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U.S. Senate Ratifies Cybercrime Treaty

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the worst-law-evar dept.

192

espo812 writes "A story from Washingtonpost.com says, 'The Senate has ratified a treaty under which the United States will join more than 40 other countries, mainly from Europe, in fighting crimes committed via the Internet.' Ars Technica says it's the 'World's Worst Internet Law.'" From the Ars story: "According to the EFF, 'The treaty requires that the U.S. government help enforce other countries' 'cybercrime' laws--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.;"

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192 comments

I've Had It! (5, Funny)

CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849491)

That's it! I've had it with the draconian laws put onto us by the US! I'm moving to Canada! Oh, wait. Shit.

Re:I've Had It! (4, Insightful)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849822)

Its sad but true that running away wont help. People need to stop talking about leaving the country and start standing up for what is right at home.

Re:I've Had It! (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850132)

How can you stand up for yourself when the majority of the population actually agree with the government?

Well, the term "worst" depends upon whether (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849495)

you think the Internet, as it is now, is a good thing or a bad thing. If your intent is to make the Internet simply too risky for ordinary people to use, then this is an excellent law.

Re:Well, the term "worst" depends upon whether (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849688)

For those of us who disagree, there is a movement called anoNet that created a seperate internet. In early 2005, a few people fed up with the way the Internet was heading, began in earnest to create a large wide area network that was secure and lived in its own space. On this new network anyone would be free to do as they saw fit - roam about, host services, or just be social without fear of being monitored or even worse censored. The first step to bring this network to fruition was to encrypt the information that normally travels across the Internet.

anoNet is a full IP network with many users, an IRC network, wiki, SILC, email, web, PGP, and much much more. For more information: http://www.anonet.org/ [anonet.org] or http://anonetnfo.brinkster.net/ [brinkster.net]

MOD PARENT UP (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15850070)

For those of us who disagree, there is a movement called anoNet that created a seperate internet. In early 2005, a few people fed up with the way the Internet was heading, began in earnest to create a large wide area network that was secure and lived in its own space. On this new network anyone would be free to do as they saw fit - roam about, host services, or just be social without fear of being monitored or even worse censored. The first step to bring this network to fruition was to encrypt the information that normally travels across the Internet. anoNet is a full IP network with many users, an IRC network, wiki, SILC, email, web, PGP, and much much more. For more information: http://www.anonet.org/ [anonet.org] or http://anonetnfo.brinkster.net/ [brinkster.net]

Re:short memories (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850085)

It will not be long until they are doing what they were attacking google and others for doing.

Remember when google and others attacked publically by the usa for following Chinese laws?

Hmm... (3, Insightful)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849502)

I believe that what's happening now is the result of someone reading 1984 and thinking "hmm, good idea!"

Re:Hmm... (1)

mikeisme77 (938209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849955)

I find it really sad that the parent was modded insightful... not so much because I don't think it's true, but because it's so true that the moderators chose to mod it insightful instead of funny... Now I almost feel bad about laughing at this piece of comic gold...

Being in the UK... (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849505)

I for one am glad that... ah, nevermind... move to Canana... shit, sibling poster ruled that one out too.

Antarctica! (4, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849528)

I hear Antarctica is remarkably tolerant when it comes to laws of this nature... or... any nature really...

Re:Antarctica! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849603)

But the laws of Mother Nature are pretty tough down there.

Re:Antarctica! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849634)

but, but, but, all the hot air he spouses about everything wrong with the world will shurly cause the ice shelf to melt faster then global warming

Liberty Trade (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849506)

Does this mean we can expect foreign countries to go after spammers and phishers conducting their business outside the US? Uh huh, right. Thought so.

Damn, I guess I'll never get my $ back from that...um...medication I ordered.

Clearly a Constitutional Issue (4, Interesting)

vodkamattvt (819309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849511)

An international treaty is considered law here, but that does not mean it is immune from constitutional questions. This treaty must be balanced with the bill of rights, so there is obviously lots of litigation in the future if it is actually enforced ...

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (3, Insightful)

mark_hill97 (897586) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849536)

Indeed, the framers intended for the Congress to make law, not enforce it. That is left up to our executive branch. Well, shit we are screwed 2 ways there as the NSA case has already shown us. Fortunately our courts are not so easily bought, or so we hope. The balance of power is very skewed in this and finding a way out of this treaty may prove dificult.

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (4, Informative)

jlowery (47102) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849573)

Interesting information from Wikipedia:

"The U.S. is not a party to the Vienna Convention. However, the State Department has nonetheless taken the position that it is still binding, in that the Convention represents established customary law. The U.S. habitually includes in treaty negotiations the reservation that it will assume no obligations that are in violation of the U.S. Constitution. However, the Vienna Convention provides that states are not excused from their treaty obligations on the grounds that they violate the state's constitution, unless the violation is manifestly obvious at the time of contracting the treaty. So for instance, if the US Supreme Court found that a treaty violated the US constitution, it would no longer be binding on the US under US law; but it would still be binding on the US under international law, unless its unconstitutionality was manifestly obvious to the other states at the time the treaty was contracted. It has also been argued by the foreign governments (especially European) and by international human rights advocates that many of these US reservations are both so vague and broad as to be invalid. They also are invalid as being in violation of the Vienna Convention provisions referenced earlier."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_policy_law_of _the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

AFAIK, the constitutionality of any treaty has yet to be tested. As in matters of military law, SCOPUS might be very reticent to take on a treaty case involving international agreements.

It's just a goddamn piece of paper (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849585)

An international treaty is considered law here, but that does not mean it is immune from constitutional questions. This treaty must be balanced with the bill of rights

Hmm. I see. You must be new here. [lewrockwell.com]

Not lawful, is it? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849588)

This isn't lawful, is it? The American government cannot simply give up one of it's own citizens to a foreign country just because he or she committed a crime on the Net. Maybe it if matches an American law, sure, but not a foreign one.

Let me illustrate. Hacking into a website and vandalizing it, that would be illegal in both countries. Posting something on a message board that is physically located on a server in a foreign country which has freedom of speech restrictions, well, although illegal in the foreign country, it wouldn't be illegal in America, and the American government should not give someone up unless it violates a similar American law or violates common law.

Re:Not lawful, is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849692)

IT would depend on th seriousness of the laws. We already have situations in place were if an american violates a foreign countries laws, we will extradite them for prosecution given that thier criminal justice system is comparible to our (have right of fair trial, ect..).

The crime i think has to be equal to a felony but doesn't have to be a against the law in the US neccesarily. Although, it is dificult to find a law in another country that would be a felony offense and the US is willing to extradite too that the US doesn't already have a law to match. Most (friendly) civilized countries have less laws then the US in these reguards wich would make it dificult to be in violation of somethign that isn't already illegal to some extent in the US.

Also, there has been times were the US has prosecuted people for breaking other countries laws but not in the US jurisdiction. One incedent i remeber is were a US citizen crossed the border to mexico, commited an offence then returned to america befor ethe mexican authorities caught him. Will the letter of the offence didn't match a US law, He was prosecuted in the US in leu of being shiped to mexico for trial. I don't remeber much mor eof the details other then Clinton was president, it happened around arizona/new mexico and i watched it on the evening news when passing thru the area. They detailed it pretty good but it was a long time ago and all i remeber about it outside that was thinking it was odd.

Re:Not lawful, is it? (1)

InfraredEyes (207602) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849777)

> This isn't lawful, is it? The American government cannot simply give up one of it's own citizens to a foreign country just because he or she committed a crime on the Net. Maybe it if matches an American law, sure, but not a foreign one.

The US expects other countries, such as the UK, to extradite people into the US without any evidence on charges that would never fly in UK courts. I don't like the sound of this Internet law, but the US is the last nation on earth that can complain about being asked to obey overseas laws -- you do the same thing quite freely to the rest of us.

Re:Not lawful, is it? (3, Interesting)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849812)

Let's make it even more scary...

RandomTotaliarianGovernmentX declares that avowing oneself - publically - to be a homosexual is a crime.

American goes on craigslist and says he wants to hook up for some play. Some girl decides she wants to try her hand with another girl.

Enter the US State Dept. which contacts RTGX and says "Hey, you know how we have those sanctions on you? We'll drop 'em if you agree to insist that we extradite all the publically avowed homosexuals to you..."

Think it's crazy? They cane you for spitting in Singapore...

Re:Not lawful, is it? (3, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849819)

I don't see why not. We expect other countries to extradite [adamsmith.org] their [techworld.com] citizens [smh.com.au] for breaking US laws. It seems only fair. While in most cases they've broken the law in both countries, that's not always true.

already happened (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849825)

There's a dude sitting in a kraut prison because he dared dispute the holocaust* ww2 numbers. He maintains the numbers are much lower than the official numbers, and that's about it. Arrested, shipped to Germany, sitting in jail now because what he said and wrote violates the guilt ridden square heads laws, which state "whatever the zionists say about the holocaust is true facts". You may not legally argue against any point of their claims. by law. there. they claim he violated that law, and he got extradited, before this treaty happened.

*much as I think the prez of iran is a loony tunes idiot and a major threat, he made one valid point recently. The "homeland" for the holocaust victims and heirs should have been carved out of germany and italy, take THEIR land for some "new nation", the countries that actually produced and ran the camps when their nations were officially fascist. THAT would have been righteous payback, not that weird idea of shipping millions of NON semitic people over to some land they never saw before and "claiming it as their own" based on some ancient crap. That was doomed to failure and problems since day one. Check the headlines-failure. Will always be a failure and a bad idea. Also a major rip off to the REAL semitic people who have lived there non stop for millenia.

Re:already happened (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850018)

There shouldn't be a need to carve up countries to make new nations. They should be able to agree to a fair and democratic government which reflects all the people in a given land.

By the way, I like the idea of Jerusalem becoming it's own nation (kind of like the Vatican is it's own nation). (Not sure if my grammar is correct in the above.)

Re:already happened (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850036)

actualy, the vatican isn't a nation. It acts like one though.

Re:already happened (1)

frostoftheblack (955294) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850151)

Was that supposed to be sarcastic? Because if not, a visit to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_City/ [wikipedia.org] will help.

Re:already happened (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850296)

For some reason your link lead me a a page saying start an article. It apears to be the same as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_city [wikipedia.org] but took me to this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_City/ [wikipedia.org] ... Ahh i see now, it was the trailing /slash.

Any ways, it wasn't sarcasm, it was pure ignorance. Maybe because the CIA factbook i usualy reference [cia.gov] doesn't list it as a country. This is fascinating.

I always though the vatican was just some religous camp who played too much into politics and peoples lives.

Re:already happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15850133)

*much as I think the prez of iran is a loony tunes idiot and a major threat, he made one valid point recently. The "homeland" for the holocaust victims and heirs should have been carved out of germany and italy, take THEIR land for some "new nation", the countries that actually produced and ran the camps when their nations were officially fascist. THAT would have been righteous payback, not that weird idea of shipping millions of NON semitic people over to some land they never saw before and "claiming it as their own" based on some ancient crap. That was doomed to failure and problems since day one. Check the headlines-failure. Will always be a failure and a bad idea. Also a major rip off to the REAL semitic people who have lived there non stop for millenia.


I suggest you do some reading on the History/Creation of Israel [wikipedia.org]

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849638)

An international treaty is considered law here, but that does not mean it is immune from constitutional questions. This treaty must be balanced with the bill of rights, so there is obviously lots of litigation in the future if it is actually enforced ...

Did you forget the most important part?!?!

IANAL

Because it's obvious you aren't.

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (1)

vodkamattvt (819309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849748)

Article VI of the Constitution

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land"

When two things that are said to be the supreme law of the land ... they must be balanced by the courts. Explain, in your expansive legal expertise, why I am wrong.

Furthermore, IANAL, but constitutional law is of interest to me and I do have some basic knowledge in such since it happens to be a main part of my college degree.

I would like to point out that there is not that much of a case log to go on in this area, especially in regards to new communication technologies like the internet (yes the internet is "new" to the courts). And that the problem of treaties superceeding the US constitution is not new either, and there is much debate and not much actual case law one way or the other.

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (1)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849889)

IANAL, but wouldn't the "under the Authority of the United States" preclude any treaties which violate the constitution? I.E. Since Congress can't abridge freedom of speech, they also shouldn't be able to enter into a treaty which abridges free speech. Then again, given things that have managed to pass, I'm getting some nasty doubts. :\

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (1)

Aneurysm9 (723000) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850014)

It could just as easily be argued that "under the Authority of the United States" refers to the authority to enter into treaties and not the authority to pass other laws. The first part of the Supremacy Clause clearly limits supremacy to laws passed pursuant to the Constitution but the same language does not appear with respect to treaties. It's a well established cannon of construction that if a legislator has demonstrated an ability to make distictions in one section of a law and fails to make the same distinction elsewhere, that distinction should not lightly be implied where it is not made. I'm not saying that treaties shouldn't be limited by the Constitution, I think they should be, I'm simply saying that it's not as clear cut simply looking to the language of the Supremacy Clause.

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850393)

IANAL myself, but it was my understanding that a treaty is not law, but an agreement to make a law, because there is no international body that has legislative authority over the US. This allows us to honor treaties in the context of our own political system.

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849717)

Ya, I'm thinking along the lines of this parent comment. But what if one of those 40 pupet states is muslum? Does that mean they have the right to "extridite" someone because their female avitar doesn't wear a Burka? Or does a male avitar beat the female avitar with a stick for not wearing a Burka? But! Wait a minute! What if one of those 40 pupet states refers to President Bush's web site as the "Great Satin?" Could they extridite him?

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (1)

vodkamattvt (819309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849795)

From what I see that is outside the scope of the intended function of the law. A more contemporary example is child pornography. In Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, pornography that is neither obscene under Miller or produced by exploitation of children under the Ferber test was declared constitutionally protected. The law in question said any material that "appears to be" or "conveys the impression" it involves a minor was illegal. It was struck down as overbroad.

Other nations have stricter laws obviously. My comment was that when there is a question of constitutionality (and there will be), what side wins? The treaty and the other states law, or our constitution. Many instinctively say our constitution, but this is not set in stone. The US basically picks and chooses when to follow international conventions, as pointed out by the previous poster with the geneva convention, and I expect it to continue to do so. When the court gets involved we should have futher clarification.

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850231)

The consitution says it is the supream law of the land. It also states that all laws and treaties shall be made in acordance with the constitution. This is the means that the courts are able to strike down laws and treaties that go against the constitution.

Now, i'm not going to claim that courts are going to strictly enforce the constitution so you might be right to worry, it isn't set in stone. This is especialy troubling were the debate around federal and supream court apointies hang alot on and apointe's opinion of wether a strict interpretation of the constitution or a living interpretation were the publics changing interest and morality have to be considered when interpreting the constitution. A problem with this living version is that it has become popular to include certain rights that wern't intended by liberal interpretations thereby creating laws that werre never ment to exist. This isn't too bad as long as the public sentiment is for allowing more freedoms in certain situations but it lends itself to the exact reverse effect if the public's attitude goes south.

Imagine the second amendment becomeing a living rule and instead of a malitia be neccesary for a free state, meaning people should be skilled in defending so they can be called apon to serve as a malitia, it turns into meaning everyone needs to serve in a military branch and the right to keep and bear arms turns out to mean you have the right to wear short sleeved shirts.

Or imagine the first amendment turning into something totaly different. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof becoming certain recognized religions with different denominations and all other non worthy religions become cults. or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; turns into meaning you can talk while pressing apples into cider and he right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. turns int meaning everyone can attend the highschool assembly, they can take petitions to government offices so state workers can sign them let the public know about the grieving over a lost loved one.

I guess i got off the subject alot. My point is, unless we start interpreting the constitution differently, it should retain the ultimate say so regurding this treaty and any situations arising from it.

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15850071)

What if one of those 40 pupet states refers to President Bush's web site as the "Great Satin?"


Uh... they sentence him to wear really shiny fabrics? :-)

The treaty explicitly allows us to preserve rights (3, Informative)

ToastyKen (10169) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849755)

Yes, I'm not new here, but people need to RTFM, including the submitter. From the Ars article, just a little further than halfway down:

The goal of the treaty is not to let the Chinese crack down on dissidents living in America, however, and so countries may refuse to cooperate with requests that involve a "political offence" or if a country believes the request would "prejudice its soverignty, security, ordre public or other essential interests." The US Department of Justice has already announced [securityfocus.com] that "essential interests" would allow the US to refuse any request that would violate the Constitution.

Re:The treaty explicitly allows us to preserve rig (1)

vodkamattvt (819309) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849808)

Color me stupid .. I didnt read the Ars article, only the post. That is a little better. However what the DoJ says is constitutional and what the courts have decided is constitutional is not really always the same.

But good point, thanks.

Re:The treaty explicitly allows us to preserve rig (1)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849820)

The US Department of Justice has already announced [securityfocus.com] that "essential interests" would allow the US to refuse any request that would violate the Constitution.

But the big question is: how long before "political gain" becomes "essential interest" in deciding whether or not to turn over someone who is critical of the administration? Valerie Plame makes for an illustrative point of the dangers involved in being near to someone critical of policy. Her colleague's lives were endangered for no other reason than to punish people who disagreed with the President.

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849853)

Whoops! Another poor soul out of the loop!

I'm afraid the WTO charter supercedes everything...stay well-armed.....

Re:Clearly a Constitutional Issue (3, Informative)

TFGeditor (737839) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849904)

From TFA: The Convention on Cybercrime does recognize this, and to its credit provides a set of exceptions to mutual assistance that should help prevent the worst abuses. The Convention does require members to adopt similar legislation on the following issues: illegal access, illegal interception of computer data, data interference, system interference, misuse of devices, computer-related fraud and forgery, child pornography, and copyright violations "on a commerical scale." The goal of the treaty is not to let the Chinese crack down on dissidents living in America, however, and so countries may refuse to cooperate with requests that involve a "political offence" or if a country believes the request would "prejudice its soverignty, security, ordre public or other essential interests." The US Department of Justice has already announced that "essential interests" would allow the US to refuse any request that would violate the Constitution.

Given these safeguards, fears of political persecutions seem overblown, as do concerns that these requests will simply be issued directly from Beijing (which is not a signatory) to Comcast HQ without court oversight.

It's like Wikipedia... (2, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849513)

Sounds like this law is somewhat like Wikipedia, just without the editors or limited content control. Any nation can add their own contributions to things that people should be punished for, and have it be law everywhere.

Can treaties be considered unconstitutional? It seems to me that the whole point of the constitution was to limit what laws could be made, with anything not permitted prohibited in the light of the inherent rights of mankind. This unlimited law-by-treaty seems rather destructive to the whole point of the constitution.

Ryan Fenton

Re:It's like Wikipedia... (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849606)

Treaties can be unconstitutional. The League of Nations [wikipedia.org] , the precursor to the UN, was formed by the US, but Congress ruled that the US could not join it (some issue of constitutionality). Without the support of the US it didn't last long as I understand.

And the Wiki thing seems about right, except you can't remove contributed content without closing up the whole Wiki (just think how bad Wikipedia would look if you couldn't remove vandalized content).

Constitution and Treaty (1)

tony1343 (910042) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849788)

Treaties can be ruled unconstitutional. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. For example, a treaty could not change the Constitution since to do that the amendment process has to be used. However, after a very brief search, I cannot find any cases of a treaty being ruled unconstitutional. I imagine the courts would be reluctant to do this and would interpret them in a way to avoid constitutional questions. Also, I don't think the League of Nations is a good example. From what I remember, there were political reasons for that not being ratified. Either way, of course Congress can refuse to ratify a treaty because it believes it is unconstitutional. However, just because Congress says something is unconstitutional doesn't mean it actually is. The Supreme Court is the interpreter of the Constitution and has the final say.

Re:It's like Wikipedia... (1)

Arcane_Rhino (769339) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849607)

This is why, whether you agree with them or not, SCOTUS decisions based upon considerations of international law and social perspective rather than based only upon the Constitution set a very dangerous precedent.

The above, of course, being a very US-centric point of view: but true none-the-less.

Re:It's like Wikipedia... (1)

Maclir (33773) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850145)

Well, let me giev an example where the US Supreme Court may very well look at international law and social perspectives.


The Constution forbits "cruel and unusual punishment". But what is exactly "cruel and unusual"? When those words were framed, executing criminals for a wide variety of offences was viewed by many people - in many countries, too - as not being cruel nor unusual. But now, the US is one of the few (or the only?) western countries that has, and regularly uses, the death penalty. So what is now "cruel and unusual" covers punusments considered acceptable and normal two hundred and thirty years ago.


So, in determining whether a particular punishment is "cruel and unusual", I one would hope they look beyond just the US.

Ars Technica misquoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849517)

Ars Technica did not say it's the "World's Worst Internet Law." The EFF did. Poster needs to go RTFA.

Yeah, Ars Technica actually thinks this is GOOD (4, Informative)

ToastyKen (10169) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849726)

Ars Technica did not say it's the "World's Worst Internet Law." The EFF did. Poster needs to go RTFA.

Indeed. The Ars Technica article put "World's Worst Internet Law" in quotes for a reason. In fact, it flat out DISAGREES with EFF, even, and says that, "Given these safeguards, fears of political persecutions seem overblown," and that "the Convention provides enough safeguards to prevent the worst kinds of abuse, and additional protocols can always be negotiated if problems become insurmountable."

Re:Yeah, Ars Technica actually thinks this is GOOD (1)

AirRaven (843900) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849767)

Since when has the current administration cared about the Constitution?

Sigh, Slashdot editors win again! (4, Informative)

Lost+Found (844289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849532)

It wasn't Ars Technica that said it's the "World's Worst Internet Law" - that's the EFF. The only time Ars Technica uses that name is in quoting the EFF's opinion. If you RTFA, Ars Technica actually has a less worried view.

Perhaps they should make it an international Internet crime to post stories without checking even the most basic facts (ie, first two paragraphs of the document you link to).

Re:Sigh, Slashdot editors win again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849566)

Well, the original poster was the one who misattributed the quote to Ars Technica, so I'd put a little more blame there than on the slashdot editors.

Also, an AC beat you to your comment by a few mins... you might want to drop your threshold to 0 instead of 1 ;)

Re:Sigh, Slashdot editors win again! (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849643)

The editors need to have the final responsibility of making sure approved posts are correct. That's why they get paid the big bucks.

Re:Sigh, Slashdot editors win again! (1)

ntk (974) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849790)

Well, to be accurate, I didn't call it the world's worst Internet law in my EFF piece, either. The piece was titled "The World's Worst Internet Laws Sneaking Through the Senate", and was meant to convey the key problem with treaty: that this isn't just one bad bill, but a convention that would provide a route for importing many different problematic cybercrime statutes into U.S. (and exporting many of America's worst laws outward too: the Convention also requires all signatories to criminalize "commercial scale" Internet copyright infringement, for example).

Quoted fragments like this are often like chinese whispers online: every time they get repeated, they wander a little further from the original meaning.

Best line from the article... (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849553)

Sure, because the left hates human rights and privacy, and it wants nothing more than to spy on ordinary Americans who haven't committed a crime. Oh, wait. :)

All the laws in the world... (4, Insightful)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849557)

...can not reach the bits'n'bytes of the ever growing net.

Aka - you don't stand a chance in HELL to police the internet. Anyone who think so ought to get their brain examined.

Data is like fluids, you can't filter everything - it's bound to get in everywhere at some time. And the number of data you'd have to filter is increasing with such a speed that there's no chance that ANY law system would be able to hire enough personnel or create software to control it all.

Want a real life example? Take spam - you can't control that either, and we have laws on it already almost EVERYWHERE - but does it work? Didn't work 10 years ago, not 5 years ago - doesn't work today, won't work in the future. Fluids will get in everywhere anywhere anytime.

Best way to filter is utilizing the individuals using the computers, mind filtering --> the no 1. filter in this world. The very same filter can also be used to FIND the content you really want rather than looking trough heaps of endless useless information (spam).

Even if they DID control the net (or the way we access the net) they would be unable to do so - because information always finds a way just like fluid, another net - wireless or by wire...doesn't matter. You can't stop the flow of information now, way too late! And thank goodness for that.

Re:All the laws in the world... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849720)

And what is the conclusion after that? BJust because you won't be able to catch each and every offender does not mean you should not try to catch as many as possible.

Re:All the laws in the world... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849817)

Data is like fluids, you can't filter everything ... Want a real life example? Take spam - you can't control that either,

They make liquid Spam now? No wonder it gets through the filters more easily. This could be useful, though. Whenever I try to make Spam Smoothies, I can't suck it through a straw and have to use a spoon.

