♠ Posted by Emmanuel in Internet Governance at 1/18/2012 08:15:00 AMThis post will be brief: I have identified the several contradictions of Hillary Clinton's hoary notion of "Internet Freedom" in a previous co-authored essay. Mind you, that bit of writing even preceded the WikiLeaks dustup which permanently consigned that bit of digital exceptionalism to the scrap heap of computer history.
More recently, American lawmakers have forwarded bits of legislation in the House and Senate designed to protect intellectual property rights by strongly obliging Internet service providers (ISPs) to monitor their customers for piracy. It seems even American tech firms recognize this sort of inconsistency regarding Uncle Sam's treatment of the Internet when it comes to addressing the rights of commercial rights holders (not predominantly theirs, mind you) vis-a-vis those of regular folks without such commercial clout. Certainly the likes of Wikimedia Foundation and Google of "Enabling Trade in the Era of Information Technologies: Breaking Down Barriers to the Free Flow of Information" fame are up in arms against this latest intrusion. Wikipedia is even blacked out today.
Why should being unable to pirate the latest episode of Gossip Girl be a more important global priority than, say, respecting other nations' rights to non-interference and non-intervention and hence keep the interstate system--in reasonably decent operation since 1648--intact? Not only do some folks have unworkable ideas but also a highly distorted set of priorities.
UPDATE: And don't forget this bit of proposed American legislation is but the tip of the iceberg. Actually, the Obama administration is very much behind the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act (ACTA)--a nasty piece of work masquerading as a trade agreement with provisions not unlike those of PIPA and SOPA with farther-reaching potential.