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I’ve never looked into mainstream politics much before the last few months, i must confess. I’ve always known i should take it seriously, but somehow always felt it was a waste of my time and energy. I guess i never felt strongly enough about anything before to get involved.

As a result of some crazy lib dem and conservative lords who want to censor the uk internet in a vain attempt to keep the failing music industry model working a bit longer, i have some how dived in head first. Ive written to my MP, watch BBC Parliament and even read House of Lords reports on line.

Frankly, i find the whole thing confusing and frustrating. Especially this:

1. The BPI write a amendment to the DEBill that suites their money making model. Its certainly not for the benefit of the digital economy as a whole as the peopel who have written it have a different agenda. http://www.openrightsgroup.org/assets/files/word/Potential_Alt_Clause_17.doc
2. Some lords get persuaded to put it forward. How does this happen? Especially when it seems his whole party dont agree with him.
3. Then members of the lib dems come out with a ‘save the internet’ campaign on facebook and emergency measure to try to stop it. If the party is a democratic system, how did one person introduce a law that the whole of the rest of the party has to fight to overturn and correct?

I also got a response from my MP Dr Hywel Francis . To say it was disappointing is an understatement. I got a very badly photocopied letter from Steven Timms MP that had obviously been used as a template to send to many others and didn’t answer the questions and scenarios i set out in my letter. My MP just sent a cover letter with it saying ‘read this, its self explanatory’. He didnt give me his opinion like i asked, or tell me if he would support it in the house of commons, which i also asked. So there goes his vote.

So, im going to keep a close eye on the lib dems over the weekend and see if the really can fix the mess they made. I agree with what all the members have been saying on the lib dem voice etc, so im hoping they will prevail against the one lib dem over-lord.

I may look into who the Aberavon lib dem candidate is also, see what they think about the DEBill.

Like many, ive woken up today amazed and very concerned at the new turn the Digital Economy Bill has taken with an amendment introduced yesterday by a rather misguided LibDem lord (Lord Clement-Jones) that provides web blocking powers in place of the caluase 17. Full details from ORG: http://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog

I have no legal background, so i wont try to explain whats already being better explained by others (Excellent analysis: http://blogscript.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-trouble-at-tbill.html. But the technical aspect of this interests me.

Here us the amendment text: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200910/ldbills/032/amend/ml032-iira.htm

OK so this is what the amendment boils down to:

Preventing access to specified online locations for the prevention of online copyright infringement

And online location is clarified as:

online location” means a location on the internet, a mobile data network or other data network at or via which copyright infringing content is accessible

OK wow, so whats a online location? A location on the internet apparently, ok that clears it up. The world ‘location’ is only usualy seen with the words ‘online’ and ‘internet’ when context-aware/location based services, and augmented realities are being discussed. Perhaps a better word would of been ‘presence’.

So i guess what they mean by online location is the point of presence of a physical device serving infringing content. But what defines the location? Is it its DNS name, IP address or even a sub-directory of a folder on a web server. I really dont know. I can think of many ways to circumvent any block though…

And why mention ‘mobile data networks’? Does that mean if i set up a ahdoc wireless network with friends, and get a request to shut it down because some one is hosting windows shares with infringing content i have to turn off the whole network, or i have to block their machine from talking on the network, or i have to block port 445, or do i need to find their physical location (i,e online location) and turn off their laptop. I dunno…. scary stuff.

Palm Pre handsets are secretly sending data about users back to palm. They are sending GPS location data, usage data and crash reports. Its amazing to think they can get away with this. It doesn’t seem to have received a lot of press either which is unusual. Its on the BBC [1] and the original discovery, made by Joey Hess can be found easily enough also [2], but there is not as much outrage as i had thought. I wonder if the pre was as popular as the iPhone this would be more significant a event?

Either way, it will be interesting to see how this effects pre sales, if it does at all!

1. “BBC NEWS | Technology | Palm criticised over Pre privacy,” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8198921.stm.
2. “Palm Pre privacy,” http://kitenet.net/~joey/blog/entry/Palm_Pre_privacy/.

June 2017
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