Three New Laws Affecting the Internet

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The World Wide Web, or more commonly known as the Internet, has transformed our lives and the way we live. Be it just casual social networking, watching movies, listening to music online, or professional business needs, we invariably turn to the Internet to fulfill our needs. In fact, the Internet has become so intrinsic to our lives that we just cannot imagine a single day without it.

Although the Internet offers a wide range of services and facilities that we can make use of, there are certain limitations though, as to how we utilize those services. There are some unwritten rules and codes of conduct to be followed while using services such as discussion forums, or social websites, and downloading files or software. However, not abiding by such rules and overtly exploiting the Internet’s services have prompted governments world over to make and implement laws in order to stop online piracy and over exploitations.

Still some of the laws that have been passed are very controversial and are debated very hotly, raising questions on the very purpose of those laws. A few such laws and the effects they are going to have the way we use Internet in our daily lives are discussed below.

Three Laws That Affect Our Lives
The British government has passed its much-awaited Digital Economy Bill and it has instantly become a subject of big debate as to whom it really favors and for whom it is not favorable. Along the same lines, the US government has also passed the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Digital Economy Bill
Every individual who uses the Internet regularly can easily recognize the word file sharing or file downloading process. It is just a process of transferring a file from the host domain to the users IP address. It is almost an everyday event in this new age of technology; we do it all the time, when we download an mp3 file or a video album. Now, the new Digital Economy Bill considers this an illegal act or piracy, acting against people who indulge in such acts. All such downloads shall be recorded by the ISPs, which are, in turn, are obligated by the Bill to notify such infringements to the copyrights owner.

CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act)
Lawmakers from the United States of America are introducing this bill. The bill is so intrusive in the context of privacy that any federal agency can monitor and censor anything that they may deem necessary. Under CISPA, the FBI or any such federal agency can demand any kind of private information from the ISP (Internet Service Providers) without any warrant, judicial or legal process.

Tax Downloads
Many states in the United States of America, such as California, and The District of Columbia, are implementing taxation on digital downloads, such as music files, movies, and electronic books. Under this proposed law, every time a person buys music from iTunes, Yahoo Music Unlimited, or even Amazon.com, the person is liable to pay sales taxes for the same.

Bottom Line
With governments all over the world trying to limit the freedom of the general public using the Internet for recreational, personal, or business purpose, many have expressed their opposition to these types of Bills and Acts of law. However, it has to be seen how the governments react and whether they consider such appeals put forth by the people. On one hand, these bills and acts are attempting to foster the age of what the governments deem proper usage of the Internet and ensure copyrights are maintained. On the other hand, there are people, who believe that laws affect the Internet infringe on the freedom of speech of the public, and also does away with privacy rights that Internet users ought to have.

Author Bio: Andrew Deen is a writer who produces informative articles in the field of law. This article was created to explain new Internet related laws and to encourage further study with a Masters in Law.