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Canadian Copyright Lobby Fights Anti-Spyware Legislation 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the stop-being-jerks dept.
An anonymous reader writes "New Canadian anti-spam and anti-spyware legislation is scheduled for a key vote on Monday. Michael Geist reports that the copyright lobby has been pushing to remove parts of the bill that would take away exceptions which currently allow spyware to be installed without authorization. 'The copyright lobby is deeply concerned that this change will block attempts to track possible infringement through electronic means.' There have also been proposals to extend the exemptions granted to telecom providers to include the installation of programs without the user's express consent, which Geist says will 'leave the door open to private, surreptitious surveillance.'"
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Canadian Copyright Lobby Fights Anti-Spyware Legislation

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  • Let me guess... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday October 16, 2009 @11:14PM (#29775583) Journal
    Either overtly, or in practice, this demand for private surveillance powers would cover them putting spyware on my machine; but not my putting spyware on their machines....
    • Re:Let me guess... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by polle404 (727386) on Friday October 16, 2009 @11:23PM (#29775605)

      and next term, they'll have it amended with a nifty little clause, so you're not allowed to uninstall it, either, i'd wager.
      scary stuff...
      and I thought Canadians were the levelheaded ones of that particular continent? ;-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Mashiki (184564)

        Wonder how it'll fair against the privacy act, considering it would fly afoul of the retention of data w/o consent.

      • by Voulnet (1630793)
        As long as US lobbyist money can reach over there, it is just a matter of time... .. Just a matter of time until the lobbyists just can't afford to waste anymore money against the internet folks.
        • by Rix (54095) on Friday October 16, 2009 @11:34PM (#29775661)

          Lobbyists are not allowed to give any significant amount of money to politicians in Soviet Canuckistan. Bribes "political contributions" are limited to a few thousand dollars and are stringently regulated.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Jerry Smith (806480)

            Lobbyists are not allowed to give any significant amount of money to politicians in Soviet Canuckistan. Bribes "political contributions" are limited to a few thousand dollars and are stringently regulated.

            And no lobbyist has ever broken that rule, or circumvented it? /innocent

            • And no lobbyist has ever broken that rule, or circumvented it? /innocent

              There is a big difference between subverting/bending a rule, and deliberate open bribery. THE former can be dismissed as an ethical error, the latter is not a good idea, as if discovered, can come back and bite those involved in the arse.

            • Sure, it's occasionally discovered that politicians or parties got some kickback money but from what I can tell of US news, it's much less extensive here. The $1000 cap limits overt lobbying and corruption scandals are few, generally involving small contracts rather than legislation.
            • If they have more money that they're allowed to, they're in deep shit.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by AHuxley (892839)
            a few thousand dollars by a few thousand Canadians and your into significant amounts of money.
            Never forget the lure of a job after politics, scholarship for family, friends.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Lobbyists are not allowed to give any significant amount of money to politicians in Soviet Canuckistan. Bribes "political contributions" are limited to a few thousand dollars and are stringently regulated.

            So? You want to know how this works around here (many European countries)? Politicians get exclusive vacations after which they change their agenda by 180 degrees. Or they get very high-paying "consulting" contracts. Or once their term is over, they end up in a high-paying position in a company of their choice.

            Anti-corruption laws are made by politicians for politicians. They cannot work.

          • by yamfry (1533879)
            Well, there are certainly rules. Despite these rules, former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney ended up collecting $300,000 in envelopes stuffed with cash in secret hotel room meetings [www.cbc.ca] as kickbacks while he was in office. We only know this because he got caught.
          • Actually by law lobbyists in Canada are not allowed to give any money to a politician. Neither are corporations, unions or any other organization only private citizens and they can only donate about 1300 dollars per year.
          • All politicians are corrupt or they wouldn't be politicians.
          • by Nikker (749551)
            Bribery can also involve something other than money. As a Canadian I can say pretty much each one of our Prime Ministers (equiv to President) has been found out after they left to using their powers to get massive estates built, pushing tax payers money in the form of legislation into the hands of friends and of course lofty and well paid positions within the Government. In politics it is not really about the size of the cheques it is the power transferred. In Canada we just seem to have more effective "
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by haruchai (17472)

        We were, mostly levelheaded until the right-wing nuts managed a takeover of the center-right - sound familiar?
        Then the centrist and center-left basically fell apart and, shockingly, the only thing preventing the minority government
        from gaining a majority, which would really screw anyone who gives a damn about basic freedoms, global warming,
        equal rights and transparency in government are the Quebec sovereignists.

        Scary times indeed.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by TermV (49182)

          Your comment might me more insightful except for the fact it's the so-called right-wing nuts proposing the anti-spyware legislation and the so-called level-headed left trying to gut it.

