Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Judge Dredd alive and well and living in Britain

In what be one of the most insidious legislation ideas to yet come out of the poisonous socialist government here in Britain, a new proposal is taking shape which is so horrific I can barely believe it has arisen in the same land which gave us habeas corpus and Lord Denning.

You can read the details in this Torygraph story, but the gist of it is this: The government is going to order Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to police every packet of information which comes to you over the Internet. If the ISP suspects that a single packet is “stolen” copyright information, it will be mandated to send you a warning email (which your spam filter may gobble up before you receive it). If you ignore this email (or never receive it), and get three such emails, the ISP will be obliged to cut you off from the Internet. It may even become illegal for any other ISP to offer you an Internet service.

Though this sounds fully in line with New Labour’s increasingly fascist approach to jackbooting this country, if you examine the proposal in more depth, it gets worse with each twist.

No evidence will be presented to the accused individual. The accused individual will be unable to defend themselves in a court. There will be no jury of peers (if you’ll excuse the potential Peer-to-Peer pun). The ISP will be forced to take up the role of judge and jury. There will be no appeal. The individual will be denied a service which is becoming as increasingly as important as air and water, in this interconnected world. The individual may fail to learn they have been cut off until after it has happened (and after this denial of service has become permanent.) If someone in your household is targeted in this way, you will also be cut off, despite having nothing to do with the alleged crime. The ISP is being forced by the state (at the behest of its lobbyist masters) to stop serving their customers, thus losing business, in order to prop up the wishes of the copyright industry. There will be a further massive intrusion into the privacy of the individual. A mechanism will be created to enable massive state censorship of the Internet (which will no doubt be abused in the future and which no doubt is part of the reasoning behind the whole thing.) And this all comes out of a first skim-level analysis.

What exactly is the role of the state? It demands a monopoly on the provision of justice and in return for this monopoly the ability to tax us to pay for this “service”. All of the above, however, is a huge provision of injustice, thus invalidating the state. But we live in such a rotten government-dominated age, this latest legislative proposal hardly makes you blink.

I won’t even begin to argue the Kinsellian case for an anti-copyright stance. Let’s assume for the moment that copyright laws are morally justifiable. If so, the state should gather evidence without infringing your privacy or gather such evidence with a warrant signed by a judge; then accuse you with this evidence in a court, thus allowing you to defend yourself; also organize your peers to be a jury in the case; then allow you the chance to appeal if the case goes against you; and then punish you with a sentence to fit the crime should you be found guilty by your peers (such as a three-month Internet ban rather than an indiscriminate lifetime ban.) The state should also do all of this itself, to prevent commercial pressures interfering with the provision of said justice. And all this is in the terms used to justify the state’s monopoly of justice provision, without arguing about whether copyright itself is valid under natural law.

But the British state doesn’t want to bother itself these days with evidence, juries, appeals, justifiable sentencing, individual privacy, or even the boring process of administering justice, any longer. It has become so bloated, lazy, arrogant, and aggressive, that it simply wants to take its subsidies from its copyright industry lobbyist paymasters, so it can then sit back drinking a large gin and tonic on the terrace at the House of Commons while we, the common people, are thus inflicted with this perversely twisted legal system.

To my mind, the rotten and malicious proposal above completely invalidates the justification of the existence of the state, such as it is. (Though admittedly, these days not much doesn’t!)

If Gordon Brown should manage to ram-rod this horrible proposal through Parliament, I can’t wait to see the mess created when the first European human rights case comes up opposing it. I also look forward to seeing the effects of several million ecomentalist “young adults” being cut off from their downloads (plus the several hundred thousand “older adults” being spuriously cut off from the Internet by mistaken ISPs.) It should create a welcome tsunami of anti-state feeling, thus loosening the fingers of the state on our throats, even further.

In the meantime, welcome to Judge Dredd Britain.

No comments: