If ACTA Gets Approved, Expect China To Use It As Justification For Censorship

from the just-watch-and-see... dept

While one of ACTA’s biggest supporters, Rep. Howard Berman, is now pushing for laws to stop companies aiding in China’s censorship, he might want to consider that a better plan would be to back down on ACTA. If ACTA passes, it seems quite likely that China would then use it as justification for its own “great firewall” censorship program. Already, we’re seeing that China is looking to use plans for internet filters in Australia to its own advantage by comparing that system to its own — and you can bet China would be thrilled to be able to use a US-backed concept to support its continued censorship.

In the past, China has justified its internet censorship by saying things along the lines of, “well, you in the US have laws against obscenity online, and what we’re doing is passing laws against the type of content we feel does not belong online either.” But something like ACTA could make the case much stronger for the Chinese. That’s because ACTA and China’s censorship have a lot in common, in that they’re both plans that involve vague secondary liability aspects applied to ISPs. That is, China’s Great Firewall works by the government telling ISPs that they might get in trouble if anyone says anything “bad” online, and are given just vague rules about how to stop the bad. Thus, the ISPs respond by being overly aggressive in their enforcement. Similarly, ACTA hints at vague secondary liability safe harbors needed for an ISP not to get blamed for copyright infringement — and, as we’ve seen, when such vague rules were implemented in South Korea, service providers start getting overly aggressive in banning things as well.

So if Howard Berman really wants to crack down on Chinese censorship online, perhaps he shouldn’t be working so hard towards giving them more justification for China’s actions.

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Comments on “If ACTA Gets Approved, Expect China To Use It As Justification For Censorship”

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11 Comments
Hephaestus (profile) says:

Dude that is brilliant !!!

Totally brilliant! Unintended Consequences are a wonderful thing at times. IMHO this will lead to china ramping its censorship up to even higher levels. After all they will be allowed to by international agreement.

The countries that are already going down the route of stifling free speech, censoring the internet, holding secondary parties liable for the actions of others, are going to have justification to expand. The consequences to people of Italy, Britain, France, Venuzeula, Iran, Australia, South Korea, etc are going to be extreme.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Dude that is brilliant !!!

Actually what I am counting on is an escalation to criminal charges for downloading files and photocopying. This will cause a very fast major evolution in encryption, VPN’s, and secure private communications. It will also lead to more people infringing more as they feel bullet proof and less likely to be caught.

In the end it will basically make all internet censorship laws obsolete, and remove any governments ability to spy on individuals online.

NAMELESS.ONE says:

either way china wont buy into ACTA

and thre still going to filter and censor.

@Hephaestus Britain solved this requiring people that use encryption to BUY a certification and that header will identify you. IT also gives authorities the ability TO DECRYPT.

Anyone toughting as you do is just trying to get us all herded like cattle so you can slaughter itall.
BETTER TO DIE NOW FIGHTING then wait and get beat over and over for it.

VPNS you say, then the govt that controls them comes in drops spyware on your SSH keys that opens you up like a can a worms.

OVH the french seedbox host was caught doing it
there are other ways too.

thats like putting a lock on your mail box. I CAN STILL SEE IT and if i have a key i can see whats inside.
SO
this van pulls up to the side fo the house start sniffing your data
they go off and use the voltage hack on rsa encryption and….again…

bikey says:

ACTA

Censorship in China? Look home lads. Ever ask yourself why not one single US newspaper reported that the EU Parliament voted two weeks ago, 630 to 13, to essentially reject ACTA in its present secret form (i.e. it called for making provisions public and said it would not authorize the ratification of anything that was not already legal in the EU)? Not a single newspaper? That’s not censorship, not at all. That’s just catering to a moronic population who wouldn’t be able to understand anyway (even if they knew what ACTA and/or the EU were). Why is it that any time we don’t like something, but can’t do anything about it, we turn to China and say that it would enable them to…. whatever.

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