So it seems Stephen Joyce
, along with Chris Finlayson
is planning to pass ACTA, and planning to keep section 92a which allows for the disconnection of individuals from the internet upon the mere accusation
that they have violated copyright.
Finlayson, despite being a lawyer, seems to feel that there is no need for there to be any proof that a person is infringing the law before punishing them for that alleged infringement, and despite the fact that both his and Joyce's websites contain enough infringing material for people to lay complaints against them as soon as the law comes into effect. It's almost humorous, two politicians planning to put forward a law that will result in them being it's first victims. Talk about "being hoist by one's own petard!"
Even the UK, known for it's draconian police state, has refused to go anywhere near this far, backing off of keeping similar, though still less draconian, arrangements
in their version of ACTA.
People need to realize that copyright breaches are not the issue here.
Regardless of one's beliefs about the validity of intellectual property, the thing that both I and the good folk at The Creative Freedom Foundation
are annoyed at here is that S92a of the act brings in a provision that will require ISPs to cut the internet connections of people if someone else (anyone else) makes a formal complaint against them, regardless of whether that complaint is actually well founded, and without giving the accused the chance to defend themselves from the complaint. This is a fundamental change to our law.
At present there are one or two other places in law where guilt is assumed, and people can be punished without trial, but all of those at present relate to national security, such as the ability of the Director of the SIS to put people like Ahmed Zaoui in prison without a trial.
ACTA is fundamentally worse, as while one might expect that the Director of the SIS would understand the danger of his powers, and would normally, at least in his mind, have good reason to use them, here, we're talking about giving similar (though admittedly not so draconian) powers to every member of the public
who can fill out a complaint form. Does anyone really want that? Imagine the potential for extortion and harrassment that the Mongrel Mob and other criminal organizations will now gain.
The other bad thing, and the reason that the UK dropped these sorts of provisions, is that they require your ISP to act as an arm of law enforcement. Not to co-operate
with law enforcement, as they do now, but to be
law enforcement. All of a sudden a bunch of geek network operators will become policemen without training. But real policemen have some legal protection to act in this manner, and are given money by the government to enforce laws.
ACTA will require ISP''s to take up this job without additional pay, and without legal protection, meaning that they could get sued for doing it. This will necessarily drive up the already outrageous cost of internet access in New Zealand, which in turn will act us a brake on our already stumbling economy.
So, email firstname.lastname@example.org
, and point out to them that this is not a copyright issue, it's a legal and economic issue that affects the whole country, not just those naughty file-sharers.