Friday, November 7, 2008

How much will Biden influence Obama on privacy?

The apparent answer to that question is let's hope not very much. As time goes by I will be focusing on the future Obama administration's stance on a host of privacy issues, for now I'll admit that aside from his disappointing FISA vote, there is much I, and probably many others, still do not know.

But what is better known is Biden's rather weak record on privacy issues, including copyright law.

The "People to People" net magazine details some of Biden's more worrisome stances and how they may or may not influence a President Obama.

The site reports:

Hopefully, someone who really understands the importance of sharing and freedom of speech will make sure Obama isn’t besieged to the exclusion of all else by the powerful entertainment and software cartels and persuaded every school child needs to be familiar with the intricacies of copyright law.

And hopefully, someone will tell Obama not to listen too hard to his vice president, Joe Biden, when it comes to copyrights, privacy and associated matters. Because although the corporations would undoubtedly have preferred to see John McCain in the driving seat, they can’t have been too disappointed to find Joe Biden so close to the new seat of power.


He sponsored a bill, “that would make it a felony to record internet radio, and signed a letter that urged the United States Department of Justice to prosecute file sharers,”says the Wikipedia

Biden also sponsored two bills, the Comprehensive Counter Terrorism Act and the Violent Crime Control Act, both of which contained language effectively banning encryption. Phil Zimmerman, creator of PGP, has said it was Biden’s legislation (SB 266) that “led me to publish PGP electronically for free that year, shortly before the measure was defeated after vigorous protest by civil libertarians and industry groups.

He’s a proud founding member of the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus who’s, “helped the lead the fight against countries such as China, Russia, Mexico and India that need stronger copyright protections,” said p2pnet in August...


In contrast, “Barack Obama believes we need to update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated,” says his web promo site in which he also states:

“Let us be the generation that reshapes our economy to compete in the digital age.”

But it’s a view diametrically opposed to the approaches of the music, movie and software cartels.


Obama is in power and hopefully, he’ll be strong enough and wise enough to understand that and encourage the growth of the Internet, instead of finding ways to crush it, as have done Bush and his cronies. And Biden.

Click here to read more.

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