Sunday, January 22, 2012
The SteamWorks: Pro ACTA
So in case you haven't heard, SOPA and PIPA have been delayed due to a huge lack of public support. So great job internet! However, on Saturday a bill called ACTA has surfaced into the public eye. You can read about ACTA at this site.
So what exactly is ACTA? To sum it up, ACTA is an attempt to get foreign countries to start looking at piracy, or the stealing of material and issuing it online for free (and sometimes even for a price),with a serious manner. The only part of this bill that I personally do not like is that it's largely being held as a secret. Other than that, I am a supporter of ACTA, or at least I support what has been released thus far.
The big deal with ACTA is that people are saying that you're violating the privacy of the people. The bill says the government may investigate people who are showing signs of being a pirate. Some are brining up how it is illegal to search one's locker in school, so why should they be able to search our computers? The truth is, with a warrant, they are allowed to search your locker in school, so one could say that with a warrant they could search your computer.
If we're protesting against ACTA due to "invasion of privacy", there are also a few things I want to protest against because they invade my privacy. For example, cell phones and cameras. Did you know, unless you take the battery out of your phone, the government can listen in on any of your conversations via your cell phone, even if it's off? Yet ACTA is more of a privacy concern than this? Did you also know that those cameras on top of stop lights not only give tickets out, but have face recognition technology so the government can track anyone and everyone throughout their day? But I digress...
To me, ACTA makes perfect sense; if someone had a crystal methane lab in their garage, do you think the government's going to say, "Aww shoot, we need to give this guy his privacy."? Hell no. They're going to break into his house and shut down his lab because it's against the law to distribute crystal meth. There are certain issues that the government is presented with that require taking away people's rights for the good of the public. For example, when Abe Lincoln took away habeas corpus, which basically meant he could arrest people without any real evidence of a crime. He used this to collect anyone who posed a threat to the Union during the civil war, and while it was a questionable maneuver, it dramatically helped the Union win the civil war. You must also remember that downloading a pirated CD or movie online is the same thing as walking into Walmart and stealing it yourself (which is illegal, by the way).
My case in point: I support ACTA, or at least the parts that have been released thus far. It's an effective way to stop pirating online without shutting down sites like YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, and other popular sites. It's not really going to effect those who don't pirate things. The only real reason someone has to protest against this bill is the simple fact that it will reduce the amount of pirated content on the web.
Peter, The SteamWorks