          Let's dispense with the American-style left vs. right. The Canadian Liberal party has not put forth a platform that's fundamentally any different than the Conservatives. They both occupy the EXACT same spot in the political spectrum with a teeny little bit of left/right wiggle room. The Liberals were actually quite conservati

          • by haruchai (17472)

            You've got it slightly backward. The Conservatives have been soft-peddling a compromise agenda because it's been clear that they weren't about to win a majority government.
            Right now, they're sitting pretty sweet so I foresee them starting to push their true agenda more strongly, daring the fractured Opposition to trigger an election.
            I'm not so sure about the the right and left comparison between our politicos and those of the US.
            It does seem that the biggest difference is the leverage of the moneyed interes

        • by yanos (633109)
          While I agree with your post, I think it should be noted that there's alot of people who vote for the Bloc without being sovereignists. The sole purpose of this party is to defend Quebec at the federal level, which unfortunately seems like a much, much better deal than the two other "big" party.
          • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            While I agree with your post, I think it should be noted that there's alot of people who vote for the Bloc without being sovereignists. The sole purpose of this party is to defend Quebec at the federal level, which unfortunately seems like a much, much better deal than the two other "big" party.

            What, are you a Bloc'ist?

            I hate the term "Sovereigntist" it couches the argument in "we didn't lose the war" perspective.

            Bloc'ists are pure seperatists, who do their best to play down Seperation and all that it will mean if Quebec ever leaves.

            I for one, say shit or get off the pot. God damned Traitors.

          • by KillerBob (217953)

            Most of the people in this country don't distinguish between the Bloc Quebecois, which is, as you say, a party whose sole purpose is to defend Quebec's interest at the federal level, and the Parti Quebecois, to which the separatists belong. While it's true that many separatists belong to the Bloc, it's not in their party constitution or published ideals to pursue sovereignty, though preservation of Quebec's identity as a nation (in a similar way to that which the natives enjoy) is.

            Nation, in this case, refe

        • by malkavian (9512)

          Interestingly, in the UK, we've found that since the Left (Labour) came in, we've seen the expansion of initiatives that track and scrutinise the populace (eletronic sensors in the bins to see what we throw away, pervasive CCTV, speed cameras, databases of just about everything, Phorm for the online tracking given the green light and so on).
          It's not a 'right v left' thing methinks, it's a lobbying and corruption thing. Oh, and also an ignorance thing. If someone presents a package and an argument as to wh

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        and I thought Canadians were the levelheaded ones of that particular continent? ;-)

        Sadly, I'm afraid that this bit of legislation is being pushed in conjunction with US/global media interests -- many of our media are somewhat in bed with US corporations, and they all have the same agenda of reserving the right to control anything which might even remotely be used to infringe on their money stream.

        Those companies have been driving getting this kind of thing installed into law in other countries for a long ti

    • by mpe (36238)
      Either overtly, or in practice, this demand for private surveillance powers would cover them putting spyware on my machine; but not my putting spyware on their machines....

      Even if you've caught them infringing your copyright
    • "Either overtly, or in practice, this demand for private surveillance powers would cover them putting spyware on my machine; but not my putting spyware on their machines...."

      There's already spyware on your machine, it's called Anti Virus software :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      It's getting to be a pretty good argument for abandoning Windows. I'm pondering a BSD machine with Firefox and P2P software running in jails, so even if the program itself had some sort of catastrophic security problem that allowed RIAA, the MPAA or whoever else (FBI, CIA, whatever) to throw in some spyware (if any of these guys even know what FreeBSD is), it would be pretty damned useless.

    • The first thing to type on any machine is perhaps: "My typing is copyright by me and any duplication, disclosure or transmission without my express written permissions is punishable by law".
  • by Voulnet (1630793) on Friday October 16, 2009 @11:25PM (#29775621)
    The more spyware and copyright lobbyists get mentioned together in legislation environments, the better. Since the majority of the folks in the judicial system are not tech-savvy, this may be a good chance to print a very bad (and true) trait on the operations of the copyright lobby.
    • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Saturday October 17, 2009 @12:16AM (#29775807)

      I think corruption is only a partial explanation for these terrible laws.

      As we age, through repetition, our worldview becomes burned into our minds like a phosphor afterglow on an old CRT. We then tend to face novel situations by constructing analogies between them and our ingrained repertoire of concepts, which explains the prevalence of car analogies for computing. But like all analogies, these are imperfect, and when aged lawmakers try to legislate based on these analogies, we get bad policy [wikipedia.org]. Thus, to get truly effective policy, we need people who have an innate understanding of the subject: as the cynical old saying goes, "change comes one funeral at a time."

