Congressman Voices Internet Privacy Concerns

Senator Brownback of Kansas, America yesterday introduced a bill which appears to address the privacy concerns voiced by many internet and P2P users over the RIAA's recent campaign against online music piracy.

Brownback said the DMCA subpoena process raises serious privacy and due-process concerns.

"There are no checks, no balances, and the alleged pirate has no opportunity to defend themselves," Brownback said when introducing the bill. "My colleagues, this issue is about privacy, not piracy.

This is the first sign of tempering the rather invasive provisions of the Digital Milennium Copyright Act by the United States legislature, and - although limited in scope - looks promising. Whether the bill will attained support, though, is difficult to predict.

In other domain names news, ICANN, the regulating authority for top-level domains, has been granted a three-year extension by the US Department of Commerce, enabling it to maintain control over the .com, .net, and .org suffixes and handle name disputes. This comes dispite extensive criticism of ICANN's dispute resolution procedures, and claims that it does not fairly represent all internet users (a claim with which, given the increasingly worlcentric nature of the Internet, I would agree).

Finally, NASA's Galileo probe will be voluntarily terminated on 21 September amidst fears it may contain terrestrial bacteria which may contaminate Io, one of Jupiter's moons, should the probe be allowed to crash land there. Instead, the USD $1.5 billion probe will make a (permanent) pit stop at Jupiter; the 127 000 km/h entry speed should vapourise the entire craft.

The end of mission event will be streamed 'live' (+/- 25 minutes or so) on the NASA webcast site, which could make for interesting viewing.