The Null Device

With the cyber-liberties movement's eyes focussed on cryptography bans and a new focus on national security above all else, the SSSCA looks set to sail through Congress, all but unopposed. The SSSCA is, of course, the bill which makes copy control mechanisms mandatory in all digital devices, and makes manufacturers of copy-controlled systems exempt from antitrust laws (essentially guaranteeing a monopoly to Bush campaign donor Microsoft). And once it's law in the US, it will affect the rest of the world. Even if it's overturned five years later, the damage will be irreparable, with the probable extinction of non-trivial free software on widely-available platforms and the "de-commoditisation" of Internet protocols. If you're in the US, call your congressperson -- for your only hope for a future!

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