You have Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein about an hour a way... not hard to buy any game there legally and probably cheaper than it is in Switzerland anyway.
"I can't see why a government employee on a government computer would actually need that sort of software."
I think that depends on the particular government employee. Say you're in the IT department (as I am, though I'm non-government) and you need a copy of the newest Linux distro to install a new server toot-sweet because you're on a deadline. Bittorrent is the perfect way to get those .iso files. Unfortunately, because you're a government employee, you can no longer use Bittorrent. So, now you're going to have to download the .iso files via another source, at a much slower rate and miss your deadline.
Now, in this scenario, should you be running the Bittorrent software on one of your other, active, servers? Hell no! But you could run it on a clean laptop that's located outside the hardware firewall (but with a software firewall in place on the laptop), burn the .iso files to disc, and then reimage the laptop to make sure nothing has been compromised during it's time outside the firewall.
I've done something similar quite often in my company, and it works very well. As long as some common-sense safety rules are followed, there's no harm.
The harm is in these "zero-tolerance" situations. They're so worried about P2P that they don't realize that the real threats are often from downloading things from standard web pages. Sure, block P2P traffic from the receptionist and Finance and departments that really have no need to access it, but don't ban it from the people that can actually use it and know the precautions to take.
The issue is about security. If you (or Congress) think that P2P is the root of the security problems, they you and they are fools.
curation, does that mean eliminate the misinformation
Newspapers are losing circulation because they contain too much misinformation. Who buys rotting fruit? What is too much? Well, my kids were taught in school to never cite a newspaper to support a fact! and that was 10 years ago! Today, many papers rely on the AP. The AP's science and health articles are trash! They either don't say anything or they pick up some sensational press release and up the hype a factor of 10 and not bother to disclose how many reports discredit what they just reported! Even the front page of a paper is trash. Almost all political reports contain adjectives hyping or knocking a person or a party! A biased journalist is like a physicist who doesn't know arithmetic! Curation is needed! or the news media will become defunct! People won't pay for misinformation! or at least the people the advertisers want won't pay. No one can say anything about the below intelligence world!
copyright wasn't to promote progress, or make money
They were invented so that there is no disincentive to create. This is usually accomplished by preventing people who did not create new products to benefit economically. This may sound the same as what copyright abusers try to argue, but it's very different. So long as other people do not benefit economically, it should be considered "fair use". That's the whole point.
But no. Now it's all about control. Money and control make for a bad, bad combination.
Newspapers, including the NYT, contain too much misinformation. They are losing readers because they have a bad product: bias, errors, lack of depth, fluff, poor writing. Paying for a newspaper is like buying rotting fruit. Who does that?
in a world where an atmospheric trace gas, one also produced by all animal respiration ever since animals evolved on this planet, is now widely believed to be a *pollutant* - why would anyone be surprised by pseudo-scientific "Media Hogwash Scare Tactics?"
Record Labels Face $6 Billion Damages for Pirating ArtistsWhile the major record labels were dragging file-sharers and BitTorrent sites to court for copyright infringement, they were themselves being sued by a conglomerate of artists for exactly the same offenses. Warner, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal face up to $6 billion in damages for pirating a massive 300,000 tracks.
However, on the positive side – this also means that tracking cookies (which are used by a countless number of advertising networks and behavioural profiling companies) and Local Stored Objects (LSO or Flash Cookies) – will now also have to present users with a clear explanation as to what they are, what they collect and what they will be used for.
As we saw in a recent research paper over 60% of consumers in the US do not want Behavioural Advertising so it is reasonable to assume the same would most probably apply with EU countries as well – in fact we may well see even more people opposed to it in EU states given the last couple of years of campaigning on the subject by privacy advocates (such as the members of this web site) meaning it is very much an issue which is in the public focus.
This is exactly what companies like Phorm and Audience Science did not want to happen – Opt-Out meant they could rely on the ignorance and apathy of the general population not to bother with opting out meaning they would capture a large percentage of the market without the consumers even knowing what was going on.
Now however, not only must they get permission from people (opt-in) but they also must give truthful and accurate information to consumers as to what they are doing – which is far more likely to illicit a reaction of NOT opting in as people do not want to be tracked.
This is going to hit the bottom lines of these companies very hard indeed and it is likely (in my opinion) that their revenues are in for a dramatic decline. I would be suprised if they can capture even 30% of the market with the new regulations – a long way from the current 90+% they probably have under Opt-Out models.
The changes would also make it illegal for companies to reset traditional cookies or gather behavioural information with Flash Cookies (LSO) without consent – which has become a new trend as advertisers realised they could bypass countermeasures which led to the deletion of their tracking cookies from users machines (such as deleting cookies when a browser is closed or only allowing session cookies – which are popular features of modern browsers and plugins).
Of course, as always – the devil is in the details. We need to keep pushing parliamentarians to make sure that this is added to UK law in an appropriate way.
On the post:
private companies spying and illegally intercepting your dataflow
you really should have ask for questions first to get the far better picture.
you missed private companies spying and illegally intercepting your dataflow, stealing your data to collate and build private 'derivative works' CRA and other databases without your consent,knowledge, or payments etc.
such as DPI data collection for commercial profit, 'commercial piracy' by any other name.
My kids were taught in grade school - 1990s - to never cite a news source to support a fact! The same lesson appeared in high school during report writing lessons. Needless to say they don't subscribe to a newspaper. And what did the latest studies show? About two-thirds of the population thought the news media was untrustworthy! And similar numbers declared the news media biased! Sure there are hard working honest journalists in the world. The problem is there is no way to tell anymore! Perception is reality. You can't believe a journalist! And that's the business case problem for news outlets. Few people with a brain will pay for untruths? And, for the intelligence challenged, they are being terrorized with untruths!
My kids were taught in grade school to never use a news source to support a fact. High school taught the same lesson with a letter grade deducted for each news citation in a written report. That was over 10 years ago! People don't trust anything authored by a news reporter and the AP is on the bottom of the don't trust list. Their science and health reporting is hilarious as they rarely get it correct.