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What Should Be In a Technology Bill of Rights?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the careful-wording dept.

Government 247

snydeq writes "The Deep End's Paul Venezia argues in favor of the creation of a Technology Bill of Rights to protect individuals against malfeasance, tyranny, and exploitation in an increasingly technological age. Venezia's initial six proposed articles center on anonymity rights, net neutrality, the open-sourcing of law enforcement software and hardware, and the like. What sort of efficacy do you see such a document having, and in an ideal world, which articles do you see as imperative for inclusion in a Technology Bill of Rights?"

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Avoid Firts Post (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28003885)

The prohibition of off-topic FP!

Re:Avoid Firts Post (5, Funny)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004221)

The prohibition of "I see what you did there" follow-ups?

Re:Avoid Firts Post (4, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004371)

What about the prohibition of "me too!" posts?

Lets see... (4, Funny)

moderators_are_w*nke (571920) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003889)

Net neutrality, Linux on desktop, Duke Nukem 4 Ever, cheap macs, freedom from malware, peace in the middle east and a cuddly Tux for all.

Re:Lets see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004095)

That's better than my list. All I wanted was a Pepsi.

Laws (2, Funny)

Narpak (961733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003917)

Thu shall not commit spam.

The right to bear arms (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003925)

Er, the right to defend yourself against the evils of viruses, malware, and if I dare to be redundant, DRM.

Re:The right to bear arms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28003969)

...and users.

Re:The right to bear arms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004133)

Don't forget FSF zealots, Linux advocates, and COLA trolls!

Re:The right to bear arms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004829)

Normally I don't support anti-malware types or laws since they are nothing less than vigilantes who don't get it. However I have no issue with a lawless web so if an anonymous user(s) want to duke it out with the malware authors/script kiddies/whoever I say go for it!

Nothing (5, Insightful)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003931)

We don't need it. The bill of rights already protects our personal rights and limits the federal government's powers over the states and the citizens.

Oh, wait, the Constitution is routinely ignored by the Federal Government. So I'm sure a non-binding technology bill of rights will have a huge impact on limiting the Federal Government's actions...

Re:Nothing (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004009)

The bill of rights already protects our personal rights and limits the federal government's powers over the states and the citizens.

Actually the Bill of Rights just codified our rights. Our rights are inalienable regardless of whether or not they are listed in the Bill of Rights.

Oh, wait, the Constitution is routinely ignored by the Federal Government. So I'm sure a non-binding technology bill of rights will have a huge impact on limiting the Federal Government's actions...

Beat me to it :(

Re:Nothing (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004231)

Our rights are inalienable regardless of whether or not they are listed in the Bill of Rights.

However, these "inalienable rights" are only referred to as inalienable in a non-legally binding document.

Re:Nothing (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004583)

Actually the Bill of Rights just codified our rights. Our rights are inalienable regardless of whether or not they are listed in the Bill of Rights.
 
Only if your government doesn't have nuclear weapons. What is inalienable has changed considerably since 1776.

Re:Nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004795)

If they really were inalienable, how come they're violated on a regular basis around the world?

There's no such thing as a natural right, other than the right to do whatever you can get away with. You may not like that (and neither do I), but it's the way it is.

Re:Nothing (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28005071)

"If they really were inalienable, how come they're violated on a regular basis around the world?"

They were being violated on a regular basis in 1776, too.

Re:Nothing (1)

alanQuatermain (840239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004309)

Japanese Americans 1942 [wikipedia.org]

That should provide a little context as to the enforcement of the bill of rights. Thanks to George Carlin for reminding me of this one.

Re:Nothing (2, Insightful)

scooter.higher (874622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004589)

Things like that are covered under Presidential Emergency powers. Just like making weather reports classified and making the U.S. Coast Guard a part of the U.S. Navy.

"It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love democracy. I love the Republic. The powers you give me I will lay down when this crisis has be abated!" - Emperor Palpatine

Re:Nothing (5, Insightful)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004957)

Well the U.S. Bill of Rights is certainly an excellent starting point.
  1. The right to express yourself, to peacefully assemble, to participate in religion without government interference and without government proselytizing, the right to petition the government, and the right to publish.
  2. The right to possess 'hacking' tools such as NMap, cryptography, high-performance computers, and anti-DRM tools.
  3. Prohibition on the government camping out on our equipment ala CALEA and the Clipper Chip.
  4. Right to be free from search and seizure without a warrant.
  5. Right not to testify against yourself such a being compelled to hand over a cryptographic key. Sanctions can not be imposed without due process (no three allegations and your cut off from the internet). Just compensation for government seizure for public purpose. Prohibition on double jeopardy.
  6. Right to confront your accuser (Media Sentry), right to a speedy trial, right to counsel, right to trial by jury.
  7. Right to jury even in modest civil cases.
  8. Punishment shall not be overly severe (no massive penalties for copyright infringement). Bail shall not be excessive (one million dollars bail when refusing to do your job).
  9. Other, unenumerated rights exist.
  10. Government shall not exceed its enumerated powers.

the open sourcing of law enforcement hardware? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28003949)

Intel is going to publish their chip designs now?

Re:the open sourcing of law enforcement hardware? (1)

zach297 (1426339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004619)

More likely the police will be forced to use technology that is already open source.

Re:the open sourcing of law enforcement hardware? (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004697)

"Any hardware or software system must be fully documented and digitally published for the public good. The patent and copyright system are good enough to protect your ip." ;)

As Douglas Adams put it... (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003957)

What sort of efficacy do you see such a document having,

Prosser: "Have you any idea how much damage that bulldozer would suffer if I just let it run straight over you?"
Arthur: "How much?"
Prosser: "None at all."

How 'bout this, for starters re: search/seizure (1, Interesting)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003965)

What should be in a "Technology Bill of Rights"

Current technology makes it easy and difficult for law enforcement to capture and seize and retain

equipment, information, and data of or about or owned by a target of an investigation or persons

tangential to the target of said investigation. Technology also makes it possible and not unreasonable for

persons visit, collect, dispose of, and maintain data over a variety of devices, streams, and locations.

Persons under investigation or not under investigation shall not be required to live their lives as if

they must be at-the-ready to facilitate Law Enforcement to bring charges against said person or persons

related to the subject of an investigation. People today use computers to facilitate communication,

operation of business, continuance of education, and to do any number of other things that may be legal or

illegal, but not of an illegality sufficient to warrant seizure (even if remote search and surveillance

are conducted) of the equipment.

Unnecessary, spiteful, specious, punative and groundsless search is disturbing and seizure detrimental if

not permanently destructive to the privacy or conduct of business or education of persons who ultimately

are not arrested or are arrested but released on Own Recognizance or for lack of cause or for

technicalities or procedural abberations in violation of subject's rights.