      By the way: when will people start using computer analogies to explain cars?

      • by KlaymenDK (713149)

        By the way: when will people start using computer analogies to explain cars?

        Soon. As soon as it's the *other* kind of driver that's to blame for the *other* kind of crashes (quite possibly followed by the regular kind).

      • by Wildclaw (15718)

        I watched one of Adam Curtis documentaries, and I liked what one of the people that got interviewed said. The below is from memory so is probably not 100% word for word.

        - Corrupt is your word. It isn't the word I would use.
        - What word would you use?
        - They were seduced.

        It just hit spot on. People are seduced by ideas and once it becomes ingrained into their minds, it is very hard to see the problems with the idea. It must be a good idea because it sounds so good, and if you just look around you can see all t

    • True, that.

      I don't see how *anyone* could get a positive of someone who's trying to fight anti-spam and anti-spyware. Sure, the majority of the population is probably more than a little hazy on spyware, but spam? That one they know, and can't possibly like.

      Let them talk, and just keep asking "so basically, you're fighting to *allow* spam and spyware? You must really not have the common good in mind, eh?"

  • reported a man who had been following the bill. "Soon we're hoping to pass laws that will prohibit the distribution of malware, drugs, and fatal blows to the face."
  • the copyright lobby has been pushing to remove parts of the bill that would take away exceptions which currently allow spyware to be installed without authorization

    Warning: summary makes little sense. This says there is an exception allowing uninformed installation of programs, and that the copyright lobby is against the exception. According to the article, the copyright lobby is trying to add an exception to allow certain programs to be installed in this manner. If you read the summary expecting the copyright lobby to support bad things, you'll read the summary as it should read.

    Maybe it's a ploy to trick us into actually reading the article.

    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      Mod parent down! He can't read, he's wrong and he's an idiot.

      Despite all that, he's managed to be +5 insightful.
      • by jesset77 (759149)

        Ah ha, but you can't trick me into modding this comment as you'd like.

        It's a trap! Don't mod the article as the author urges you to! ;3

        FYI: yes, I am stacking more double negatives just to see if you'll react in an amusing manner. :3

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AHuxley (892839)
      The copyright lobby is pissed. They want to go fishing. The law would allows them to sneak but only collect data within limits, if they stumble over your emails ect, it gets very tricky.
      They want sneak and peak open season.
      If their "off the rack", one size fits all IP hunting Windows backdoor application gets all your data, so be it.
      If they have to stand in open court and explain case by case how they 'protected' personal information during and after the hacking, it spoils the fun of the rapid IP to c
    • This says there is an exception allowing uninformed installation of programs, and that the copyright lobby is against the exception.

      No - quite the opposite, in fact. It says that the copyright lobby is against removing that exception. The summary states this quite clearly.

      Maybe it's a ploy to trick us into actually reading the article.

      Failing to comprehend the summary (which was not awful, for a change) does not bode well for comprehension of the article.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Inschato (1350323)
        As the law stands now, they can install spyware without authorization.
        The bill would change this.
        They're trying to remove that part of the bill.

        Got it?
    • by selven (1556643)

      The copyright lobby has been pushing to stop the taking away of exceptions (ie. they want the exceptions in there). It is a needlessly complicated sentence.

  • .....Or Doo be doo be doo

    - Frank Sinatra

  • Shame? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by divisionbyzero (300681) on Saturday October 17, 2009 @07:40AM (#29776821)

    Do these RIAA and MPAA have no shame? Seriously. How can they ask for these things with a straight face? Must be desperation in the face of an obsolete business model.

  • There are only two cases I can think of where someone should be allowed to be installed on your machine:

    1) it's not really your machine. For example, if a lending library loans out PCs, or your employer gives you a PC, the owner has rights.

    2) pursuant to a judicial order with the same or higher standards as voice wiretapping

    Some people would say #2 isn't legitimate

  • In several US states, including California, this is already law. In fact, the proposed changes are word-for-word ripped from the California lawbooks. This exception is needed or else people could press criminal charges against Sony. Since they're pushing for these laws, you have to assume that any music CD you buy will infect your PC with a virus, and any RIAA-member musician's website is also designed to infect you with viruses in order to monitor the usage of your computer and report on any illegal dow
  • It's no great surprise that the pro-copyright crowd, RIAA, MPAA, etc. would have criminalistic tendencies -- after all, it's all over the news, and this story is just the icing on the cake: they openly want to be allowed to conduct themselves in such a way that anyone else would be immediately jailed and prosecuted for. I say round all of them up and put 'em in jail now.

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