Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

August 20th, 2001 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Land of the free

No ideal is more treasured in the United States than liberty. Give me liberty or give me death. Yada yada yada. Whatever. It’s all bullshit.

Freedom is a doormat to commercial interests. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act not only frequently makes it illegal to exercise your right of fair use, it makes it illegal to talk or write about security technology. As amazing as it might seem, in this country there are things you can write or talk about which will land you in jail, and the people who got this law enacted are movie and media distributors. You have a constitutional right to publish and sell information on the manufacture of biological and chemical weapons, but if you write about security holes in encryption in a software product, you can go to jail.

Want to have anal sex in the privacy of your own home? That’s illegal in 14 states. It may not be enforced often in those states, but it remains on books, waiting to be used by an overzealous prosecutor. You can’t even live with your lover in seven states. Don’t even get me started about homosexuality, or non-vanilla sex. I’m just grateful people aren’t being rounded up.

The U.S. also feels its laws should apply to everyone on the planet. If you are a foreign national, doing something perfectly legal in your home country, like writing a program, if it’s illegal in the U.S., come here and you could be arrested for it. Imagine if China did this. Every person who’s ever written a word about democracy could be arrested upon entering that country. Or if European countries started arresting people who own guns when they land, even though they aren’t carrying it. After all, in many countries, buying a gun is a crime.

Seems the only way the U.S. is “liberal” compared to other democracies is in arming ourselves to the teeth. Oh lucky us. No blow jobs, you can get arrested for writing, but damn it, you may have yourself a gun.

What a wild and wacky constitution.

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