Therefore:

Persons under surveillance who have not committed a crime nor are being charged with a crime SHALL NOT

have their personal property seized. Seizure may occur in extremely grave situations of bona fide national

security or flight risk concerns, but ONLY IF the person is in an immediate position of destroying data

that was not already captured via technical means which may or may not be disclosed to the subject nor the

subject's attorney.

Persons who voluntarily offer to law enforcement an opportunity to reasonably copy target's data

concurrent to/related to the scope of the investigation SHALL NOT BE SEPARATED from the investigation and

SHALL BE ALLOWED personal or technical proxy representation, full custody of, and a written receipt or

copy log of what os obtained.

Law enforcement shall arrive to the premises equipped to take copies of data by whatever means devices

allow the recording of data which may be stored on equipment as old as 25 years or current. The ill-

preparation of LE to copy data SHALL NOT JUSTIFY seizure nor freezing of subjects' assessts simply for

convenience of Law Enforcement. Only in extremely grave cases of risk of destruction of information shall

LE be permitted to monitor "that last bit" of uncaptured information via orders to a subject (by now

compromised) to not destroy information.

If LE determines a person or business warrants surveillance, it should be publicly expected that by the

time a subject is arrested or detained and removed from home or business, LE should have by technical

means obtained what it needed. The seizure of equipment shall result in the turning over of the equipment

to a NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY who will not buckle to police, nor allow the pending-defendant's counsel to

tamper with evidence.

Re:How 'bout this, for starters re: search/seizure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004099)

That's nice. Now can you post that without the annoying doublespace?

Re:How 'bout this, for starters re: search/seizure (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004151)

That's nice. Now can you post that without the annoying doublespace?

Translation:

TL;DR.

Same here.

Separation (3, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003967)

Strict separation of state from goatse terror regime.

Or did the frist post already address that?

opt out (1)

symes (835608) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003991)

The right to opt out of phorm [slashdot.org] and similar scams. And an obligation for computer users across the world to keep their networked machines patched.

Re:opt out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004131)

And an obligation for computer users across the world to keep their networked machines patched.

Why should anyone have an obligation to apply a patch? There have been plenty of patches released for Windows or Linux, etc that have broken things.

Re:opt out (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004141)

or even better, not to be harassed by it unless you opt *in*

Absolute Requirement (3, Funny)

serutan (259622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003993)

A reference to the Book of Armaments has to be in there somewhere.

Gaaah! (5, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28003997)

The American founding fathers, from whom the Bill of Rights came, viewed rights a inherent to all individuals and not something granted by men. Either from God, or inherent in nature (or actually both, to my understanding).

These rights are what is referred to as "negative rights". Basically put, that you can do just about anything so long as it doesn't infringe on another's well-being. Everything in the Bill of Rights demonstratably follows from that--that the government shall not interfere. But it doesn't grant you special privileges, either--nothing that requires one else give it to you (well, with some exceptions like right to a speedy trial).

To then go on to talk about a Bill of Rights as some arbitrarily-agreed upon standards is ridiculous and on some level scary, because it implies your humans rights and worth is something up for democratic debate and potentially is yet another chip on the political bargaining table.

You don't have to be an adherent to natural law (I'm not) to feel or believe in that. No so-called "Bill of Rights" should demand that other private entities ought to give you special privileges or concessions based on some mob rule decision. No wonder Democrats so frequently assume that the 2nd amendment means something that it doesn't--they believe (or at least, appear to believe) that rights and apparently human dignity are government-granted...!

Re:Gaaah! (-1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004149)

I blame all the morans who didn't vote for Ron Paul.

Re:Gaaah! (3, Interesting)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004415)

Unfortunately, you and I are so 18th century. Back then, if not otherwise specified, the government had no rights. But now, it has been successfully turned around. Unless otherwise specified by the government, the people have no rights. Like it or not, I think most Americans see it that way, and not just Democrats. Damn shame.

Re:Gaaah! (3, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004491)

To then go on to talk about a Bill of Rights as some arbitrarily-agreed upon standards is ridiculous and on some level scary, because it implies your humans rights and worth is something up for democratic debate and potentially is yet another chip on the political bargaining table.

I don't know why its scary: the Bill of Rights itself is the product of discussion, debate, and democratic process. Sure, they reflect a means of protecting what at least a significant portion of those discussing and debating thought were fundamental rights in natural law, but they were no less a product of political process than any other law.

The treatment of the Constitution (whether the main text or the Bill of Rights) as some sort of quasi-religious revealed document given by quasi-divine Founders, rather than a political document created by men and subject to debate on its merits, is what I find scary.

Re:Gaaah! (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28005061)

But they are yet another chip on the bargaining table. If they were inherent in nature,

1) How do we derive them from nature without the feeling in the back of our head that we're making them up as a reformulation of current philosophical norms?
2) Why don't they keep emerging in the same form as we study the history of nations?

Calling these rights inherent in humanity was good propoganda for the times, but eventually we outgrow the need for such undefensible ideas.

A Bill of rights .. (1)

SlashDev (627697) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004001)

.. is pointless unless we have a system that protects it. Do we have technology courts? Technology judges? Technology prosecutors? Can the goverment protect me from Spam and Virtuses? In response though, I would really like to see the right to be happy while using technology. Happiness to me comes in the form of, no spam, no viruses, no intrusion of any sort. That being said, it may make a criminal 'happy' if he'she commits a crime, so a bill of rights yes, but a rule of law that goes along with it.

empower the user (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004011)

the first article there, of course, is to allow customers of licensed entertainment to use the material as the copyright law allows. and that is reflected in "fair use."

you have to buy something sometime. once you have done so, as long as you own the original licensed copy, you can replicate it on other gadgets for more convenient use. as long as you only use ONE at a time, and don't give any of it away to non-licensed users.

Re:How 'bout this, for starters re: search/seizure (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004025)

Crappy-assed notepad... bad formatting... Here is the same text, formatted for easier reading:

What should be in a "Technology Bill of Rights"

Current technology makes it easy and difficult for law enforcement to capture and seize and retain equipment, information, and data of or about or owned by a target of an investigation or persons tangential to the target of said investigation. Technology also makes it possible and not unreasonable for persons visit, collect, dispose of, and maintain data over a variety of devices, streams, and locations.
Persons under investigation or not under investigation shall not be required to live their lives as if they must be at-the-ready to facilitate Law Enforcement to bring charges against said person or persons related to the subject of an investigation. People today use computers to facilitate communication, operation of business, continuance of education, and to do any number of other things that may be legal or illegal, but not of an illegality sufficient to warrant seizure (even if remote search and surveillance are conducted) of the equipment.

Unnecessary, spiteful, specious, punative and groundsless search is disturbing and seizure detrimental if not permanently destructive to the privacy or conduct of business or education of persons who ultimately are not arrested or are arrested but released on Own Recognizance or for lack of cause or for technicalities or procedural abberations in violation of subject's rights.

Therefore:

Persons under surveillance who have not committed a crime nor are being charged with a crime SHALL NOT have their personal property seized. Seizure may occur in extremely grave situations of bona fide national security or flight risk concerns, but ONLY IF the person is in an immediate position of destroying data that was not already captured via technical means which may or may not be disclosed to the subject nor the subject's attorney.

Persons who voluntarily offer to law enforcement an opportunity to reasonably copy target's data concurrent to/related to the scope of the investigation SHALL NOT BE SEPARATED from the investigation and SHALL BE ALLOWED personal or technical proxy representation, full custody of, and a written receipt or copy log of what os obtained.

Law enforcement shall arrive to the premises equipped to take copies of data by whatever means devices allow the recording of data which may be stored on equipment as old as 25 years or current. The ill-preparation of LE to copy data SHALL NOT JUSTIFY seizure nor freezing of subjects' assessts simply for convenience of Law Enforcement. Only in extremely grave cases of risk of destruction of information shall LE be permitted to monitor "that last bit" of uncaptured information via orders to a subject (by now compromised) to not destroy information.

If LE determines a person or business warrants surveillance, it should be publicly expected that by the time a subject is arrested or detained and removed from home or business, LE should have by technical means obtained what it needed. The seizure of equipment shall result in the turning over of the equipment to a NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY who will not buckle to police, nor allow the pending-defendant's counsel to tamper with evidence.

Re:How 'bout this, for starters re: search/seizure (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004199)

It's a poor carpenter who blames his tools.
Notepad is fine.

In fact, it's awesome.

--Initial comment about superiority of vi/emacs/etc. over notepad.
--Comment vi/emacs/etc. sucking, and emacs/vim/etc. ruling.
--No you.

Carry on, I got you guys started.

Lets see... (5, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004045)

1. Right to access the internet if you pay for it
2. Right to control what software is on your computer
3. Right to copy anything you own for your own personal use
4. Right to use software that does not interfere with anyone else's right
5. The Right to publish any information that is true without fear of takedown notices
6. The Right to possess any information
7. The Right to control your own hardware
8. The Right to use any device for any purpose that does not interfere with rights of others
9. The Right to remain anonymous
10.The Right to have free, uncensored speech on your own servers

Have all these and we would have a good start.

Re:Lets see... (3, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004143)

All those would have made a FAR BETTER start than those suggested in TFA.

Can we have TFA author just shitcan his silly suggestions and adopt yours instead?

Re:Lets see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004205)

11. The right to download as much CP as you want.

Re:Lets see... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004227)

"6. The Right to possess any information"

thinkofthechildrennowait,you'rethinkingofthemtoomuch

Re:Lets see... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004351)

While we can all* agree that CP is bad, the problems raise several questions on the ethics of banning information. If we can gain such wide support for banning CP, what comes next? The banning of "radical" political parties? The banning of various political commentaries? CP should without a doubt be highly illegal to produce, however the banning of information has a chilling effect on free speech. Put the ones making it behind bars, but the possession of information, even information that we might not agree with needs to be legal in a free society.

*The pedophiles aside

Re:Lets see... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004535)

Oh, I'm all against the bullshit, fear-mogering pedophile witch hunt.

I was just making a lulz.

Re:Lets see... (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004251)

10.The Right to have free, uncensored speech on your own servers

What about rented webspace? Webspace providers don't have the right to censor either.

Re:Lets see... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004307)

The problem with that is it leads to compromise somewhere down the line, or insane rates for rented webspace. For example, lets say I pay $20 a month for rented webspace on a controversial topic. *Insert large corporation/the government here* says that some of the content needs to be taken down. Your webspace provider notifies you of this, yet you think it is still legal. In order to maintain a right of non-censorship the webspace provider would need to provide costly legal protection for themselves because they could not take down the site without violating said laws.

I agree with it in principle, but if you implement it, it would get broken pretty easily.

Re:Lets see... (2, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004519)

You're just shuffling the problem around. For example, let's say I pay $20 a month for DSL and host controversial mp3s, etc. Ultimately, the process repeats until you get to my computer, and I find your use of punch the flashing monkey ads controversial and choose to remove them from my view of your site.

It's currently not possible to host anything entirely on your own. Anything you put "on the internet" changes hands many times between where it leaves your server and reaches the requester's computer. Property rights suggest that any of these have the right to say "no" to this transaction.

Personally, I'd replace your #10 with:
10. The right to use encryption without the assumption that a crime is being committed.

Re:Lets see... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004711)

I don't really understand what you are meaning. ISPs are given safe harbor, so basically it means that if I'm downloading Metallica_new_song.mp3, they can't sue my ISP.

Hosting providers are given a sort of limited safe harbor where they aren't responsible but must take down content that isn't legal. My ISP that I use to host my site is free of whatever I choose to have my site on (for the most part, some governments and corporations attempt to convince them to take down certain sites though), the hardware is also mine. I'm the only one that can get sued if they pursue a lawsuit. A hosting company that doesn't comply with takedown notices can be sued too, legal counsel is expensive. So most of the time its economical for hosting companies to simply force the takedown notices.

Re:Lets see... (2, Insightful)

alanQuatermain (840239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004349)

Numbers 5 and 6, as written, could clash with non-disclosure agreements & similar. For instance if I allow someone to inspect the code for my laboriously-written software for security purposes, I'd like to have a legally binding document with them stating that they're not allowed to hand over my source code to my competitors (or indeed anyone, unless they too sign the same agreement, etc.).

Re:Lets see... (1, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004365)

5. The Right to publish any information that is true without fear of takedown notices

I have to disagree with this one. Secrets, like military secrets, passwords/key combinations, etc. can be very damaging if revealed. In fact, I would much rather make defamation 100% legal* than give everyone the right to publish classified stuff.

*Not that I have much of a problem with doing that in itself.

Re:Lets see... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004431)

Right to time-shift, right to space-shift, right to reverse-engineer, right to publish information anonymously, right to use cryptography

Re:Lets see... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004499)

Maybe you meant to imply this, but what about "media-shift." If you buy something on paper you shouldn't have to pay for electronic version (not vice-versa as that involves payment for the atoms its printed on), if you have an electronic version it's not illegal to put that into ANOTHER electronic format that suits your situation better. In other words you're paying for a license to content, not for some physical form.

Re:Lets see... (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004717)

So we should pay for atoms but not for electrons ? This is discrimination against nucleus-free matter ! I protest vehemently against this anti-american behaviour ! Electrons around the world ! Follow me into a strike that will leave the world on its knees !

Re:Lets see... (2, Interesting)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004447)

1. Right to access the internet if you pay for it

-- Does my home FIOS plan (asynchronous, no static IP, servers explicitly banned) count as "internet access"? I would argue that it technically does not, though it is very close.

2. Right to control what software is on your computer

-- What about the related immunity from liability for things running on your computer without your knowledge?

3. Right to copy anything you own for your own personal use

--Fair enough

4. Right to use software that does not interfere with anyone else's right

--I don't follow.

5. The Right to publish any information that is true without fear of takedown notices

--There has to be some takedown process though, for information that is untrue. You never get to publish without any fear, there just needs to be a counter-takedown notice process.

6. The Right to possess any information

--So, no copyrights? What about stolen credit card numbers? I'm actually in favor of this one, by and large, but I do feel that something here needs to be more precise: possession of data is *never* a crime by itself. (A civil matter, sure. Evidence of a crime, sure. Not a crime on it's own).

7. The Right to control your own hardware

--Damn straight.

8. The Right to use any device for any purpose that does not interfere with rights of others

--How is this different from 7?

9. The Right to remain anonymous

--Except when violating the rights of others? Do I have the right to anonymously make false statements defaming people? (Again, I'm not opposed to the idea, but playing devil's advocate).

10.The Right to have free, uncensored speech on your own servers

--Except when violating the rights of others? Do I have the right to freely display images of you that I obtained illegally? (Devil's advocate again).

Re:Lets see... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004643)

-- Does my home FIOS plan (asynchronous, no static IP, servers explicitly banned) count as "internet access"? I would argue that it technically does not, though it is very close.

If it is advertised as internet, or the general definition of it is internet access, yes it should count.

-- What about the related immunity from liability for things running on your computer without your knowledge?

Sure, that would be nice, but it would be better done on a case-by-case basis. Perhaps not by computer-illiterate judges, but there are too many ways of making a rootkit yourself and claiming it wasn't you.

--I don't follow.

Basically, if you have the software and the software's capabilities, you can use it for whatever you feel like. This is to prevent software from being made that won't let you use it a certain way. Can't think of a good example right of this moment.

--There has to be some takedown process though, for information that is untrue. You never get to publish without any fear, there just needs to be a counter-takedown notice process.

Yes, thats basically what I meant, just worded a bit better ;)

--So, no copyrights? What about stolen credit card numbers? I'm actually in favor of this one, by and large, but I do feel that something here needs to be more precise: possession of data is *never* a crime by itself. (A civil matter, sure. Evidence of a crime, sure. Not a crime on it's own).

No, not a lack of copyright but basically, I can't be charged for possessing information, such as I can't be charged for having BrittneySpears.mp3 or SuperMarioMegaROM.smc on my computer. Downloading things might be still considered a civil matter though, but after you downloaded them you are free.

For stolen credit card numbers, it can be used as evidence, but just because you have a set of random numbers you can't be charged.

--How is this different from 7?

Hardware rather then software. Basically its so I can use any phone on any network that its possible, etc.

--Except when violating the rights of others? Do I have the right to anonymously make false statements defaming people? (Again, I'm not opposed to the idea, but playing devil's advocate).

No, because you have no right to defame. However you still have the right to be anonymous. Similar to how I might have a right to wear a red shirt, I have the right to wear the red shirt, but I can't rob a bank with the red shirt on because robbing a bank is still illegal, red shirt or no.

--Except when violating the rights of others? Do I have the right to freely display images of you that I obtained illegally? (Devil's advocate again).

Sure, but the act of taking them illegally may be evidence to be used against you.

Re:Lets see... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004627)

I think what I want is just a more sane application of legal standards, not absolute rights.

1. Right to access the internet if you pay for it

Some people should be restricted on the Internet, but only serious criminals not people downloading popular music.

5. The Right to publish any information that is true without fear of takedown notices

Including your stolen medical records? Military secrets? Trade secrets? Truth is not an absolute defense offline, then it shouldn't be so online either.

6. The Right to possess any information

How about any material currently legal to possess? Is there any reason to make Internet the free zone for everything?

9. The Right to remain anonymous

Been there, seen that. If you think the GNAA trolls are bad, wait until you get truly anonymous trolls.

There's really only one spider in the web here. The reason they're too overloaded go after individuals committing violations of the law. The reason they're doing mass surveilance. The reason they want to have civilans taking over police duties, lower standards of guilt and due process, The reason they want to use DRM and signing and activations and whatnot. End non-commercial copyright. I've gotten to the point that I don't care how many artists are left starving in the streets. Let the police deal with serious cases of fraud and identity theft and terrorism and kiddie fiddlers. With a sane warrant process because you're again trying to stop a tiny little fraction, not trying to hold back prohibition. Of course the totalitarians love it too but they're not that many or popular. It's the entertainment industry and their lobbies that are pushing this. Kill that beast and we might start to remember a little bit about what "Land of the Free" means or what separated Western Europe from Eastern Europe. Otherwise what will happen is that we'll simply take that right. Not a legal right, but a practical technical anonymous solution which refuses all forms of control. I think they're going to lose it anyway, but they're speeding up towards that.

Re:Lets see... (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004859)

1. Right to access the internet if you pay for it

We have this now, except for those who are wards (i.e. children or prisoners), or those who can't as a result of a court proceeding.

2. Right to control what software is on your computer

This is vague. In one sense, everyone has this -- install Linux or whatever. Or are you want the ability to replace each and every dll on your Windows machine individually? And to get around this, manufacturers can lease you a computer for 99 years for a one-time up-front fee.

3. Right to copy anything you own for your own personal use

Worthy ideal. Goes against some laws such as it being illegal to duplicate keys that have "do not duplicate" stamped on them.

4. Right to use software that does not interfere with anyone else's right

Define "right". The right of the producer to control who can have what is produced? The right to observe behavior to catch terrorists? The right to prevent illegal behavior?

5. The Right to publish any information that is true without fear of takedown notices

Define "true". Can I duplicate the entire Encyclopedia Britannica on my website?

6. The Right to possess any information

Like top secret materials? Like child porn? Trade secrets? Information that you have a contractual obligation to destroy (see NDAs, CC security codes, etc.)?

7. The Right to control your own hardware

Define "control". You want only fully open source hardware? Or simply no proprietary interfaces? No "trusted computing" chip?

8. The Right to use any device for any purpose that does not interfere with rights of others

Again, define "right".

9. The Right to remain anonymous

Anonymous how? Do you with to make it impossible for someone breaking into the Pentagon's computer systems to be found? No traceroute, no DCHP logs, no way to tell who was where? Or that anyone can use any computer/website/ftp site/service without a login?

