This article is based on an original written by Rick Falkvinge for TorrentFreak, and we would like to thank him for raising the issues discussed here.
Emboldened by the victory handed them by the European Court of Justice’s striking down of the dreadful Data Retention Directives (DRD), the anti- mass surveillance movement is locking horns with another foe- the copyright industry. The movement is comparing the copyright industries clamor for more regulation of private individual’s communications with the metadata gathering policies of the NSA, GCHQ and its ilk. According to some, the copyright monopoly is in bed with said agencies.
The copyright industry has been relentlessly advocating greater mass surveillance- including snooping on citizens not under suspicion of any wrongdoing. In Ireland, for example, the copyright monopoly sued the country’s largest ISP, Eircom, over the right to install wiretapping and eavesdropping equipment in their core internet switches. This smacks of mass surveillance- just the bailiwick of the spy agencies. The movie people and the music label folks were great supporters of the just outlawed DRD and are spoiling to regain the upper hand. Those folks have gone to great lengths to sabotage private communications. They’ve gone so far as to cite child pornography as an argument for needing mass surveillance. Such allegations have been made without substantiation and amount to nothing more than subterfuge for mass surveillance of private citizen’s communications.
As it is, studies have shown that even before the draconian DRD, people had been shy about even innocent communications with drug helplines, psychologists- even marriage counselors. That’s how sensitive they were about their private information becoming public. During the DRD regime things were more worrisome. Whom one called, from where and when became fair game for government agencies. Fortunately, thanks to the European Court of Justice this type of mass surveillance has been outlawed. But it must be pointed out that the copyright monopoly cannot coexist with private communication. The only way for the copyright folks can verify infringement is to listen to the private communication, to open all the digital letters. The only way to do that is via mass surveillance.
In the absence of government which is sensitive to the needs for privacy, people are turning to alternative means to secure their information. Check into the VPNs which are reviewed on this website. But you can be more proactive. The matter will be taken up by the newly forming European Parliament. Everything is on the table and the stakes are high for all sides. Perhaps it’s time the anti-mass surveillance movement galvanized and formed a formidable opposition to the copyright monopoly much the same way it occurred in defeating SOPA in the US a couple of years ago. Why not identify and vote for candidates who are sensitive to the sacredness of private communication?