Sunday, January 22, 2012

sunny days seem far away

There's a few research projects going on demonstrating how easy it is to create false memories. They've even got an archive where you can enter your own false memories. Part of this is for the science of it, part's for an future art installation project...but really, at its heart it's more creepy than anything else. To me, at least--knowing how easily we delude ourselves, on a daily, monthly, weekly basis? It tells me humans are inherently unreliable. This is not comforting information.

From the same site, comes a list of reimagined superheroes. What happens to an identity if you change one letter of it? So, we come up with Booster God over Booster Gold, Spader-man (over Spider-man), and my personal favorite, Nick Furry. (The joy of Nick Furry? Samuel L. Jackson could still voice him.)

More on SOPA and bills even more unsavory--it's beginning to sound like government-grade alphabet soup, honestly. First there was SOPA (which seems now to be fairly soundly defeated); then there was PIPA (still moving through Congress); then ACTA (which takes everything that's wrong in SOPA, and makes it global); and now...PCIPA? Is the new one?

As usual, they've wrapped some extraordinarily unpleasant actions around a simple mantra--in this case, "save the children". There aren't many pro-pedophilia lobbyist groups for a good reason--because pedophilia is a crime, should remain a crime, and does far more harm than when the crime itself actually took place--damage from early sexual experience and abuse can last years, if not actual decades.

The problem here is in section four of the bill, entitled RETENTION OF CERTAIN RECORDS BY ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION SERVICE PROVIDERS. If that's not clear, here's the specific passage:
(a) In General- Section 2703 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
'(h) Retention of Certain Records-
'(1) A commercial provider of an electronic communication service shall retain for a period of at least one year a log of the temporarily assigned network addresses the provider assigns to a subscriber to or customer of such service that enables the identification of the corresponding customer or subscriber information under subsection (c)(2) of this section.
'(2) Access to a record or information required to be retained under this subsection may not be compelled by any person or other entity that is not a governmental entity.
'(3) The Attorney General shall make a study to determine the costs associated with compliance by providers with the requirement of paragraph (1). Such study shall include an assessment of all the types of costs, including for hardware, software, and personnel that are involved. Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this paragraph, the Attorney General shall report to Congress the results of that study.
'(4) In this subsection--
'(A) the term 'commercial provider' means a provider of electronic communication service that offers Internet access capability for a fee to the public or to such classes of users as to be effectively available to the public, regardless of the facilities used; and
'(B) the term 'Internet' has the same meaning given that term in section 230(f) of the Communications Act of 1934..
(b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress--
(1) to encourage electronic communication service providers to give prompt notice to their customers in the event of a breach of the data retained pursuant to section 2703(h) of title 18 of the United States Code, in order that those effected can take the necessary steps to protect themselves from potential misuse of private information; and
(2) that records retained pursuant to section 2703(h) of title 18, United States Code, should be stored securely to protect customer privacy and prevent against breaches of the records.
So what does that mean? In essence:
  • the government is trying to shift policing of internet user behavior onto owners of domains and owners of servers, not police or government officers;
  • the government subsequently wants said service providers to retain information on who uses their systems, including real name, address, phone number, email address, and any other pertinent information specifically designed for matching email addresses and net handles to that real information, for a period not shorter than one year, but not to exceed eighteen months;
  • the government has two years to complete a cost analysis of the extra manpower, equipment, storage, and work hours it will take to complete such actions, but is not obligated in any way to report sooner, or in fact to pay for such costs;
  • the government is instructing such service providers to retain this information in a secure setting, but is very very vague on how that should be done; and, as they're fobbing this off on the shoulders of citizens, not trained law enforcement personnel, they're also metaphorically washing their hands of any accidential (or deliberate) mishandling of data such that such data is released.
Yeah. That's pretty low. I'm starting to think Lamar Smith is just a bitter, vile human being who hates us all.

Oh, and as icing on the cake, Chris Dodd, the former member of Congress who then joined the MPAA, went on Fox News and publically threatened all Senators he thinks his new company has bought and paid for. I'm not making that up.

We're in turbulent times, friends.

Also, I hate Blizzard, but that's not really news.


Serenity Semple said...

The false memory thing is pretty creepy to me, but I doubt it wouldn't be easy to pull off.

LOL Nick Furry. Makes me think of some furry superhero type things I've seen floating around.

On the whole Alphabet Soup of government trying to screw up things. I just wish they'd stop. There's so much already they can't handle stop adding on more, just leads to more fuck ups. I so love how they try to put all the responsibility on these domains and crap. The pentagon got hacked, and you think these guys stand a better chance? I think there should be some sorta huge crack down on hackers but that will never happen. Also the meme floating around on the net about this whole thing saying "You can get 5 years in prison for posting songs or pictures of Micheal Jackson. But the doctor that may have caused his actual death is only getting 2."

Emilly Orr said...

I actually like the furry superhero concept. I mean, consider Beast--a supremely talented scientist who made one mistake and grew blue fur. Whereas almost every other mutant was trying to 'blend in', for the most part Hank's not trying. He knows who he is and what he looks like, and while it was never a free choice of his heart, he's adapted. But most of the X-Men books featuring him do deal with society's reaction to a blue-furred scientist, and they've been pretty honest. I always liked that.

Me, I wish they'd stop too. It seems like this is developing into a full-scale war on the internet. Mostly by men who don't even own household computers, which just terrifies me. How can you seek to ban something you don't even understand?