The NZ Police raided a house yesterday and arrested some people. Around the same time US authorities shut down a popular website, Megaupload
The first sentence is commonplace, we all know the NZ police love to raid homes (mostly rentals) and arrest people, hey its part of their job. In this case it was an extremely luxurious rental to be sure (thanks Chrisco!). Normally its for life threatening crimes against humanity such as growing herbs in the backyard or holding audio tapes from conversations made by corrupt politicians. This time however it was because they had been working with US authorities in a timed attack on internet freedom under cover of protecting copyright.
The arrest of the people running MegaUpload was quite nicely timed in the middle (well nearing the end) of the debate around SOPA/PIPA (though the spectre of terrible internet controlling legislation will be around for awhile yet). The arrests speak further to the propaganda of ‘stopping piracy’ when really whats at stake are our internet freedoms.
So to the point really, why are the NZ police involved? Lets get political for a second, this article on Stuff by Henry Cooke, has him getting ahold of some politicians and asking them what they thought of the bill (or trying to). It will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that Gareth Hughes had the best of the responses; ‘He called the bill “draconian,” mentioned how much “fear and uncertainty” it would cause, harming innovation throughout the world, and “would like to see the New Zealand Government [...] express concern through diplomatic channels.” He also mentioned the New Zealand Copyright Act and how legislators with “limited knowledge of the internet are regulating it with chilling implications.” He tweeted today that the Green Party website will be blacking out in protest.’
Labour MP and party IT spokesperson Clare Curran didn’t come out against the bill directly (correct me if I’m wrong) which is standard fare from Labour, all sizzle no sausage. Although, they have retrospectively come out against the ‘Skynet’ bill (which they voted for in the first place allowing it to pass) Labour and it’s MP’s are guilty of being just as un-knowledgeable as some of the rest of the worlds politicians when it comes to ‘Teh Internetz’. Cracks me up. Still, better than nothing from Labour though eh?
Speaking of nothing, National MP Amy Adams, National’s Technology spokesperson, came back to the poor bloke with nothing, not even a ‘Thankyou for your email but we receive a lot of correspondence and no matter what the public say we’ll do what we’re told by large corporate interests‘ type email. Pretty lame if you ask me. But as one of the commenter’s on that same Stuff article points out, that’s standard fare for National, ignore it and hope it goes away, or if it doesn’t, change a law under urgency. No surprises there. If Labour dressed up and took the odd free dinner date from US corporate interests every once in awhile for the sake of ‘beneficial mutual relations’, then National goes straight to bed and skips the foreplay. National and the US are more like best mates than Labour and the US, which at least have a love/hate relationship. Read Nicky Hagers book ‘Secret Power‘.
I won’t get into the other parties,
National ACT MP John Banks couldn’t rub two internetz together to start a book burning fire and unconfirmed sources report United Future MP Peter Dunne may still be using Windows NT. Hone wouldn’t have a bar of it I’m sure, he gets it, and NZ First would probably need Curwen’s help to get their head round it.
So back to the NZ Police raiding the homes of ‘internet criminals’, oh wait they were providing a service that non-criminals used too? And now the whole future of the cloud is at stake? Noone wants to upload their files anywhere, legal or not, if the government keeps on shutting down every site that hosts ‘em and then steals them all, like some sort of modern day pirates plundering booty to take back to their island where they amass their riches, oh wait… SNAP! Talk about double standards!