Wotka World Wide

Saturday, January 28, 2012

If You Thought SOPA Was Bad, Just Wait Until You Meet ACTA:

Few people have heard of ACTA, or the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, but the provisions in the agreement are just as pernicious as anything we saw in SOPA. Worse, the agreement spans virtually all of the countries in the developed world, including all of the EU, the United States, Switzerland and Japan.

Many of these countries have already signed or ratified it, and the cogs are still turning. The treaty has been secretly negotiated behind the scenes, with unelected bureaucrats working closely with entertainment industry lobbyists to craft the provisions in the treaty. The Bush administration started the process, but the Obama administration has aggressively pursued it.

It doesn't even seem real, reading this. And then you find out that President Obama signed this treaty in October, with little regard to its potential effects on internet freedom. Even more chilling is the fact that the Administration has recently asserted that the treaty relates to executive authority, and shouldn't be subject to Senate approval, which is clearly unconstitutional given the Constitution's directive for Congress to regulate patents. It looks like the global internet community must remain ever more vigilant in opposing this international undemocratic power grabs. Write or call your Senators today!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Who needs SOPA when they can already do things like take down Megaupload in other countries? In my mind, doing this the day after the wikipedia blackout, was the government and Hollywood's way of saying "Oh yeah? You think you can protest our internet domination plans? Well screw you, internet users!" Also, other tech companies have to be wondering, how the hell is the whole concept of the cloud even legal if Megaupload isn't?
The Supreme Court has unanimously decided that a warrant is required to track someone with a GPS device. This is a great decision, but it is too bad they didn't go further and deal with GPS tracking of wireless devices. Still, take what freedoms you can get from Washington in this era.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Jeffrey Zients is Obama's new acting director for the Office of Management and Budget. He is also an alum of Bain & Co. He will replace Jack Lew, a former Citigroup mortgage derivatives trader, who has moved on to become Chief of Staff for the White House. Remember all this when Obama starts criticizing Romney later this year for his extensive history with Bain. You can be sure most of the media won't.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

U.S. threatens Spain with blacklist for not implementing site blocking law? Great, now we are strong-arming other countries into doing the bidding of the RIAA and MPAA. I really am coming around to the view that the corporations (in this case the media ones) control this country. It is a shame. And there is no one on the horizon even discussing changing the status quo, other than potentially Ron Paul, and he is unelectable.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Think twice before bringing a gun to New York, as a few well-meaning folks have learned recently:

Ryan Jerome was enjoying his first trip to New York City on business when the former Marine Corps gunner walked up to a security officer at the Empire State Building and asked where he should check his gun.

That was when Jerome’s nightmare began. The security officer called police and Jerome spent the next two days in jail.

The 28-year-old with no criminal history now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of three and a half years in prison. If convicted, his sentence could be as high as fifteen years.

Jerome has a valid concealed carry permit in Indiana and visited New York believing that it was legal to bring his firearm. He was traveling with $15,000 worth of jewelry that he planned to sell.

Scary stuff in a country where the 2nd Amendment is supposedly in force.