Tuesday, 31 January 2012

First SOPA and now...ACTA

With the positive news of the US backing down over SOPA and PIPA barely fading from our minds, there is now ACTA.  This is a proposed global treaty which the EU is considering ratifying which would effectively allow corporations to police the internet and prosecute or close down those sites they considered had infringed copyright or harmed their business.
This obviously leads to the same issues as SOPA, the shutting down of protest, information sharing and e-activism.  Along with the co-option of site owners as tools of the corporate state.
As with SOPA I am strongly against this.  

I believe that the internet is an invaluable tool for democracy, news and skill sharing etc.
In the face of the oncoming crisis we must not be left ignorant and voiceless. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Sorry but you can't read this!

On the 24th January, The US congress is to vote on SOPA and PIPA two proposed pieces of legislation ostensibly to stop copyright piracy and intellectual theft.  However the proposed legislation raises very serious concerns. 
Under the proposed legislation, sites would have to check all user submitted content and could face shutdown if found to be infringing copyright or such.  This would have really huge effects on e-activism, for example Greenpeace has famously used Nestle's KitKat logo and Mattel's (chainsaw) Barbie as part of its campaign to highlight rainforest destruction.  It would make things like Adbusters subverts illegal.  It would effectively give much of the power to police the internet into the hands of corporate America. 

The freedom and power of the internet in helping to promote global change and awareness of the oncoming crisis and its causes is absolutely vital. 
For this reason I oppose SOPA and PIPA.  

There are some suggestions for action here  and a petition  to the State Dept for those of us outside the US here

Friday, 6 January 2012

New year 2012

So it is now 2012. 
So far:-
 The EU Carbon tax on aviation is proving unpopular.  The Guardian reports that China's 4 leading airlines are saying that they will not pay charges levied.  This is not a good precedent.  The tax is unpopular in Australia and in the US.  With a Presidential election this year in the US, their response remains to be seen. 

Chatham House has published a report  which claims that the "just-in-time" model of business leaves the UK vulnerable to extreme events and that the UK could only deal for about a week of disruption in the face of a High Impact Low Probability event, before facing possible collapse.  This is disturbing when you consider the recent IPCC report on extreme weather events and climate change.  As Oxfam makes clear in its Media Briefing, Extreme weather endangers food security.  

With the recent extreme weather in the UK, economic outlook for the coming year not seeming so positive and with the ever looming peak oil, our vulnerability seems starkly highlighted. 

We must build community resilience now, we must adapt for the future.