Can you please hand over all electronic devices that you carry with you, Sir? I need to check them thoroughly for copyright infringing material, terrorist activity and pornography. Is that a video of you and your wife, wow that looks hot. Is that the new song of Madonna? Do you have a receipt for it? No? Well then we have to destroy the device and you have to pay a fine. This way please, Sir.
I'm feeling like the protagonist in Orwell's 1984 only that we do not have a thought police yet. The so called Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was leaked to the Wikileaks website yesterday. If it comes into effect, it will expand the role of Canadian border guards to search electronic devices for copyright infringing material. This includes searching notebooks, PDAs, mobile phones and mp3 player. I'm not yet sure how someone would be able to judge if a song is copied from an illegal source or legal source to the mp3 player but those that proposed this agreement surely think that this is possible.
This new agreement is not practicable at all. Besides the problem of identifying copyright infringements in the first place this would also mean a serious delay for everyone traveling to Canada carrying an electronic device. I find it unbelievable that the music and movie industry is pressuring politicians into making such laws and that politicians are giving in to these demands.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.