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A right conclusion for the wrong reasons: ‘Say no to asbos for downloaders’

November 20, 2009

by Charlotte Gore
from The Guardian

At 33 years old I’m more Generation X than Generation X-Box. I’m too old to be one of the new wave of “digital natives” who’ve never known life without the internet, but I’m just about young enough (and geeky enough) to consider myself an enthusiastic immigrant. I moved in about 13 years ago, and if I could swear an oath of allegiance to some Head Of The Internet State, I wouldn’t hesitate.

Sadly there is no president of the internet, which is a shame because it means I’m stuck with my British passport instead. And relations between Britain and the internet have been strained of late.

Lord Mandelson is seeking to grant himself significant powers in the fight against copyright infringement – the ability to do just about anything so long as it’s in the interest of protecting copyright, and without having to go through parliament.

This is disturbing not just because it represents a triumph of executive power over the normal democratic process, but also because it also reflects the increasing hunger our politicians have to control the internet. For the politicians that’s a hopeless dream, but the damage they can do in the trying is real. more

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