However, something did catch my eye in the current issue (alongside the astronomical details which I mostly enjoy): it seems that our Lords and Masters are not only discussing food prices and unrealistic carbon targets at the G8 summit...
The full article is, unfortunately, behind a paywall, but you'll get the gist from the first few paragraphs.
IT SOUNDS much like any other yawn-inducing cross-border treaty. But the nascent Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that's on the table at this week's G8 meeting in Japan may have far-reaching consequences. If it becomes international law, anyone who offers copyrighted files over the internet or downloads them may be labelled a criminal and forcibly disconnected from the net.
ACTA aims to make it easier to penalise and prosecute people running websites or networks that aid and abet the sharing of copyrighted content, including music, movies, TV shows and books. While copyright infringement is already illegal, policing it across multiple borders has been difficult, especially as fleet-of-foot file-sharers can shift their operations from one jurisdiction to another at the click of a mouse. By enshrining ACTA principles in national laws, the G8 hopes to make flight pointless.
My, my: doesn't that sound familiar? Doesn't it sound almost exactly like the Soviet-style internet controls that the European Union has just—since my last article—recently passed?
Yes, yes, it does. And there's more on Wikileaks (as quoted in the NS).
The federal government is secretly negotiating an agreement to revamp international copyright laws which could make the information on Canadian iPods, laptop computers or other personal electronic devices illegal and greatly increase the difficulty of travelling with such devices.
The deal could also impose strict regulations on Internet service providers, forcing those companies to hand over customer information without a court order.
Called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the new plan would see Canada join other countries, including the United States and members of the European Union, to form an international coalition against copyright infringement.
The agreement is being structured much like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) except it will create rules and regulations regarding private copying and copyright laws.
Federal trade agreements do not require parliamentary approval.
The deal would create a international regulator that could turn border guards and other public security personnel into copyright police. The security officials would be charged with checking laptops, iPods and even cellular phones for content that "infringes" on copyright laws, such as ripped CDs and movies.
The guards would also be responsible for determining what is infringing content and what is not.
No, that is not the way in which laws are supposed to work. Police and suchlike are supposed to uphold the law, not decide who has actually broken it. All people are supposed to be equal under the law and, in civilised countries, we have trials (hopefully fair ones) to decide whether people have actually broken said law.
When police act as judge, jury and executioner, we call that a police state.
It seems that the entire Western world is being towards totalitarianism by our Lords and Masters. And thus we are going to have to hang them all...