Stop, In The Name Of 'Bots

from the save-us-from-the-machines dept

A very good opinion piece by Glenn Reynolds, of InstaPundit fame, concerning the increasing reliance on law enforcement done by machines – who often make mistakes. It starts out talking about those traffic cameras that send you tickets in the mail, but then gets on to more interesting points. Hollywood is using automated programs to search for copyright violations online and sending off cease-and-desist letters without anyone actually checking to see if a copyright violation has taken place. The example story he puts in the article should make that clear. And, with the law being what it is these days, ISPs who receive those automated legal letters are often compelled to shut down accounts. There’s an example of someone who had a book report on Harry Potter getting accused of pirating the Harry Potter movie. The article also brings up some of the issues related to child pornography that we’ve discussed before – where people who don’t understand the technology are causing problems. His final point makes a lot of sense: “Ask why — at a time when ordinary people are being asked by politicians and corporations to take more personal responsibility for their actions — the people who claim to be enforcing the law aren’t willing to take responsibility for what they do with their machines. And ours.”

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