Attorney General Mukasy Claims Piracy Funds Terrorism

from the oh-please dept

We had assumed that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' sudden facsination with "piracy" was as a way to avoid dealing with the controversy surrounding his office -- but it appears his successor is heading down that path as well. In a speech given today in Silicon Valley, Attorney General Michael Mukasey gave a fear mongering speech about how piracy and counterfeiting fosters terrorism. This is a line (literally) straight from the RIAA training manual, which it appears Mukasey has bought into. It should come as no surprise to hear that Mukasey flew up to Silicon Valley after spending a day in Hollywood at Warner Brothers.

Still, what's most interesting is that he doesn't seem to indicate much of a difference between merely copying content and "counterfeiting," which would be passing off a fake good as a legitimate one. Counterfeiting is more akin to "trademark" in that it's really about customer protection (making sure you're not buying Bob's Cola thinking that it's Coca Cola). It's understandable to be upset about counterfeiting -- but the problem is that two separate impartial government agencies have both found that counterfeiting isn't that big a problem, and it's regularly exaggerated by lobbyists.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that any of these nuances have made it to the AG's office. Instead, he's just lumped all piracy and counterfeiting issues into one single category and labeled it all a big problem and linked it to "terrorism" so that no one questions it. And rather than assigning more Justice Department officials to work on real problems and real crimes, he's been beefing up the "IP" group, increasing prosecutions 33% in the last couple of years. Is this really the best use of our taxpayer money?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    anony c, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 4:38pm

    just like

    Pot and Heroin! You have to know that it isnt.

    But smokiong pot will lead to terrosim!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 4:47pm

    What a Tool

    "Is this really the best use of our taxpayer money?"

    As far as I know, this nation has yet to solve many other more pressing issues. Certainly I do not need to list them.

    The AG office is just another political tool.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Casper, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 5:22pm


    It's amusing and sad at the same time how this political game is going. They lump counterfeit media sales with pirated content, in order to better help push legislation to help the RIAA/MPAA, yet no one asks how they came to this conclusion? Seriously, if someone is pirating something for free, how are the source of the pirated material making money off it? Also, I some how do not think the counterfeit DVD vendor down the street is funding terrorism, because if you have seen the way he is dressed, he isn't even funding himself very well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    SpyCat, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 5:23pm

    An I thought only Gonzales was a idiot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Everett, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 5:28pm

    P2P now Terrorists ??

    Next thing you know, they will be saying that file sharing sites and all those using them are supporting terrorist activities!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    adam, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 5:30pm

    Piracy Funds Terrorism?

    So piracy in this context, means getting stuff for free. How does not paying for something, fund something else? The only ones making money from piracy are ISPs. So are they the terrorist organizations?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Nick (profile), Mar 28th, 2008 @ 5:59pm

    It is like saying colonialism is a too of democracy.

    Counterfeiting is an interesting topic. When someone is able to counterfeit something very well, it means the price should be lower.

    When someone can make something at a lower price than you, they are competing and winning.

    What better way for Bush/Cheny INC. to stifle foreign competitors so that US competitors will win in the market, and make more income taxable: in the name security. I hope most people can see right through this, and that Obama addresses it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    z, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 7:04pm


    This group of thugs masquerading as politicians will frame anything they can get away with under terrorism/ist and fools will blindly follow, like lemmings off the cliff. z

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    The Muffin Man, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 7:34pm

    >Fill in the blank< Funds Terrorism!!!

    Man... I for one am sick and tired of hear about how anything that this Administration doesn't like or agree with it amazingly Funds Terrorism!! You know what The Bush Administration Funds Terrorism!!! Lobbyists Fund Terrorism!!! The RIAA and MPAA Funds Terrorism!!! Come on Everyone this is fun! What else funds Terrorism?? Just say it and people will buy it because Hey! Fear is a powerful tool, but you know what i for one think this shit is getting real weak... They need to start focusing on the REAL issues that face this nation, to many to list...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Rekrul, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 7:51pm

    How long will it be before the puppets in Washington just come out and admit that they're on the payroll of large corporations? I mean, that's what it amounts to now. These idiots will pass any law or take any action that makes the corporations happy and keeps the money rolling into their political funds. Isn't that the same thing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    chris (profile), Mar 28th, 2008 @ 8:19pm

    he isn't buying in...

    ... he's selling [us] out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 29th, 2008 @ 12:31am

    In other news...

    ...Osama Bin Laden is appealing to the WIPO, the US DHS and the US Attorney-General's office to put a stop to the trading in fake Osamas that, it is claimed, are threatening to dilute the well-known terrorist's brand. "We value our Intellectual Property very highly," a spokesterrorist was quoted as saying. "And it's well-known that these sorts of counterfeiting activities go to fund, umm ... what was it again ..."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2008 @ 5:03am


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    bluenorway, Mar 29th, 2008 @ 7:07am

    Humanitarian Value of Warez Piracy http://WAREZ.Bl

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    August West, Mar 29th, 2008 @ 7:35am


    "An I thought only Gonzales was a idiot."

    No, its the entire Bush regime. People tend to surround themselves with people like them, and our current prez is about as smart as a sack of hammers. A self absorbed, self serving sack of hammers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    August West, Mar 29th, 2008 @ 7:42am

    Re: piracy?

    There does not need to be any basis in reality for our current president and his handpicked cronies to try and pass off some ridiculous statement as fact. Lets see... Iran trains Al-Qaeda, WMD's in Iraq, Al-Qeada in Iraq before we were there, if you oppose illegal wiretapping you support terrorism.... See, this piracy/terrorism argument is actually almost logical compared to the BS they've been spinning off for the past seven years or so...

    I have started to believe that Bush is actually a mole for the Democratic party. He was put in place to permanently ruin the credibility of the Republican party. Thats the only reason I can think of that he would so consistently make sure his entire regime were such liars and idiots. Plus do and say all the moronic things he has.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    gas, Mar 29th, 2008 @ 3:51pm

    we give billions of dollars to the arab countrys our gas
    guzzers 6 and 8 cyl cars are to blame everyone who uses gas in thir cars are to blame they are funding terrorists
    we know who the terrorists are we need to stop all oil from
    coming unto the us and ban these people from stepping foot in our country terrorists have around long long before
    the tv was invented for thousands of years

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2008 @ 7:04pm

    this just in, jaywalking is now contributing to terrorism, if you have ever jaywalked, your a terrorist and you will be punished accordingly


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    inc, Mar 29th, 2008 @ 9:35pm

    terrorism?! what about the children?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    This man is one of three things, we need the mains

    As I see it this man is either,

    #1 A fool, simply believing what he is told.
    #2 On the take, receiving money from the "media lobby" either for himself or his affiliations.

    We need to get mainstream media interested in which of
    these is true.

    Perhaps the first step would be asking for documented proof of any such connection.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Bill, Mar 30th, 2008 @ 4:33pm

    Big Brother wants to justify even more taking away

    In my opinion, the primary reason the government wants to attach the term "terrorist activity" to everything is because that label gives them nearly unlimited powers of pursuit with virtually no checks and balances.

    They have already taken away far too many of our civil rights in the name of fighting terrorism. Thanks to the highly un-patriotic "Patriot Act," all they have to do is say they suspect you of terrorist-supporting activities, and they can put you under even the most invasive types of surveillance without the need for a warrant. Plus, they are constantly abusing this power by filtering ALL communication traffic travelling through key nodes of the largest telecommunication companies. One of the major television news shows exposed this activity fairly recently, in fact.

    The irony is that by our government turning this country into an Orwellian nightmare, the terrorists have already accomplished a lot of what they set out to do. People will cower in their homes scared of not only a possible terrorist attack (thanks to constant government warnings - real or imagined), but many folks will also be frightened that their own government will label one of their harmless private activities as being "terrorist-supporting" and throw them in prison, tarnishing their image and ruining their lives.

    Just talk to a Homeland Security officer who works at our airports off the record if you want to know if we are really any safer after all this. Or just ask airline employees. We're giving up all of our freedoms for nothing but the illusion of safety.

    Our only hope for the future is that we can try to get the current crop of freedom-haters out of Washington before they erode any more of our civil rights. Otherwise, we could be looking at a future that looks somewhat similar to the movie "V is for Vendetta." Folks will start being censored and even prosecuted simply for speaking out against the methods our own government is using against us. They will be labeled as "terrorists" for disagreeing with the direction of the government. At that point, we as a democracy are doomed. Perhaps they should stop trying to establish democracies all over the world and start trying to re-establish our own.

    That's my two cents. Now, I'm broke.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 8:50am

    I dont fund terrorists. nobody makes a dime of the books i read, or the movies i watch, or the games i play. i cant afford to do those things. if i pirate something, noone knows, except for the NSA ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 11:25am

    How come you never bring up Moises Naim, the self-declared expert on Illicit trade and terrorism when talking about this kind of issue. Moises is the editor of Foreign Policy magazine and is perhaps the most respected authority who expouses the connections between terrorism, counterfeit, and pirated goods....

    Surely he is easily refutable :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Political Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 11:45am

    It's The Oil, Stupid

    #17 nailed it.

    The goofballs in power will constantly try to sell their "war on drugs" or their war on piracy, or whatever they choose as "funding terrorism". Give me a break!!!

    Al Qaeda and other fringe groups don't need to operate crime rings to raise money. They don't need to do a "fund raiser, they don't set up a lemonade stands, bake sale, sell weed on the corner, or get a paper route.


    Rich sheiks and prices, making millions from oil extraction in their lands, like to maintain the feudal system they have in place. As such, they need to keep the populace ignorant, and they need to keep them indoctrinated and angry at someone else. Some of the oil rich sheiks fund the terrorist organizations.

    Ask yourself: is their more oil money floating around Iraq, or more MP3, filesharing, and marijuana money?

    How can our government dare even try to sell us such an obvious bunch of lies? And it works??!!!

    People, it's the oil. I don't have a solution for us. I use a lot of gas myself. But that's where the money trail ends. That's how we sell out our security. By using oil. But gas is my 'crack', I'm hooked on it...and so is our administration in a big way...and so are most of you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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