Feeds

Use a firewall, go to jail, and send Bill Gates too

DMCA enhancements pose tough decision for free-thinkers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The (DMCA) Digital Millennium Copyright Act clearly isn't enough for some people. Massachusetts and Texas are - in curious formation - considering bills that will extend it to make firewalls (among other things) illegal.

The strange synchronicity is illustrated by a quick look at the draft of the Texas bill then comparing it with the Massachusetts one, which you'll find in RTF format at Ed Felten's Freedom to Tinker, here. The strikeouts indicate that both, for whatever reason, have decided not to repress video this time around.

The repression that remains is however impressive. Felten points to this wording:

(b) Offense defined.--Any person commits an offense if he knowingly:

(1) possesses, uses, manufactures, develops, assembles, distributes, transfers, imports into this state, licenses, leases, sells or offers, promotes or advertises for sale, use or distribution any communication device:

(i) for the commission of a theft of a communication service or to receive, intercept, disrupt, transmit, re-transmits, decrypt, acquire or facilitate the receipt, interception, disruption, transmission, re-transmission, decryption or acquisition of any communication service without the express consent or express authorization of the communication service provider; or

(ii) to conceal or to assist another to conceal from any communication service provider, or from any lawful authority, the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication

Over to Ed here, because he puts it so well:

"Your ISP is a communication service provider, so anything that concealed the origin or destination of any communication from your ISP would be illegal -- with no exceptions.

"If you send or receive your email via an encrypted connection, you're in violation, because the 'To' and 'From' lines of the emails are concealed from your ISP by encryption. (The encryption conceals the destinations of outgoing messages, and the sources of incoming messages.)

"Worse yet, Network Address Translation (NAT), a technology widely used for enterprise security, operates by translating the 'from' and 'to' fields of Internet packets, thereby concealing the source or destination of each packet, and hence violating these bills. Most security 'firewalls' use NAT, so if you use a firewall, you're in violation.

"If you have a home DSL router, or if you use the 'Internet Connection Sharing' feature of your favorite operating system product, you're in violation because these connection sharing technologies use NAT. Most operating system products (including every version of Windows introduced in the last five years, and virtually all versions of Linux) would also apparently be banned, because they support connection sharing via NAT."

Ed points out that this boils down to 'use a firewall, go to jail,' but we really think he's not being nearly ambitious enough here. It strikes us that, as the proud owner of Internet Connection Sharing, Bill Gates develops, distributes and licenses a communications device which is used to conceal "the existence or place of origin or destination of any communication." So we say, 'use a a firewall, go to jail, but also send Bill Gates to jail.' Ah, decisions, decisions... ®

Related Links

Text at Felten's site

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.