10.The Right to have free, uncensored speech on your own servers

This could potentially come in conflict with the anonymous right above. Also, this is the first amendment of the US constitution. Or are you suggesting the first amendment is not far reaching enough? Though it occurs to me that you may not be from the US.

Have all these and we would have a good start.

I actually think that you have a number of good ideas here, but not all are practical, and the rest really would need fleshing out.

Be careful what you wish for (3, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004063)

These things have a habit of A) never becoming law and B) being subverted if and when they do become law.

For example:

Article 2: No network provider may constrain or restrict access to the Internet in any way, shape, or form other than agreed-upon access speeds

Really: Cart Blanche to do any amount of illegal acts on the net without fear of having your use cut off? Really? Required car analogy: I can do anything in my car as long as I don't exceed the speed limit? Really? You've thought this thru, have you Paul?

Article 3. No individual shall be held liable for effects of malware or malicious code unknowingly run on a personal computer

This exonerates those who write malicious code. They release a virus to the internet, but have no knowledge of which computers it becomes installed on. Therefore, they are not liable.

Number 4: Why should anyone be obligated implement mandatory update checks in any software?
What if I don't want my software calling home?

The more you read this screed the less well thought out it becomes.

Re:Be careful what you wish for (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004629)

Article 3. No individual shall be held liable for effects of malware or malicious code unknowingly run on a personal computer

This exonerates those who write malicious code. They release a virus to the internet, but have no knowledge of which computers it becomes installed on. Therefore, they are not liable.

The "article" was badly phrased, but the explanation makes it clear that by "unknowingly run" he means the user clicking on the .jpg.exe icon. "No individual" probably should mean "no individual who unknowingly runs the malware" not "no individual who creates and distributes the malware".

Hopefully this guy doesn't write any laws, he's about as clear as the average congresscritter, and the average congresscritter's bills are as clear as mud, requiring years of court battles to interpret what the hell their gibberish actually meant.

Seems pretty simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004065)

1.) No top-down censorship. If a person wants to censor their own site, fine. If a person (the owner of the internet connection in question) wants to censor their own experience, fine. But if they don't want to, they don't have to, and no consequences. This must include even illegal subjects - go after the people hosting illegal stuff, sure, but do it out in the open. If we let you censor sites we leave ourselves open to censorship of things you just happen not to like.

2.) Net neutrality. No discriminating against traffic by source or content. Charging for volume? Sure. But a user's ISP trying to force a website to pay them for preferential treatment... no.

3.) (Ideally) freedom of choice at every possible level (DNS, ISP, etc).

Right to the source... (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004069)

... of products people buy after a certain number of years.

One nasty thing about commercial software is that you can't pay other people to fix it because you DON'T have the source. This means many software programs become forcibly obsoleted by autocratic corporate institutions instead of being able to be released into the public domain.

Here: (1)

Shoe Puppet (1557239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004071)

-Full control over the own hard- and software, i.e. no TCM and DRM

privacy vs anonymity (4, Insightful)

drDugan (219551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004085)

Privacy is the ability to protect ones personal information from others - preventing others from accessing information about yourself.

Anonymity is removing information which could identify a person as a specific individual from a group.

These two ideas are close, but subtly different. Privacy can be an absolute concept - preventing information access and use for certain information can be binary: either others can access it or not. Anonymity is almost never absolute: simply knowing a human posted text has anonymity to 1 in about 6.7 Billion(ish). If you know any other information, the degree of anonymity goes down: Posted online: 1 in 2 Billion, in English: 1 in 400million. A male in the US implies 1 in about 190Million. A person who lives a particular zip code: anonymous to about 1 in 20 thousand. Examining the content one exposes: a person in Chicago, who is interested in the Chicago Cubs, and opposes the fare increase -- digging into details like that can make a person anonymous to about 1 in a few hundred with enough work.

Asserting anything about anonymity must include the idea that anonymity is always a sliding scale, and depends a lot on every bit of information a person chooses to put out into the world.

I do *not* think anonymity is a right, nor should we try to enforce it or preserve it. Anonymity is an anachronism in recent human history. People act better when they know they are not anonymous.

Privacy protections on the other hand are very important. Personal information sets, socially defined, that one chooses to protect and chooses to prevent others from being able to access of use once they have it are extremely important, and should be promoted and protected strongly.

Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004355)

People act better when they know they are not anonymous.

And I'm not really a coward!

Parallels with US Bill of rights (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004115)

Well, if you take the United States model, and applying it to employers and other non-government powers:

*Freedom of religion: Freedom of hardware- and software-platform choice
*Freedom of speech and press: The right to point out flaws in hardware, software, and methodologies without fear of retribution
*Right to assemble and petition: Right to suggest changes to the way things are done, individually or as a group
*Keep and bear arms: Form unions, trade associations, user's groups, and other collectives who can monitor and if necessary check the power of employers, industry, the government, and even end users should their collectives become too powerful
*Protection from quartering of troops: It's my computer, not yours. No freeloading my CPU cycles or keeping me from what I want to do with it without permission. I payed for my fancy video card, don't you go blocking it *coughDRMcough*
*Unreasonable search and seizure: You can have my encryption keys after you pry them from my cold, dead brain cells.
*Due process, etc: Police should need court review before intercepting communications or seizing data, including meta-data like communications logs or cell-phone locations. The bigger the potential for abuse or the consequences for getting it wrong, the more court oversight.
*Trial by jury, speedy and fair trial, confront withnesses, etc.: All evidence should be examined in a court of law and all technology used to gather evidence subject to scrutiny by defense experts for the purposes of mounting a defense. This trumps trade secrets. If a computer that is itself not illegal to possess is allegedly used to commit a crime, either prove that it was used in a crime quickly or give it back before it depreciates to nothing.
*Civil trial by jury: Sorry, I got nothing.
*Excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment: Except in prison, don't deny the use of technology which is necessary for the living of a modern life, except in very narrowly tailored cases and for a minimal period of time, and then only as a parole condition.
*Not a complete list of right. 'nuff said.

removal of government (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004137)

Governments are the only ones who violate us using our technology. Remove the government to solve 99% of problems. The rest can be solved privately and personally.

Re:removal of government (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004563)

If ignorance is bliss, then the ignorance of history necessary to believe that problems are solved by removing all government must make you the happiest person on earth.

Humans, and any groups of humans which encounter each other with any regularity, organize themselves and their groups into hierarchies. Stable top-level hierarchies are usually called "government" and will always eventually form. Good government and bad government is a choice, no government is not.

Software evidence (4, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004157)

If the result or output of a software program is to be used as evidence in court, then the code of that program needs to be made available to the court for analysis.

In 20 years it's going to be a no-brainer that if you're using the output of an algorithm as legal evidence then the algorithm should be up for scrutiny, so I'm not sure why people have difficulty understanding that now (especially as it relates to things like voting machines and breathalyzers).

