U2's manager wants the power to cut off your Internet connection

JZ sez,
The Guardian looks at the French Three Strikes law, whose final discussion will happen today in both chambers of the French parliament. I thought you might be interested into making a reply to it. It's pure mantra and doesn't talk about the most disturbing points:

- it gives the entertainment industries the power to police the internet by themselves

- the whole procedure is based on immaterial, unverifiable, unopposable proofs (IP address listings)

- you cannot claim your innocence before the sanction is ordered.

Innocents will inevitably be disconnected.

As the NYT reported today: "Nonetheless, Internet advocates call the French proposal legally unsound on the ground that there are inadequate the provisions for challenging an action, and because it gives industry groups the power to police the Internet. Others question whether the law would unfairly penalize those whose wireless broadband accounts are misused by others. The French law tries to anticipate this by making it a civil infraction for citizens to fail to 'secure' their broadband accounts by using approved filtering technology."

The Guardian piece consists of U2's manager talking about how it would be great if private corporations -- phone companies and music labels -- got the power to take away your Internet connection on the basis of unproven accusations of copyright infringement.

I've written about this subject rather a lot here (see below), but I think this is the most cogent response:

In the past week, I've only used the internet to contact my employers around the world, my MP in the UK, to participate in a European Commission expert proceeding, to find out why my infant daughter has broken out in tiny pink polka-dots, to communicate with a government whistle-blower who wants to know if I can help publish evidence of official corruption, to provide references for one former student (and follow-up advice to another), book my plane tickets, access my banking records, navigate the new Home Office immigration rules governing my visa, wire money to help pay for the headstone for my great uncle's grave in Russia, and to send several Father's Day cards (and receive some of my own).

The internet is only that wire that delivers freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press in a single connection. It's only vital to the livelihood, social lives, health, civic engagement, education and leisure of hundreds of millions of people (and growing every day).

This trivial bit of kit is so unimportant that it's only natural that we equip the companies that brought us Police Academy 11, Windows Vista, Milli Vanilli and Celebrity Dancing With the Stars with wire-cutters that allow them to disconnect anyone in the country on their own say-so, without proving a solitary act of wrongdoing.

Why France has the solution to online piracy (Thanks, JZ!)