“World’s Worst Internet Law” ratified by Senate
The US Senate ratified the Convention on Cybercrime last night, paving the way for greater international cooperation on cybersecurity issues. The Convention was drafted back in 2000, went through several rounds of public comment, and was opened for signature on November 23, 2001. Because it’s a treaty, the Senate must authorize it before it goes into force, and they did that last night, five years after the US first signed the agreement.
What’s it mean?
According to the EFF, “The treaty requires that the U.S. government help enforce other countries’ ‘cybercrime’ lawsâ€”even if the act being prosecuted is not illegal in the United States. That means that countries that have laws limiting free speech on the Net could oblige the F.B.I. to uncover the identities of anonymous U.S. critics, or monitor their communications on behalf of foreign governments. American ISPs would be obliged to obey other jurisdictions’ requests to log their users’ behavior without due process, or compensation.”
You know those crazy folks (like me!) that break off into an occasional screed about the world coming under control of an international totalitarian regime run by the world’s elite being created bit by bit right in front of our faces? Still think we’re crazy?
It’s happening. Bit by bit. Piece by piece.
Two by two, hands of bl– Sorry, Firefly withdrawl.
Of course, over here we learn that there are some safeguards:
One clause in the treaty allows a country to refuse to cooperate in an investigation if its “essential interests” are threatened by the request: Shave says that would allow the U.S. to bow out of a probe targeting free speech or other actions protected by the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, political offenses are specifically excluded from some types of mutual assistance requests available under the treaty.
Forgive me if I don’t think that the phrase “essential interest” means “protect your citizen’s Constitutionally protected rights” in the eyes of the DOJ or any other branch of the United States government.
The Constitution seems to hinder their “essential interests” from what I’m seeing lately.
So, who’s on board with this treaty?
Thirty-four European nations, plus Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States have signed onto the treaty, but only five have thus-far ratified it: Albania, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary and Lithuania.
Great. Five formerly Communist countries are peachy-keen with the plan. That doesn’t exactly give me the warm fuzzies.
Did somebody forget to invite Cuba to the party?
I figure we’ll see this abused sometime in the next 3-5 years. Just a hunch. By then we’ll have forgotten about it being ratified, all arguments against it will have been forgotten, and the masses will presume that this is just the way things have always worked.
Why? It is very simple.
I think I’ve got my fingers on the pulse of the segment of society concerned with what our government does. I haven’t heard a peep of this from any regular citizen. It exists solely because goverments want it to exist — not the people themselves.
When governments enact legislation or engage in treaties with other government that are not desired by the populace they will only ever result in one thing: More government control and intrusion. Especially when they’re expressly dealing with the ever extending long arm reach of the police agencies we’re lorded over by.
Further, if American citizens were not pushing for this law, do you really think that the other countries that have signed onto this treaty have ground-swell movements pushing for this at their own national level? I would highly doubt that.
If a US Senator didn’t support this treaty would it hurt their re-election campaign? I find that doubtful.
That, right there, makes me wonder just who our electorate, and the governments of 39 other countries, are getting ideas from.