Mmm.. (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004201)

1. Yes

2. Yes

3. Bad idea. The enormous range in user perceptiveness (from those who wouldn't recognize an exploit if it popped up a dialog saying "Let your computer be pwnt by teh China? Y/N" to those who run multiple hardware firewalls, IDSes and remote loggers) and the difficulty of creating an objective metric for what constitutes "malicious" and "unknowingly run" will make this a nightmare.

It's called "personal responsibility" folks: You are responsible for your computer and what it does. If you can prove that you took reasonable measures to prevent whatever badness happened from happening, you get off scot free. Bonus: Attaches a risk and cost to being a dumbass online at last.

4. Torn, and it's a sticky problem as TFA says...

5. Yes

6. Yes

Right to Remain Silent and Ignorant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004243)

1. You have the right to pay whatever we ask.

2. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will probably be ignored, or used against you.

3. You have the right to remain ignorant. We will not tell you anything unless you ask specific questions.

4. You have the right to arbitration, by an arbiter we choose, which will be binding towards yourself.

5. You have the right to cancel anytime, subject to minimum cancellation penalties.

Thats all I find necessary. I'm sure the RIAA and MPAA can find more rights for us to enjoy.

More important rights.... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004265)

Article 1. Any individual shall be able to choose anonymity when posting to Internet sites

I disagree with this. While I do believe in the fundamental right to anonymity, it is totally up to the sites owners to make them anonymous or not. For example, lets say this happened to Facebook, you would be instantly hit by a whirlpool of spam, bots, etc.

I believe you have a right to remain fundamentally anonymous, for example I believe in the right to be able to use temporary anonymous e-mail accounts, the right to use Tor and other anonymity proxies, You should have a right to remain anonymous if you so choose, however sites should have the right to require registration to maintain the sanity of the site. But, similarly allowing anonymous postings on a site should be a right for the owners of the site too.

Freedom of the press (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004421)

This reminds me of something that came up when I was doing some research in a university course years ago.

"Freedom of the press" means freedom of the *owner* of the press to print what him/her sees fit. Nobody purely has the right to have something they wrote printed anywhere. You have the right to go buy your own press or you have the right to rent someone else's press (which makes you a "temporary" owner), but no one has the right to go to their local newspaper, for instance, and insist that they print their letter to the editor. If you want something printed you play by their rules and that determination is made by the owner of the press, not the government.

Here's how I think this applies here: the owner of the web site has the right to allow anonymity or to not allow anonymity. You don't have the right to have something printed on a web site you don't own unless you play by their rules. It's the owner of the web site's call, and allowing anonymous postings is the call of the owner of the web site, not the government. I think that's the right that should not be infringed.

How about... (3, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004281)

Material you create on an electronic device is *yours* and if that is encrypted or "protected" by some third party technology you always have the right to break that technology to get to the content you rightly own.

Yes.. this is directly in contrast with the DMCA... and it's outrageous.

Re:How about... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004391)

> Material you create on an electronic device is *yours* and if that is encrypted or
> "protected" by some third party technology you always have the right to break that
> technology to get to the content you rightly own.

This is true.

> Yes.. this is directly in contrast with the DMCA

No it isn't.

A technology "bill of rights" might be a good idea (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004291)

But not one that defines "technology" as "teh intertubes". We have been deeply and irrevocably dependent on technology for millennia (hint: Weaving is technology. Cooking is technology. Agriculture is technology). A "technology bill of rights" that described individual rights to technology in the broad sense would be interesting and possibly desireable. One that focuses on "technology" as defined by the newsies would deal only with transient superficial issues with the particular gadgets currently in vogue and would be at best silly.

The abolition of copyright and patent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004331)

People must have a right to commicate arbitrary information without interference. If copyright law says they don't, then copyright law is wrong and must be abolished.

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004343)

Relax, you needn't worry your pretty little heads over this stuff of which you know nothing, let your friends at Microsoft write it for you; you'll like it....really, you will....it will be against the law not to.

Thou shalt not use Open Source software unless thou payest Microsoft loadsa cash. Thou shall get a discount if thou uses Open Source on Windows. Thou shall be treated as a terrorist if thou uses Open Source on Linux.

That kinda sounds more like a commandment from God but you get the joke.....right? I'm looking at the M$ astroturfers here since their sense-of-humour.exe seems to have crashed at times.

As much as this will be modded as either a Troll or FlameBait when it's supposed to be funny, it's probably more true than we'd like to admit and certainly more true than we'd like. The only exaggerated part is that it won't just be Microsoft seeking to write it for us, they will only be co-authors.

The most fundamental right (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004345)

I'd say the most important right is the right to know the true identity of the person sending you V14GR4 spam, so that you can (if you so choose) track them down and kick their ass! Of course, this is more of a technical problem (the current email system is severely flawed) than a legal one.

Mister Jalopy said it well (5, Insightful)

emptynet (787903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004353)

The Maker's Bill of Rights
  • Meaningful and specific parts lists shall be included.
  • Cases shall be easy to open.
  • Batteries should be replaceable.
  • Special tools are allowed only for darn good reasons.
  • Profiting by selling expensive special tools is wrong and not making special tools available is even worse.
  • Torx is OK; tamperproof is rarely OK.
  • Components, not entire sub-assemblies, shall be replaceable.
  • Consumables, like fuses and filters, shall be easy to access.
  • Circuit boards shall be commented.
  • Power from USB is good; power from proprietary power adapters is bad.
  • Standard connecters shall have pinouts defined.
  • If it snaps shut, it shall snap open.
  • Screws better than glues.
  • Docs and drivers shall have permalinks and shall reside for all perpetuity at archive.org.
  • Ease of repair shall be a design ideal, not an afterthought.
  • Metric or standard, not both.
  • Schematics shall be included.

http://makezine.com/04/ownyourown/ [makezine.com]

Unlimited porn access for all (4, Funny)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004375)

Don't read my sig.

Re:Unlimited porn access for all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004429)

it's called bit torrent.

and instead of subscribing to this shit pit of a website why don't you save up for college. or beer.

Oh hell yes... (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004487)

This is a great idea. I have been releasing a 'user rights' doc with software I work on for awhile now.

Here's one of the things I wanted to include:

The user has a right to know what ports on their machine will be used for any communication, and the locations where software makes changes to their machine (install locations, save locations, .ini files, registry changes)

mod 3o3n (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004517)

manY users of BSD forwards we must

Nothing will change while lobbyists own congress (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004577)

Campaign finance laws need to be fixed first, otherwise these rights will be nothing more than amusing discussions for MAFIAA lobbyists.

