Saturday, November 12, 2011

Speed Cameras and So-Called "Intellectual Property"

One may not think that concerns over speed cameras can be associated with the inappropriate protection of so-called "intellectual property", but they can. The association is the implementation of "automated" justice.

A Washington Times editorial on speed cameras writes: "The editorial writes: "Traditional law-enforcement duties are best performed by men, not machines. This is the case in Maryland, where speed cameras continue to pronounce the innocent guilty, regardless of mounting evidence that the measuring devices are faulty.  ... In a May 24 letter, Mr. Warrington explained his interest in addressing reliability problems was not ensuring justice but “how we can optimize the productivity of our camera.”" (emphasis added)

Concerning the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) Larry Downes wrote in CNET that: "It creates vague, sweeping new standards for secondary liability, drafted to ensure maximum litigation. It treats all U.S. consumers as guilty until proven innocent. If passed, the bill would give media companies unprecedented new powers to shape the structure and content of the Internet.... He argues that SOPA effectively introduces new monitoring requirements for all websites that allow user content, even comments posted to blogs. Rightsholders, Sohn wrote, need only "a good faith belief that a Web site is 'avoiding confirming' infringement, and they can demand that payment systems and advertising networks cease doing business with the Web site.""

Like the speed camera silently monitoring traffic, the ISPs are under ever increasing pressure to monitor (spy on) user traffic for the sole purpose of maximizing some entity's assertion for profit, not for ensuring justice. Furthermore, the concept of "due process" is being diminished through the imposition of "automated" justice.

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