when the public domain is gone?

So has ACTA passed?

Not hardly. In fact,

The LA Times says, Global anti-counterfeiting agreement still weeks away

Or this: Danger of international accord on repressive policies in final ACTA talks, says RSF

Because in today’s world, ABC belongs to Disney, so we have to take it with a grain of salt.

Maybe it isn’t even necessary for ACTA to pass. When you control the media, whatever you say is “true”. They used to call that “pravda” back when governments not corporate interests ran countries. That’s why when people used to run the world, the first thing revolutionaries did during a coup was to take over the newspaper or radio station. Control the flow of information.

Today Disney just has to buy the news media. Good for the L.A. Times for actually reporting.

This is why the Internet must stay free. Why Net Neutrality is so very important.

And why Malcolm Gladwell was so very wrong.