10th amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28004603)

Why do we need a bill of rights concerning technology. Doesn't the 10th amendment already cover this?

Always be careful when you define rights! If you enumerate them, they are often assumed by the gov't that these are your ONLY rights. This holds for both defining rights positively or defining what the government cannot do.

Look at the rife abuse of the 2nd, 9th, and 10th amendments!

All Knowledge is Human Knowledge!!! (2, Interesting)

cenc (1310167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004625)

All Knowledge is Human Knowledge!!!

Start with that premise, and then restrict defaulting back to that assumption unless otherwise specifically restricted for good reason. Similar concept of State and individual rights structure found in the U.S. constitution (well in theory anyway).

It does not belong to one company, it does not belong to one person, or country, it belongs to the humanity. No one thinks up the next great invention in a vacuum. They went to school, they read other peoples ideas, they used a human language to express it. It belongs to humanity.

Yes, there should be certain restrictions on who can make use of the knowledge (e.g. how to make atomic bombs, what I had for breakfast), but without compelling reason it should default to the public domain.

Re:All Knowledge is Human Knowledge!!! (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28005081)

O RLY? What is in my head could save the world. But, because you demand rights to my knowledge, I will not let it out.

Nothing (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004639)

A technology bill of rights should have zero items, but thinking about tech is a good excuse to review/update what rights people have.

But that list should be invariant, whether we're talking about intergalactic-warp-travelling nano-enhanced genetically modified cyber-transhumans, or cave men whose highest tech is ability-to-start fire.

Your rights are your rights, and technology doesn't have a damn thing to do with it.

morally wrong, politically wrong,wrong in practice (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004653)

TFA is wrong in three different ways: morally, politically, and practically.

Its proposals are morally wrong because they trample on individual freedom. For instance, #1 says "Any individual shall be able to choose anonymity when posting to Internet sites." Okay, I run a site that catalogs free books, and accepts user-submitted reviews. When new users register, it's made very clear to the new user that he needs to provide his real name. The reason is that I don't want people reviewing their own books. No, I'm not under the illusion that 100% of people are truthful about this. However, the author of TFA seems to be proposing that the government prohibit me from even setting this as a policy on my site. That's absurd. If users don't like the fact that I require them to give their real names, I can't force them to visit my site.

Politically it's wrong, because he seems to be completely clueless about the nature of individual rights in a constitutional democracy. Individual rights are not about telling A that he has to give B something, or forcing A to associate with B, or telling A that if he wants to do business he needs to act in a certain way. Individual rights have to do with being left alone, especially with being left along by the government. You can believe that the government has other legitimate functions besides safeguarding individual rights, but that doesn't mean that those other functions qualify as individual rights. If you think government should be inspecting cuts of beef to make sure they won't make people sick, then that's a perfectly legitimate, mainstream political opinion in the U.S. -- but it has absolutely nothing to do with any supposed individual right not to get sick.

And finally, he's wrong in practice, because these ideas are all just stupid in the context of, say, the United States in the year 2009. Taking his items one by one:

  1. No anonymous posting. Stupid, as discussed above.
  2. Net neutrality. The basic problem is a problem with monopolies, not a problem with a lack of individual rights. In my neighborhood, for example, I have only one broadband provider I can choose. Because of that, I can't vote with my feet if they start imposing loathsome restrictions on how much bandwidth I can use for different things. Get rid of the monopoly, which is the real problem. The U.S. has antitrust legislation already on the books. If that legislation already covers local broadband providers, then let's get it enforced. If it doesn't, then let's pass stronger antitrust laws. If people had a choice, they wouldn't choose a broadband provider that didn't offer net neutrality.
  3. Users not responsible for malware. We already have laws about this kind of thing. We have employment law. We have laws about negligence. If I build a killer robot in my front yard, and it eats small children on the way to school, the law already discusses to what extent I'm in civil and/or criminal trouble. If someone else puts a killer robot in my front yard without my knowledge, we have laws about that as well. Likewise if I'm at work, and someone puts a killer robot in my cubicle, and it eats my PHB -- which is esentially what happened in the case he refers to. Can my employer fire me because the killer robot ate my PHB without my knowledge? I dunno, check you state's employment laws, and check your employment contract.
  4. Closed-source software houses responsible for security flaws. We already have laws about this kind of thing, e.g., implied warranties of merchantability and suitability for a particular purpose. These may or may not apply to software in your state -- I dunno, I'm not a lawyer. Want to change the law? Go ahead, but there are obvious reasons not to go too far with this kind of thing. For instance, I don't think car manufacturers should be responsible for drunk drivers, and I don't think Microsoft should be responsible for people who double-click on malware that was sent to them attached to penis-enlargement spams.
  5. Only OSS for government. Tax preparation software is one of the classic examples of software that isn't OSS and never will be. Why? Because it's boring as hell to write, so nobody's going to do it for fun. (And it also needs to be updated every year, which is boring to do.) (And people will sue you if it's not right.)
  6. No DRM restrictions on where you can use your own stuff. There's a truly wonderful market-based solution to this one: don't buy anything with DRM. In fact, the market-based solution is already working extremely well. DRM is a failure in the marketplace. DRM actually failed in the personal-computer software arena ca. 1986-1990 (back when it was called "copy protection"). Users hated it, because, e.g., it made it a hassle to make backups. Users voted with their feet buy refusing to buy copy-protected software. Copy-protected software pretty much disappeared from the software (with a few exceptions like AutoCAD). Now big media companies, which don't have a clue about the failure of DRM the first time around, are reinventing the wheel. The same thing is happening. Look at music, for instance. People voted with their feet when it came to heavily DRM'd music, so all those schemes are defunct. Now the two big players are iTunes (very light DRM that's extremely easy to circumvent) and Amazon (no DRM at all). I'd say the market mechanism is working just fine.

Wishy washy (1)

Fleeced (585092) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004743)

A lot of these "rights" seem a bit wishy-washy. The US bill of rights works because they are primarily a list of "negative rights" - ie, a list of things the government can't do/take from you. These proposals read more like a list of entitlements (eg, net neutrality, the right to post anonymously) or government contractual obligations (eg, required to use open source). That doesn't necessarily mean that these things aren't desirable, but they don't belong in a bill of rights, imo.

For example, the "right to post anonymously on any internet site". Anonymity is good - but if it's my site, then it's my rules - this clause is a violaion of my property rights as the site owner. Don't like my rules? Post somewhere else. It's a similar case with net neutrality... I know this is a popular cause amongst fellow-slashdotters, but if I provide network access, then I should be able to constrain/restrict access in any way I please (provided I disclosed the rules when I sold access). Don't get me wrong - I want to see access open as well - but this is best served through the market. The only reason it's a problem now is because of government legislation creating huge companies or "regional monopolies", etc...

