"Le rêve de Steve Jobs était d'enfermer l'humanité dans son système, celui des successeurs de Bill Gates de contrôler votre ordinateur (Windows 8), celui des gouvernants semble être de vous interdire l'accès au hardware de votre computer. Bof, je serai mort avant qu'ils y arrivent ces cons ... Finalement le cryptage à la Dotcom, même s'il est imparfait, ce n'est pas anodin si cela montre aux gens que la cage est ouverte et que l'on a pas besoin d'être un spécialiste pour en sortir." ("Mandrin 45").
|(Credit: U.S. Department of Justice)|
Human Rights Lawyer Explains Why He's Working For Kim Dotcom: Exposing American Corruption
from the corruption-laundering dept"We recently wrote about how Kim Dotcom has retained famed human rights lawyer Robert Amsterdam to explore whether or not there's a human rights angle to his case, specifically alleging 'contract prosecution' by the entertainment industry. I'm still somewhat skeptical that such an argument could go anywhere, but Amsterdam himself has put up a rather detailed blog post, explaining why he's taking the case, which may seem quite different than his usual fare: taking on corruption and human rights violations in far flung parts of the world, including Africa and Latin America. After highlighting the many problems with the case (and the continued failures in court to date), as well as the close ties prosecutor Neil MacBride has with big copyright holders, he points out that he sees some serious similarities to what's happening here with the kind of corruption he's witnessed in third world nations.
This case highlights not only the issue of 'state capture' by the Hollywood lobby, but at the same time should lead to a thoughtful discussion on how we define corruption. No one would venture to allege that there is any form of cash payment taking place when official bodies appear to act at the behest of special interests motives. Because that’s not how these groups work.That is, he appears to be aware of the nature of corruption laundering that's going on -- using the close connection between big businesses and governments to create laws where people can make the case that cracking down on some behavior is necessary to stop crime, but where the details show it's really about cracking down on competition and innovation.
It is a demonstration of the growing ambiguity of the lines between regulators and the regulated, and the proper role of intellectual property in the digital age. As we’ve seen in the sad and tragic case of Aaron Swartz, for whom Prosecutor Carmen Ortiz was seeking 13 criminal charges and more than 50 years in jail, the American justice system is increasingly flawed by this prosecutorial exuberance aimed at future political reward.
It is one thing when the victims of these abuses are American citizens, who live at the whim of an unaccountable prosecutorial machine driven by personal political ambitions and an appetite for headlines. It is something else entirely when these prosecutors visit their ambitions upon foreign citizens, charging them with heinous crimes with no basis under law, even if that person has never once set foot inside the United States (like Kim Dotcom).
And, he notes, this sort of activity is a huge stain on the US and the federal government:
With this attempt to 'colonize' the global internet under U.S. laws, Washington is quickly making a bad name for itself, and putting its considerable influence on the wrong side of digital rights, free markets, and competitive innovation. They do this in the name of protecting a broken business model, subsidizing monopolies, and seeking to destroy crucial online functions instead of adapting to the incredible opportunity afforded to them through mass connectivity. We deserve better, we can do better, and everyone can benefit from a more reasonable approach focused on the best interests of the public, not the best interests of lobbyists and the politicians in their pockets.Even if there isn't a legal human rights angle, it should be interesting to see what Amsterdam turns up. This growing recognition of how laws are created to benefit legacy players, and then used against innovators, is a real problem. Shining more light on that would be tremendously helpful in actually promoting important innovations." (Source).
We see this as a grand ideological debate with far-reaching implications, and sadly, my lengthy experience in countries where special interests control the levers of power may have some utility here.