New Zealand's "anti-piracy" law destroys net neutrality

New Zealand’s Parliament has done much more than outlaw the sharing of copyrighted material with their recently adopted legislative amendment.

The government must now force all internet service providers to police their user base for bit torrents. Aside from the immediate cost to service providers, this will have far-reaching economic effects. The slowed growth of internet infrastructure will ultimately hurt all of New Zealand’s online business. This is an affront to a nation that is faced with economic crisis.

This policing of “pirates” will destroy the individual rights to privacy of law abiding individuals. Bit torrents are home to vast quantities of perfectly legal material in the public domain. Those who use bit torrents for any kind of material will become subject to intense surveillance of all their internet activities.

Not stopping at torrents, those who simply use too much bandwidth will be first warned and then charged with steep fines. Under the guise of “anti-piracy,” New Zealand has thrown away net neutrality. On September 1st, 2011, bandwidth will become a taxable commodity for New Zealand.

This same tactic, if proven viable, will likely be applied by other governments all over the world.

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    Update on PlayStation Network and Qriocity
    + Posted by Patrick Seybold // Sr. Director, Corporate Communications & Social Media
    Thank you for your patience while we work to resolve the current outage of PlayStation Network & Qriocity services. We are currently working to send a similar message to the one below via email to all of our registered account holders regarding a compromise of personal information as a result of an illegal intrusion on our systems. These malicious actions have also had an impact on your ability to enjoy the services provided by PlayStation Network and Qriocity including online gaming and online access to music, movies, sports and TV shows. We have a clear path to have PlayStation Network and Qriocity systems back online, and expect to restore some services within a week.

    We’re working day and night to ensure it is done as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and feedback.

    Valued PlayStation Network/Qriocity Customer:
    We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19, 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network. In response to this intrusion, we have:

    Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;
    Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and
    Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.
    We greatly appreciate your patience, understanding and goodwill as we do whatever it takes to resolve these issues as quickly and efficiently as practicable.

    Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, out of an abundance of caution we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may have been obtained.

    For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information. Sony will not contact you in any way, including by email, asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. If you are asked for this information, you can be confident Sony is not the entity asking. When the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services are fully restored, we strongly recommend that you log on and change your password. Additionally, if you use your PlayStation Network or Qriocity user name or password for other unrelated services or accounts, we strongly recommend that you change them, as well.

    To protect against possible identity theft or other financial loss, we encourage you to remain vigilant, to review your account statements and to monitor your credit reports. We are providing the following information for those who wish to consider it:

    U.S. residents are entitled under U.S. law to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus. To order your free credit report, visit [Spam Removed]

    We have also provided names and contact information for the three major U.S. credit bureaus below. At no charge, U.S. residents can have these credit bureaus place a “fraud alert” on your file that alerts creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity prior to granting credit in your name. This service can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name. Note, however, that because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, it also may delay your ability to obtain credit while the agency verifies your identity. As soon as one credit bureau confirms your fraud alert, the others are notified to place fraud alerts on your file. Should you wish to place a fraud alert, or should you have any questions regarding your credit report, please contact any one of the agencies listed below.
    [Spam Removed]
    You may wish to visit the web site of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission at http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft or reach the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 or 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580 for further information about how to protect yourself from identity theft. Your state Attorney General may also have advice on preventing identity theft, and you should report instances of known or suspected identity theft to law enforcement, your State Attorney General, and the FTC. For North Carolina residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 9001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-9001; telephone (877) 566-7226; or http://www.ncdoj.gov. For Maryland residents, the Attorney General can be contacted at 200 St. Paul Place, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202; telephone: (888) 743-0023; or http://www.oag.state.md.us.

    We thank you for your patience as we complete our investigation of this incident, and we regret any inconvenience. Our teams are working around the clock on this, and services will be restored as soon as possible. Sony takes information protection very seriously and will continue to work to ensure that additional measures are taken to protect personally identifiable information. Providing quality and secure entertainment services to our customers is our utmost priority. Please contact us at 1-800-345-7669 should you have any additional questions.

    Sincerely,
    Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment

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