[LINK] Liberty, equality, fraternity - France net surveillance

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Fri Nov 30 09:32:28 AEDT 2007

>"Liberty, equality, fraternity"?
>            France Announces Massive Internet Surveillance by ISPs
>                http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/000331.html
>Greetings.  In a breathtaking act of arrogance reminiscent of the
>heyday of Louis XVI (and likely to trigger similar public reactions
>among many Internet users, though perhaps unfortunately absent the
>"equalizing" influence of la guillotine), the French government and
>its overseers (the entertainment industry), along with a cowering
>collection of gutless ISPs, have announced an agreement for ISPs to
>become the Internet Police Force in France.
>Under the agreement (see below for links) ISPs will monitor users
>for presumed illegal activities (read that as "file sharing") and
>send reports on the accused to what amounts to an anti-piracy board.
>This board could then mete out punishments as it sees fit, including
>(attempted) banishment from the Internet (via what amounts to a
>national blacklist).
>To streamline the process, the entire procedure, as I understand it
>right now, would operate -- at least initially -- on an
>extrajudicial basis, without the messy intervention of courts,
>judges, trials, or other post-Magna Carta niceties that might help
>to assure that only the truly guilty are punished.
>Proponents are arguing that this approach will avoid overly severe
>judicial judgments, but in reality it's clearly an attempt to avoid
>fixing broken laws, while kowtowing to entertainment industry
>The utter idiocy and recklessness of this approach is pretty much
>beyond description.  It is ripe for privacy abuses on a grand scale,
>mistaken identities, false "convictions," and a long list of other
>associated problems.
>On the positive side though, the plan is likely to speed widespread
>adoption of encryption, as even routine Internet communications move
>to secure and in some cases cloaked channels to avoid these kinds of
>repressive enforcement regimes.
>It's one thing to use the conventional legal system to enforce
>legitimate intellectual property rights, but it's something wholly
>different to deputize ISPs into Network Monitors, feeding data to
>what apparently could easily become a Star Chamber operating outside
>the normal bounds of the conventional legal system.
>More details from:
>BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7110024.stm
>Le Monde (French):
>    http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0,36-982011,0.html
>(Google translation): http://tinyurl.com/2wynfs

Jan Whitaker
JLWhitaker Associates, Melbourne Victoria
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com
personal: http://www.janwhitaker.com/personal/
commentary: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/

Living, like writing, requires no wisdom. Only revising does. - Jim 
Sollisch, Sept, 2007
'Seed planting is often the most important step. Without the seed, 
there is no plant.' - JW, April 2005
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