by Mike Shea on 13 October 2004
The head of the Ministry of Love, John Ashcroft, announced a new War on Technology in the form of an Intellectual Property Task Force. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
"Intellectual property theft is a clear danger to our economy and the health, safety, and security of the American people," said Attorney General Ashcroft.
"Well-organized criminal enterprises have recently begun to increase the scale, scope, and sophistication of international theft and counterfeiting. Given the simplicity of disseminating millions of copies of stolen software, music, video, and other products and programs around the globe with a single computer click, and given the inconsistent enforcement of existing laws worldwide, it is imperative that intellectual property rights be reaffirmed and vigorously protected."
"Operation Digital Gridlock, announced in August 2004, targeted IP theft over peer-to-peer networks and resulted in the seizure of more than 40 terabytes of material."
Operation Digital Gridlock? You have to be kidding me. Ashcroft proves a few things in this declaration of war against creativity and technology. One, the Department of Justice are whores bending over and lifting their ratty skirts to MPAA and the RIAA lobbyists. Two, the DoJ cares nothing for technology and will destroy any creative enterprise if it suits their true masters. Three, Ashcroft claims that copying music somehow threatens the "safety and security" of America. Do you use KC Easy? You're a terrorist.
The only way I can see versions of Kill Bill or Eyes Wide Shut that haven't been censored by the MPAA is to download them illegally. The only way I can download digital music in an open format is illegally. For the first time in a long time a huge corporate power running our country blocks new technology and locks our music and movies into 30 year old technology and business practices.
Ashcroft is one of Bush's appointed thugs. He is responsible for the Patriot Act, an act that requires us to build in surveillance into our telephones, requires companies to pass online confidential information to DoJ, and monitors our libraries. What sort of government begins attacking our institutions of learning and knowledge?
Considering the crazy shit this administration has done in the last four years, I cannot imagine what we'll see in the next four if he wins. For the love of free enterprise, free speech, and freedom from terror, vote Kerry.