On a slight tangent: We don't even have a normal bill of rights in Australia - let alone a technological one - but whenever people talk about introducing one (which I love the idea of in principle), they talk of including things like, a "right to a job" and a "right to a free education". This is the challenge in any proposed bill of rights - to ensure they don't become a bill of entitlements to other people's property[1]

[1] Though IP rights are a separate issue here, since there's valid debate about whether or not IP is/should be considered real property or not.

Please, don't ever let this guy write the law (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004835)

Every single one of the six points is silly.

1. Any individual shall be able to choose anonymity when posting to Internet sites

Well, we've done this one plenty before, but it's still ultimately down to the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. With freedom comes responsibility. An anonymous party cannot effectively be held accountable for their actions. QED.

Oh, and please spare us the sob story about a hypothetical oppressive regime where anonymous speech on the Internet will bring the cure for cancer and world peace. This is not the US a few centuries ago. In modern countries where free speech with your name attached is not protected, anonymity on the Internet is pretty far down the list of priorities and hardly going to be the decisive factor in making things better (not least because if you have access to the Internet at all, it's probably strictly monitored by the state and your identity is known before you ever reach a keyboard anyway).

2. No network provider may constrain or restrict access to the Internet in any way, shape, or form other than agreed-upon access speeds

Ah, yes, let's have the lawyers interfere with running the Internet, because that always works out well.

What is wrong with a non-neutral Internet anyway? All that really seems to mean is giving preferential bandwidth to some services over others, and frankly, if you think your five-reader blog is as important as Google or BBC News then you're the deluded one. Likewise, if you see a high-bandwidth future where streaming services and remote applications are popular or even the norm, you'd better start studying economics if you think the current financial models are going to support it.

As for crushing the little guy, I have yet to see an argument that isn't pure FUD. A huge amount of Internet traffic isn't from the big businesses who are really going to be affected by such laws, and there is always going to be a demand for the valuable part of that traffic, creating a market for providing such access. We already have competition laws in place should anyone start actually abusing the system to close out that market artificially, and otherwise, why isn't it just commercial dealing, on which foundation we seem to have managed to get this far?

3. No individual shall be held liable for effects of malware or malicious code unknowingly run on a personal computer

Throw in something about negligence and perhaps. But if you're one of the dumbfucks who connects a computer to the Internet and then spews out lots of spam because you're too ignorant to learn basic security, then you are a liability to the rest of the world and deserve to be cut off until you learn better.

One court case with a stupid outcome does not negate this point, incidentally.

4. A company that produces and sells closed source software for use on computers shall be responsible for the security of that product, and a user has a right to seek damages in the event of a failure to secure their product

Way to go, you just undermined the entire software development world. Little, if any, of the software running on most computers today would have been developed under this model, because there would be no sound business case for taking on such a risk under conditions that will never be perfect. Most consumers, private and business alike, simply don't need — or want to pay the disproportionate cost for — that level of quality.

Oh, and spare us the blatant Open-Source-by-the-back-door pitch, please. If you want to compete, make a better product. Forcing competition out of the market through dubious legal tricks is pathetic when big business tries it to prop up their dying business models, and it will be just as pathetic if the OSS world tries it if it turns out that they don't really make better products after all.

5. Any software or hardware used to conduct or support laws and public policy shall be open-source

Have the source code available, where there is reasonable grounds for examining it, perhaps. Otherwise, see my answer to 4. And having source code available is not the same as being Open Source, in case that's what he meant.

6. Any media content legally purchased by an individual shall be available for private use on any device, at any time

And what exactly does that mean? I hate DRM as much as the next guy, but I am very wary of legislating it out of existence, rather than simply applying existing, general laws about things like price fixing, misleading advertising, monopoly abuse and other anticompetitive practices. Do that to create a fair marketplace, and since no consumer really wants abusive DRM, market forces will do the rest; they already are to some extent anyway.

Re:Please, don't ever let this guy write the law (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28005063)

Even in the US, there are regularly cases in which one must fight for one's civil rights, freedom of speech and otherwise.

Terms of Service (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004857)

The right to continue service under the terms which you agreed and the striking of the ability of a service provider to unilaterally alter the terms of service without notice. New service terms must be tied to new services; failure to agree to the new terms must only bar access to the new services and not restrict access to services under the previous agreement. Discontinuation of old services must either include access to equivalent level of replacement service without change to agreement or a discount on the service provided equivalent to the replacement value of the discontinued service to the user.

Any and all changes to agreements must include access to the complete old and new agreements and clear annotations showing the changes, noting both stricken text and additions.

Service overage charges must be in keeping with the charges incurred for the next tier of service or proportional to current service and not be punitive in nature. If overages would be in far excess of expected billing (more than double the previous month's billing), access is to be suspended until authorization for overage is granted. Service provider is responsible for all overages not authorized by the user. User is not responsible for any overage caused by service provider or a third party outside the user's control.

Re:Terms of Service (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28005011)

All contracts must be negotiable. None of this take it or leave it stuff from monopoly DSL and cable carriers.

I think the debate over whether it should be (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004969)

called a "bill of rights" is pretty silly. So call it something else. Big deal.

Anyway, here are some items I think should be added to the ones in TFA:

(A) Any digital information published or disseminated to the public by any government agency shall be distributed in an open, non-proprietary format. (This is prompted by my local city bureaucracy insisting on publishing "public" information in the latest version of Word... which a great many people have no way to easily read. Yes, I am aware that Microsoft makes available a free Word reader, but almost nobody outside of IT knows about it.) This would also have the effect of goading software companies to better support open standards.

(B) The fruits of University and other research that is subsidized by public funds belong in the public domain. Repeal the Bayh-Dole act, which sought to motivate University researchers, but which instead has resulted in corporate ownership of publicly funded inventions and discoveries.

don't (2)

bugi (8479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28004997)

If you make it general enough to handle even just basic human rights, it'll be vague enough to game.

If you make it specific, the fascists will claim that it's an enumeration of right and so no other rights exist.

You may recall some of these arguments from the discussion about whether to adopt the US Bill of Rights, or to simply let the Constitution stand on its own.

Also remember, the internet extends beyond just your country.

You want "rights"? (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#28005059)

How about you respect the rights of others first?
How about a bill of responsibilities as well.

Tyranny? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28005099)

Seriously? Is what the word means so empty that we can call bad technology policy decisions tyranny? Put another way, are we so cynical about political discussion that we need to use crazily charged words like tyranny to label those who are not as libertene as we like? If so, why are we bothering to have the discussion at all?

Getting sensible policies is important, both in creating a society we'd like to live in and in keeping society as a whole working smoothly, but using words like tyranny so lightly closes discussions and alienates people (plus it makes the user look foolish in front of people who actually know what words mean).

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