Who is Watching You and Poor Copyright Law Coming Soon

Tuesday, 20 May 2008
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Anybody who has been reading the paddlinginstructor.com blog for a while will know that I'm as big a computer geek as I am a kayak geek.

For our friends in the UK
Developers have recently unveiled an Anti-Phorm tool.

If you haven't heard about the controversy around Phorm, here is the quick primer. Phorm is an advertising program that uses technology to send you tailored ads after anonymously watching your web-surfing habits. A lot of privacy activities are very upset as it watches where you go and how long you sit on a site VERY closely. Also there is no way to opt out of the program. Currently two major UK ISP's have signed on and there is some debate if the program is even legal in the UK.

To fight back, an AntiPhorm group has developed a small piece of software available for download. The software fools Phorm by feeding it with false data or "noise." Basically, it runs away in the background and pretends you are out randomly surfing the web.

"It appears we can't stop your ISP tracking and selling your surfing behaviour but one solution could be to make the data they do collect absolutely worthless to their clients," the AntiPhorm site states. "We have developed AntiPhormLite to address these issues. AntiPhormLite is an application for the Windows platform designed to protect the interest of internet users and reduce the usefulness of data gathered by Phorm and others before this trend becomes irreversible."

More info: digitaltrends.com

For our Canadian friends (including myself)
You need to be very aware that that there are rumours afoot that Canadian Industry Minister Jim Prentice is going to reintroduce a US version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Some people say this could happen as soon as a couple of days for now. The bill was introduced back in December 2007 but was pulled off the table after massive public outcry.

The biggest issue with this bill that there has been no absolutely no public consultation on the proposed copyright changes, Minister Prentice refuses to meet and discuss the bill with anybody but US Lobbyists.

Cory Doctrow wrote on his blog over at Boing Boing, "He just keeps on ploughing ahead with his half-baked plan to follow the US off the same stupid copyright cliff it leapt off of in 1988 when it passed the DMCA, a law that has done nothing to reduce infringement, but which has screwed up libraries, competition, education, and has led to lawsuits against tens of thousands of ordinary citizens."

If you are a Canadian, take a look at the posting on Boing Boing as there is information about how you can make your voice be heard.

For our US Friends
You have no web problems of any kind. Carry on.

Anybody who has been reading the paddlinginstructor.com blog for a while will know that I'm as big a computer geek as I am a kayak geek.

For our friends in the UK
Developers have recently unveiled an Anti-Phorm tool.

If you haven't heard about the controversy around Phorm, here is the quick primer. Phorm is an advertising program that uses technology to send you tailored ads after anonymously watching your web-surfing habits. A lot of privacy activities are very upset as it watches where you go and how long you sit on a site VERY closely. Also there is no way to opt out of the program. Currently two major UK ISP's have signed on and there is some debate if the program is even legal in the UK.

To fight back, an AntiPhorm group has developed a small piece of software available for download. The software fools Phorm by feeding it with false data or "noise." Basically, it runs away in the background and pretends you are out randomly surfing the web.

"It appears we can't stop your ISP tracking and selling your surfing behaviour but one solution could be to make the data they do collect absolutely worthless to their clients," the AntiPhorm site states. "We have developed AntiPhormLite to address these issues. AntiPhormLite is an application for the Windows platform designed to protect the interest of internet users and reduce the usefulness of data gathered by Phorm and others before this trend becomes irreversible."

More info: digitaltrends.com

For our Canadian friends (including myself)
You need to be very aware that that there are rumours afoot that Canadian Industry Minister Jim Prentice is going to reintroduce a US version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Some people say this could happen as soon as a couple of days for now. The bill was introduced back in December 2007 but was pulled off the table after massive public outcry.

The biggest issue with this bill that there has been no absolutely no public consultation on the proposed copyright changes, Minister Prentice refuses to meet and discuss the bill with anybody but US Lobbyists.

Cory Doctrow wrote on his blog over at Boing Boing, "He just keeps on ploughing ahead with his half-baked plan to follow the US off the same stupid copyright cliff it leapt off of in 1988 when it passed the DMCA, a law that has done nothing to reduce infringement, but which has screwed up libraries, competition, education, and has led to lawsuits against tens of thousands of ordinary citizens."

If you are a Canadian, take a look at the posting on Boing Boing as there is information about how you can make your voice be heard.

For our US Friends
You have no web problems of any kind. Carry on.

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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