Saturday, October 13, 2007

The War Against File Sharing Is Just As Crucial

Remember a time when the United States actually needed a good reason to put economic sanctions on a country, like when the country's overlord was killing his own citizens with sarin gas? Well, those times are gone.

The United States has witnessed how awesomely effective economic sanctions has proven to be in the past. We have all watched third world commoners go hungry and have flies crawl around on their eyebrows and die of AIDS, terrorism, and failure while their despotic leaders grow more corpulent and continue spraying them with sarin gas. Economic sanctions are generally based on the idea that a dictator that is evil enough to kill his own people would suddenly start being deeply troubled by these same people dying of hunger. In reality, it just creates a society where the dictator keeps all he can get for himself and his people get whatever's left over. It works out great for said dictator because America is killing his people in a far more drawn-out, painful and humiliating way so he doesn't have to waste all his sarin gas. Apparently I have an unhealthy affinity for the words "sarin gas."

With the situation in the Middle East pretty much under control, the United States has moved on to combating new and far more pressing crimes against humanity, namely online file-sharing. I mean, killing people with sarin gas is one thing, but it's pretty much a victimless crime. The only people really affected are poor people that no one cares about in some country that has only existed in the public's mind in the past fifteen years or so. Online file-sharing, however, affects very important people in very serious and quantifiable ways. By "very important people," of course, I mean "the people who get rich arbitrarily from someone else's hard work," and by "very serious and quantifiable ways," I mean that "said rich people are convinced they're not getting quite as much richer as they believe they're entitled, by an indeterminate factor through unsubstantiated means." So as you can see, when compared to a cruel tyrant killing his own people via inhuman methods, online file sharing is right up there on the list.

It's no wonder, then that the United States and the World Trade Organization threatened
economic sanctions against Sweden a while back for harboring the creators of a website that acts as a search engine for torrent files, many of which are of copyrighted material, though a fair percentage of which are actually public domain. The funny thing is, though, that despite the action the country was brought to through the threat of stiff economic penalties, the reportedly raided "Pirate Bay" website is still active. So despite all the time and effort and expense the country's justice department put toward raiding the website, which could have been better spent on combating actual criminals or real cyber crimes like proliferating child pornography, they succeeded in accomplishing a great deal of absolutely nothing.

It all goes to show you that the battle against the tech-savvy is being led by technologically incompetent, bitter, old, rich businessmen and politicians who refer to the Internet as a series of tubes and believe they're fighting a singular, corporeal entity with antiquated laws instead of a vast international network of slick, subversive computer programmers. What's next? Are we going to wage an imperialistic war on Sweden? I believe that's the next step America takes when economic sanctions fail, even if we can't fully substantiate that they have.

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