How New Copyright Laws Threaten Privacy and Freedom of Speech

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

There’s a new US bill that everyone in the privacy world should know about — it goes by the name of “Strengthening Measures to Advance Rights Technologies Copyright Act of 2022” or the “SMART Copyright Act of 2022” for short.

Although the bill is mostly geared toward tackling copyright infringement, the way it does so would have serious adverse effects on both privacy and freedom of speech.

SMART Copyright Act of 2022: Explained

The bill itself is written in legalese. But Eric Goldman – Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law – has written a clear explanation of what the SMART Copyright Act would do and why it’s so dangerous. The short of it is that the bill gives the Copyright Office power to designate the technology — “designated technical measures” (DTMs) — to be used as mandatory content filtering algorithms.

The aim of the bill is clear. It forces all the main services that you use to upload material — sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram — to install upload filters that check uploads for alleged copyright infringement. Those filters look at every upload, meaningthat everything you upload to Facebook,Instagram, and other sites is inspected.

While these checks are automated rather than carried out by humans, automated surveillance is still surveillance. In some cases, automated surveillance can also lead to excessive blocking. The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, David Kaye, wrote in 2018:

“States and intergovernmental organizations

Read more

Explore the site

More from the blog

Latest News