More and more laws are being passed now in order for lawmakers to feel they have control over the Internet. These laws are largly reactionarry and are written by non-technial people. This means that they have provisions that do not cover the original intended criminals (or maybe they originally intended more than they claimed).
There is also increasing pressure from the US to expand their laws into other countries. Their companies openly flout the laws of countries such as France and Singapore, in the name of free speach. Yet sites that contain unsavoury content, or more often crytographic code, for example the DeCSS code, get threatened by letters from American lawyers, under US law. This strongarming the world into having the same laws is hypocritical on the behalf of the US, as they will not sign treaties recognising the International Court until they include exceptions from procesution for crimes such as Genocide for American citizens. Why do they need protection from such acts? Do they have a guilty conscience about something? or just something they are planning. I will stop here, as American foreign policy is covered elsewhere.
Basically, our lawmaking bodies are insufficiently technical, and so get advice from lobby groups and other interested parties, leading to legislation that makes almost everyone a criminal, and leaves loopholes which are then patched by expanding the scope of the original rules to cover more and more cases.
Ok, so other people are more coherent at making this point, so I will link to a few here.
- [ http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl/scenarios.html ] is a good explaination of some possible interpretations of the RIP bill.
Last updated: 10:46, 23 Jul 2003 Link..