Cory Doctorow

Boing Boing and the EFF label the HDC as troll-friendly

Boing Boing and the EFF don’t have much good to say about Amy Adams’ Harmful Digital Communications Act.

If you set out to create the platonic ideal of a badly considered anti-trolling bill that made a bunch of ineffectual gestures at ending harassment without regard to the collateral damage on everything else on the Internet, well, you’d be New Zealand’s Parliament, apparently.

The Harmful Digital Communications Act has been under consideration for three years, but despite a long debate, the Parliament elected to create restrictions on all online speech — from private arguments to videos of police brutality — that would never be countenanced in the offline world.

HDC’s takedown regime takes all the worst elements of DMCA takedowns — someone complains to a hosting company or ISP and they remove material nearly automatically, with hardly any consideration of whether the complaint passes the giggle-test — and makes them even worse. Under the new system, trolls who mass-dox or denial-of-service attack a victim could make all of her online presence disappear with impunity, and face no penalties at all for abusing the procedure. If the victim did manage to attempt a counterclaim to keep her online life intact, it would require that she disclose her home address and other details to her attackers.

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