Lowest common denominator of crappy laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849562)

I guess its only fair if we in the USA want to go after Canadian pot seed sellers and Costa Rican bookmakers. We gotta let you impose your crappy laws on us.

The US aren't the ones that "export" laws. (2, Interesting)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849571)

A lot of people out there like to accuse the US of forcing other countries into enacting laws that are draconian, such as the DMCA and 90 year copyrights. However, the US is actually adopting these laws, such as the DMCA and the CTEA, as part of the WTO and WIPO treaties. It is actually many countries in Europe that these originate from.

The WIPO and WTO actually call for laws much more strict than what the US has. Those "super DMCA" laws that other countries have are really just falling inline with what these treaties ask for, and the US is not at all to blame for them.

Re:The US aren't the ones that "export" laws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849880)

Wrong. Actually, the US did enact a '96 WIPO treaty on which the DMCA is based, so they could say "oh, look, we must have a DMCA, we can't do otherwise". It was the RIAA and MPAA lobbying back then already. And the DMCA was the first "DMCA-like" law in the world, if Euro countries had pushed the '96 WIPO treaty, why would have they waited so long? Now, *this* Cybercrime treaty is clearly more in an Euro stance but be sure that YOUR Government and Senate are more than happy with it (since it means reciprocal control). They chose to ratify it. Unlike copyright-like treaties (where you have to protect foreign copyrights to have yours protected, and at the same level), there wasn't any encouraging factor other than their very own interests.

Re:The US aren't the ones that "export" laws. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15850363)

The **AA may have lobbied for these laws to exist (including disney for the CTEA) however they were not the underlying cause. Note in both SCOTUS cases where these laws were challenged, the justices cited the fact that these laws were passed as part of these treaties as a huge portion of justifying their existence and constitutionality (see the constitution for reasoning as to why treaties become part of the law of the land.) So no, it is not wrong. The US in fact did not export any of these laws as many suggest. OUR government didn't create WIPO nor the WTO. These are both european in origin, in fact they are both a derivative of the berne convention which the US didn't even become a part of until an entire century after its existence. The US just happened to be first to follow that particular clause of those treaties, nothing more nothing less. (actually come to think of it, several european countries had 90 year copyrights long before the US did)

Re:The US aren't the ones that "export" laws. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850447)

Yes, but other countries agreeing to adopt very bad ideas as law should not be justification for screwing our own citizens over in the same manner. Congress still has a LOT of explaining to do, so far as I'm concerned.

Has to be said: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849575)

I ,for one welcome our new:
'bill-o-rights burnin, constitution shreddin' sovereignty squashing'
shadow foreign government overlords...
unless welcoming them is a violation of their unwritten laws punishable by death.

In soviet Russia, internet overlords mock you!

The Nation State.... (4, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849578)

....is in decline. No this isn't some random rant. The sad fact is, multinational corporations really do wield influence that surpasses that of governments. This law is undoubtedly for their benefit, so that laws across the globe will have to defacto become harmonised to avoid all the legal toothaches this will cause.

Think about it. When companies the size of GE and Microsoft run into hassle with different laws in different jurisdictions, they just lobby for harmonisation. And that's what they've gotten. I expect to shortly have what rights I have on the internet reduced to the abysmal level of those living in the US and UK, and what the hell, Iran. All in aid of the children or rich yuppies or whatever. This is why you need proportional representation.

Re:The Nation State.... (1)

Stalyn (662) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849931)

Obviously the only people who can solve this dilemma are Libertarians.. oh wait.

The posted summary was unnecessarily biased (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15849580)

I know this post of mine won't get any mod points, but the summary posted on the main /. page was one of the worst I've seen. It misstates the sense of the Ars Technica article and makes the law sound much more draconian than it really appears to be when you have a closer look.

And... it works both ways. (5, Insightful)

MROD (101561) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849591)

If a citizen in one of the other countries is accused by the U.S.A. of committing a crime which isn't illegal in their country the same rules apply.

Even worse, in the U.K. they could be extradited without the evidence even having to be disclosed to a judge or anyone else due to a treaty (supposedly to be only for terrorist cases but recently used on a fraud charge) with the U.S.A. which the U.K. has ratified but the U.S.A. has refused to. Now, that's scary!

Not for long, though (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850438)

Even worse, in the U.K. they could be extradited without the evidence even having to be disclosed to a judge or anyone else due to a treaty (supposedly to be only for terrorist cases but recently used on a fraud charge) with the U.S.A. which the U.K. has ratified but the U.S.A. has refused to. Now, that's scary!

Not for long, I think. In fact, the whole post-9/11 draconian government thing is rapidly dying in the UK, Tony Blair just doesn't realise it yet (or at least doesn't admit to realising it in public).

Yes, there was the recent case of three banking executives who were transferred to the US under dubious circumstances. However, that caused a huge political storm, because the "anti-terror" legislation was clearly being used for something that had nothing to do with safeguarding the land from terrorists. In this case, I suspect that either the US will ratify the treaty and agree the reverse as well very soon, or the UK government will be forced to pull out.

