I took a little time out of my day today to send a fax to Bill Huckabee, the governor of Arkansas to register my anger about a new bill (HB 2361) passed by the state legislature which would “amend the criminal laws pertaining to cable television and communication services”. Below is a copy of the fax sent to the governor via the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is trying to curb our rights and freedoms with this legislation. If it is passed, we, as individuals, and even corporations and educational institutions would not have the right to encrypt our own data, including e-mail nor would we be allowed to set up home fire walls to protect ourselves from intruders. The MPAA is trying to strip these rights from the citizens of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. I expect more states will be placed in the cross hairs soon enough.
So, if you are in one of the states mentioned above, take a couple of minutes (really, that’s all it took me) and fill out the short form to let your government know that you oppose the legislation:
Remember, faxes and calls have much more impact than e-mails. The forms above will let you send a fax from the Web at no charge to you.
Message sent to Governor Huckabee
State of Arkansas
State Capitol Rm 250
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Dear Mike Huckabee,
I am writing to ask you to oppose HB 2361, titled “AN ACT TO AMMEND THE CRIMINAL LAWS PERTAINING TO CABLE TELEVISION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES.” This legislation appears to be based on a model bill that has been quietly proposed to many state legislatures by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). HB 2361 would dramatically expand the power of entertainment companies, ISPs, cable companies and others to control what consumers can and can’t connect to the services for which we pay. If enacted, it will slow innovation, impair competition and seriously undermine consumers’ right to choose what technologies they use in their homes.
HB 2361 would criminalize many legitimate uses of digital technology. Widely-used home networking equipment could be banned because it often includes features that incidentally conceal the origin and destinations of Internet communication. Some forms of encryption for email and web traffic might be banned. The use of software by corporations to secure communication with off-site employees would also be unacceptable. Products like Anonymizer that aim to protect the privacy of Internet users against advertisers like Doubleclick might also be imperiled.
The proposed legislation will also chill legitimate computer security research. This proposed state “super-DMCA” bill will make it unlawful to develop or possess the tools that security researchers need in order to carry out their work. In addition, the statute interferes with a researcher’s ability to publish the results of her research by banning the distribution of “plans or instructions” for making an “unlawful access device.”
The MPAA has circulated a “one-pager” (available at http://www.eff.org/IP/DMCA/states/mpaa2_1apr.php) explaining in vague terms that HB 2361 is necessary to “update” existing state laws to address the problem of “Internet piracy” and “cable theft.” Copyright infringement and cable service theft, however, are already clearly prohibited under existing laws, both state and federal. State super-DMCA measures such as HB 2361 are redundant and unnecessary as penalties for Internet copyright infringement or cable service theft.
For a more detailed analysis of the flaws in this legislation, I invite you to check out the white paper produced by the Electronic Frontier Foundation at:
HB 2361 is unnecessary, overbroad and harmful to the public interest.
As a constituent, I urge you to protect my rights and veto this awful legislation.
Gravette, AR 72736