Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Right to Assemble, Fundamental Rights of Ownership, and Many Other Rights Are Under Attack

Are we still human? Or just numbers on a system somewhere?

Summary: Techrights will be dealing a lot more with erosion of what people have come to assume were "rights" (real rights, such as human rights, labour rights, not copy "rights" or patent "rights"); when rights are reduced to rubble the long-term consequences are severe, shows history

A COUPLE OF HOURS ago we released the second episode of TechBytes (for this season). Coming up next is a bunch of Met memoirs and those merit many future episodes, especially in light of 'police state' creeping in fast, with new and oppressive laws being rushed through...

Music BabylonThe United Kingdom (UK) isn't particularly unique in that regard. Under the veil of national health crisis each and every nation took some personal liberties away, sometimes for unjustifiable purposes and reasons.

At the moment, there are also interesting developments around ownership of games (with Atari/MAME you at least keep the media, e.g. binaries, cassettes), ownership of software, and general control over both games and software. Consider Valve DRM and Stadia games, Microsoft monopoly (now they just offer 'passes', not binaries), DRM integrated into gaming consoles, and all sorts of other 'developments' which curtail rights of ownership...

Where are we going with all this? Are people being reduced to mere tenants? Universally?

One WayThose of us who still talk about these issues (or are being talked down on) are likely to become more vocal. The urgency grows. RMS, who was undermined by corporate shills donning an "open source" hat (open 'core', openwashing etc.), is going to speak tomorrow. It'll be a virtual talk in the UK. I've met RMS several times in the UK and he seems to like the country, albeit he's really concerned about authoritarianism creeping/settling in. This isn't the same UK he knew decades ago. Nowadays, in London at least, you cannot even go on a subway or a bus without giving your identity. You cannot pay cash and hop aboard. They don't allow that anymore. But here in Manchester it's still possible to pay with cash for public transport, albeit other issues have surfaced during lock-downs. Basically, they're trying to compel people to get "apps" (i.e. purchase so-called 'phones') and in some places it's no longer possible to pay with cash, not even for a bottle of water or a little piece of pastry.

Technology has a lot to do with all this. As noted above, a lot of that boils down to digital payments, subscriptions, Internet connection and so on. The Web has many issues as well. As somebody put it a few hours ago: "Today we have what I term the "HTTP monster". A handful of oligarchs have now ceased [sic] the whole of the internet, have turned it into government spying shit, the telemetry is out of hand and propaganda is the norm."

"Where are we going with all this? Are people being reduced to mere tenants? Universally?"Technology can be a force for good, but it also poses a risk to human rights (on many levels). In our articles and podcast (or "audiocast" as we prefer to call it; "pod" is a misleading term) we intend to explore this issue again and again. Tim has a lot of experience in that area, so his insights are invaluable.

As for myself, I have seen many examples of human and labour rights being crushed at the EPO. That helps put things in perspective.

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