It's the same story elsewhere. Just this week, Walter Wolfgang, the long-standing Labour party member removed by heavies from last year's party conference for daring to heckle Jack Straw over the war on Iraq and then denied re-entry under anti-terror laws(!), was elected by the party membership to their national governing body. Not only does he get to speak at the next conference as a result, it seems he's guaranteed the chance to do so from the same platform as Blair et al.

ID cards and the National Identity Register... Ah, yes, New Labour's greatest threat. Except, of course, that even those people who would like to be involved with it as a lucrative business opportunity are openly questioning whether the government's scheme can even be implemented, never mind bring the claimed benefits. Both the significant opposition parties in England oppose the scheme. The Information Commissioner (our quasi-independent guardian of data protection and freedom of information issues) has issued some of his most damning comments ever on the subject, and ruled against the government several times on information disclosure issues. The timetables are obviously slipping badly, but no-one will admit how badly. The costs are huge, but no-one will disclose how huge. Sooner or later, the whole illusory stack of cards is going to collapse, and all Tony Blair's big "it's be a centrepiece in our next election manifesto" rhetoric is doing is digging his successor's grave early.

Likewise, a bill described as "Blair's (latest) enabling act" because of its attempt to reduce Parliament to pretty much a rubber stamp was quietly all but dropped a few weeks ago.

The government has been ruled against yet again in the past few days over the whole restraining order/detention without trial thing. This is one of those awkward issues: it's a good bet that a high proportion of the people subject to restraining orders really are nasty bits of work, but I think the principle of freedom from arbitrary detention transcends the importance of removing some liberties from a small number of individuals who may or may not pose some level of threat. It would be far better, if the government really has enough good intelligence to believe these people pose a current threat to our security, that the government should bring charges against them in a suitable court of law and make its case properly. In any case, one of the most senior judges in our land has now said outright that if the Home Secretary wants to impose this sort of thing, he's had ample time to consult Parliament since some of these suspects came to light, and therefore he can't just award himself new powers without scrutiny to do as he sees fit. (This on top of one of the most damning judgements in recent legal history from the High Court during the previous round of the case, which pulled few punches as far as telling the government it was way out of line.)

Personally, I increasingly think this is Gordon Brown setting Tony Blair up to take the fall for all of the heavy-handed criminal justice/"anti-terror" legislation this government has brought in for the past decade or so. Like John Reid walking into the Home Office, that means Gordy can come in, proclaim that it wasn't him and therefore it's not his fault, oh and please give him at least a fighting chance against a very popular David Cameron at the next election! The sad thing is, most voters have such short memories that they might just get away with it.

Since when... (1)

JJJJust (908929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849647)

Since when has the U.S. -- or for that matter anybody -- followed a treaty when it didn't suit them? It really doesn't suit them to help countries with limited speech... unless it's an election year.

VOTE the BASTARDS OUT! (3, Funny)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849655)

Oh, wait; I forgot about diebold. Um, wellll...vote democrat? Oh, wait, they suck the ??AA teat too....
Ok, guys; I got nothin'...looks to me like we're fucked. :-(

Re:VOTE the BASTARDS OUT! (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849677)

If you assume your vote doesn't count anyway, you might as well vote libertarian.

Re:VOTE the BASTARDS OUT! (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849740)

I wish everybody would think (and do) that.

Re:VOTE the BASTARDS OUT! (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849868)

Right now your choice between the two major parties consists of:
  • Party A: Evil
  • Party B: Stupid ...and evil


Let's hope a viable party C emerges real soon now.

Re:VOTE the BASTARDS OUT! (1)

Asm-Coder (929671) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850073)

They have one in Sweden. Anyone want to form a new party in the US? (Or elsewhere as well)

it works both ways (1)

mad_psych0 (991712) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849662)

I seem to remember the servers and maintainers of a certain website in Sweden suffering this fate a few months ago now, except it was the US government (under pressure from the MPAA) that pressured the Swedish government into executing search warrants and arrests on their citizens for actions that aren't illegal in their country.. I'm sure the MPAA and the RIAA both are rolling around happier then pigs in shit about this since its going to extend the reach of their holy crusade against 14-year-old soulseekers.

Is The Rights of Numbers Becoming Reality? (1)

BrendaEM (871664) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849721)

A year or two ago, I wrote a Sci-Fi eBook describing things like this. I wished that it was just all fiction.

A line in the book reads similar to the Slashdot article:

General Curtis took a deep breath. "I want to forge an official detachment dealing with cyber-crime actions abroad."

You can download the entire ebook from: http://www.brendamake.com/numbers/ [brendamake.com]

The validation that I feel is overwhelmed by the specter of horrific consequences of the treaty.

More bullets in demand (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849768)

I guess that means we can't talk smack about China anymore huh? I might get my IP logged on slashdot and shipped off to a firing squad.

