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Friday, March 27, 2009

Thanks, Music Scofflaws

American Scofflaw

Well, thanks to the music thieves, governments are now pressing for laws to allow random searches of all of our computers for stolen materials without probable cause. The real danger is, of course, that corrupt people involved in those searches will copy and exploit personal business information for their own use.

In theory, what these laws do is force you to leave the keys to your house with the local police station, so that the cops can come in and look around whenever they feel like it, even when you are not at home. No sane human would allow this, given the previously reported actions of the police forces, and likewise many of us carry data on our laptops which is private not only to our own businesses but to our clients.

As one example, on my laptop I have materials related to a TV show I work on; materials which are of some value to the various fan magazines, but which would be harmful to my client if it were released. I am legally allowed to have this material, but what if some TSA bozo (assuming he didn't drop the laptop and wreck it again) sees the familiar faces, decides to copy off the files, then sells them to a buddy at 'embarrassing moments on the set' magazine! The bozo picks up a few thousand, I get in trouble because I was the last person known by the production company to have the files, and all we get from TSA is "We're fighting music piracy!"

So in the name of protecting profits, the government will treat all of us like we are criminals rather than dealing with the fact that we cannot expect young people to be moral when the leaders of our nations are so obviously immoral.

Let us be honest; real criminals and terrorists can buy plenty of those fingernail sized multi-gig flash drives to put sensitive data on, then sneak them through the security scans (hidden inside the hundreds of tons of cocaine and heroin that cruise right past the customs people every year). Homeland Security admits that half of the practice bombs get through those gates (probably more now that TSA is working for RIAA) so getting a flash drive past them is easy.

So, in short, we will all be totally inconvenienced for a policy that doesn't stand a chance of working in the first place, but opens up our private files for looting by the "authorities."

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