The Obama administration is now recommending higher penalties for what they call copyright violations, stealing trade secrets and corporate espionage. They’re also recommending that they give the government more power to conduct wire tapping to investigate these crimes. This is of course presented in a manner that may seem legitimate initially; however a closer review may indicate that they are doing more to attempt to protect the corporate profits at the expense of the public again.
(First posted on Open Salon May 23 2011)
To read the white paper from the White house on the subject see this PDF file. (may take a minute to download) I have drawn some additional conclusion that haven’t been directly admitted to on the white paper; however I believe the past actions of the government and the multinational corporations indicates they’re justified. Feel free to check the facts and come to your own conclusions.
They claim that the counterfeiting of drugs is dangerous to consumers once again; and that increasing the penalties for this will work as a deterrent. This claim is an old claim however it hasn’t proven to be a valid one in many cases. In fact at times the legitimate drugs have proven to be faulty and in some cases the drugs from Canada have been safer and cheaper due to the Canadian laws.
They also claim that the creation of these counterfeits may be creating an underground for criminal organizations; this may be true to some degree but it is the intellectual property laws themselves that are driving the prices up so much that it makes it so profitable. The US government has at times financed some of this research and they still let the drug companies keep the patents and charge excessive prices. In a sincere democracy the fact that the government is subsidizing the drug companies by giving them money for research, letting them have patents with extended times and protecting their right to secrecy at the expense of the vast majority of the public would be considered criminal activity; however since the corporations have corrupted the politicians they create laws that make this corrupt activity legal. I have gone into greater details about copyright and patent laws, that amount to corporate welfare, in my previous post about Copyright violators being thought criminals and the follow up copyright bureaucracy.
It is worth considering just who these laws will be designed to prosecute if they are put into place; or whether they may effectively suppress education and make it tougher to research whether the corporations and the government are using secrecy that is increasingly being protected by law to conduct illegal activity. There have already been many examples of corporations that have used trade secrets and attorney client privilege to cover up illegal activity that isn’t supposed to be protected by these laws. These laws are designed to make sure that it is much tougher to hold those in power accountable by keeping more secrets and intimidating those that might dare to blow the whistle on illegal activities. The laws are supposed to protect mainly the business people that have an enormous amount of power already and in many case they may have gained that power because they kept their illegal activities, possibly including economic espionage, secret and used this secrecy to run more honest businesses out of business.
They also donate an enormous amount of money to campaigns. If history is any indicator of how they’re enforced the people that donate money to campaigns almost certainly will not be prosecuted but those that don’t may be. These laws may continue to do more to keep an enormous amount of information primarily from the public. If we had a sincere democracy and a truly open economy there would be no need for all this secrecy in the first place. As indicated in a previous post proprietary information is by definition a conspiracy. These laws are only intended to strengthen the laws that have already been depriving the consumers and the workers of the information they need to make important decision. The only people who are supposed to have access to the information they need to make important decisions are often the most powerful businessmen and politicians or other connected people. This isn’t the way any sincere democracy is supposed to be run.
Obama and all other candidates working within the current system have to collect an enormous amount of money in order to have a chance at winning and the only way to do that is to collect it from the corporations and on top of that they have to support the current media system which is also corrupt and has been consolidated. In order for any sincere candidate to have a chance we need to have a system that is controlled by the public. The best way to do this may be to have an Educational Revolution that teaches the public how to participate and leads to Election Reform and a system controlled by the public not the corporations. These increased secrecy laws are designed to make this even harder.
This was brought to my attention at another board; to read the original post and response see this ATS string.
(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)