A Democratic senator from South Carolina and lobbyists from the entertainment industry are planning to introduce a bill that will require manufacturers of computer equipment to embed federally “certified security technologies.” According to Wired, the bill, called the SSSCA (the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act), will make it a felony offense to distribute copyrighted materials with security measures disabled or to even attach a computer with disabled copyright protection to a network. Creating, selling, or distributing “any interactive digital device” (read: hardware or software) that does not utilize approved security provisions would also be illegal. The implications for geeks who use Free software are pretty dismal; any “certified security technologies” are likely to be both closed-source and restrictively licensed — good thing there’s Windows XP, right? Enough, it’s 2001, the future is here, and it sucks. My car collapses upon impact instead of into a briefcase, Strom Thurmond refuses to die, and soon I won’t even be able to make fucking mix tapes. On the bright side, robotic dogs are real.
If you care, there are one or two options for you until the time comes when our robot dogs can be trained to kill record industry executives on sight. U.S. citizens: Representative democracy is a sham, but if you want to play along, write your representative or your senator. Everybody: Lawyers, unlike democracy, are real, so consider donating to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Young Lions and ne’er-do-wells: Refresh yourself on basic principles.
“They are buying your happiness. Steal it.”