It's a two way street people, drive it! (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849772)

Find out who the major politiicans and business men are in those 40 countries and claim that they maybe infringing on your copyrights... and then get thier ISPs to track them. Use the information garnered to become fabulously wealthy and powerful.

Do we still have one? (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849778)

The US Department of Justice has already announced that "essential interests" would allow the US to refuse any request that would violate the Constitution.

This is an hilarious PR statement, especially in light of the illegal behavior by our own citizens in currently in office. Given our recent track record, this is nothing more than some semantic sugar used to cover the foul taste of political corruption.

Equality? (1)

madcow_bg (969477) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849780)

"According to the EFF, 'The treaty requires that the U.S. government help enforce other countries' 'cybercrime' laws--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.;"
So, basically, this treaty is going to do what the americans have been doing all these years - try to enforce their laws on other country's territory. Remember the script kiddie from UK that is going to be extradicted to USA? The russian guy that wrote the PDF DRM cracking software, what about the perfectly legal swedish Pirate Bay? Why didn't the americans tried to protest then? Now they are going to suffer just like everyone else.

Yes, the treaty is stupid because jurisdiction does matter, and that is because every country has their set of laws that are carefully callibrated. Soon we'll get grossly disproportioned penalties - electric chair for reporters? But if the chinese say so...

The only time jurisdiction does not matter is with crimes against humanity. And that is for a good reason, isn't it?

When you thought it could get no worse... (2, Interesting)

R4ZORJ4CK (950562) | more than 7 years ago | (#15849821)

This issue hits home with me a great deal as I have been bagged, tagged, and am currently under investigation by the FBI for cybercrime. As such I've become all too familiar with the FBI's methods and cyber-crime infrastructure.

Following 9/11 the US government, as we all know, molded the Patriotic Act and the Homeland Security Act to their needs. These later kick started the Critical Infrastructure Protection Board in to high gear. In 2003 the FBI formed Computer Intrusion Squads or Computer Hacking & Intrusion Prevention Squads. The US government has cleverly nicked these as CHIP or CHIPS units (I would have prefered Eric Estrada knocking on my door!). This spread like wild-fire and prompted the FBI to form CHIPS teams in all major cities. I was investigated and arrested by the CHIPS.

This new treaty/pact now allows the FBI to become likened to an international force much like their cousins the CIA. Allowing the foreign governments with their policies to infiltrate our country is a small price to pay for extending the reach and power of the FBI and the US government in general. Ofcourse this is at the expense of not only our rights as Americans but the common person on a global scale. Hmmmm.... can anyone say 'world domination'?

Certainly all the government in all the world cannot monitor all the data in all the world. However, many people will suffer needlessly for such petty crimes as reading email without permission along with the dangerous hardcore hackers. It's almost like spending 5 years for smoking marijuana (I don't smoke).

I am certainly disgusted and our government continues to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

All those bad other countries (2, Insightful)

Britz (170620) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850066)

Those countries that torture people, throws them in jail without as much as a charge, monitor their citizen, prosecute children...

Oh wait, since torture is illegal in the US, maybe those countries can be of use after all. Better not get our agents in legal trouble. What countries are those anyways? Are they US allies in the fight against terror and for a free and democratic world, like Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan and Columbia or rather evil countries like Venezuela and France?

The idea is to continuing to build Rome (1)

digitalextremist (818027) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850176)

When you design a system, you don't usually develop every single piece inside the end result product.

Especially large complex pieces are projects in and of themselves which get folded in after they are mature.

Thus, in order for The New Rome to be built without imploding in on itself beforehand, TNR must assemble the US module outside the controlling elements.

Only once the adapted US has matured to embody the necessary functionality will it become associated with the intentions of its true developer.

Obvious Why They Did It (2, Funny)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850180)

In the process of helping another country violate our laws, OUR law enforcement gets to violate our laws.

Obvious.

Don't know why they didn't think of this before - outside of the known use of the Echelon system by each country that is a part of it to allow other countries to spy on their citizens and share the info. The NSA doesn't spy on us (well, supposedly they didn't USED to!), they just let Britain do it and tell them about it.

They just extended the principle with this treaty.

Maybe now we can target the administration (1)

ChronoFish (948067) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850220)

Maybe the admistration has fired one into their own foot.

Surely there is some law that President Bush or his gang has violated in one of the 40-some countries that are apparently apart of this "Internet Treaty".

Finally we can now have the FBI investigate Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and friends.

-CF

Not just cybercrime.... (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 7 years ago | (#15850242)

There is already a deportation treaty between the UK and the US (well actually only the UK has ratified it so far and our moronic government did not put in a "only effective when both parties have ratified it" clause) with similar effects. Recently three UK bankers were deported to Texas for activities which took place entirely in the UK but which involved a US firm (Enron). Now as I understand it their actions (if true) were illegal under UK law but this was not important or at all relevant to the deportation case. This strikes me as the most serious case of loss of sovreignty that I've ever heard of: UK citizens being taken to a foreign court and being prosecuted for alleged crimes committed entirely in the UK. It seems that this treaty will only increase such cases.
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