BARACK OBAMA has chosen one of the most rabid pro-music and film industry senators in the business to be his running mate in the forthcoming presidential elections.
Joe Biden has been selected as Obama's choice for vice presidential candidate over the weekend.
While his boss might have glowing credentials on technology, Biden has spent most of his career allied with the FBI and copyright holders. He ranks toward the bottom of CNET's Technology Voters' Guide, and has come up with some of the worst anti-privacy legislation.
Biden has been one of Hollywood and the recording industry's biggest fans and has been working to expand copyright laws. In 2002 he tried to make it a felony to trick certain types of devices into playing unauthorized music or executing unapproved computer programs. The law was caned by almost every technology outfit in the land and was quietly dropped.
Later he wrote to the Justice Department demanding that it use taxpayer money to do the work of the RIAA and MPAA to drag P2P users into court. Fortunately this was ignored by the DoJ.
Last year, Biden sponsored an RIAA-backed bill aimed at restricting Americans' ability to record and play back individual songs from satellite and Internet radio services. This was in support of his chums at the RIAA who were suing satellite radio companies at the time.
Biden has refused to answer questions on technology. This might have something to do with the fact he supports Internet taxes and censoring libraries and schools, which is a wee bit different from Obama's official stance.
He has also sponsored the anti-privacy Violent Crime Control Act which was anti-encryption and demanded users turn over encryption keys to the government. It was a reaction to this bill, which failed, which lead to the creation of PGP.
In 2001 he took the FBI's stance during the debates on the Patriot Act although this changed last year when Democrats wanted to embarrass President Bush over warrantless wiretapping. At the time his conversion on the road to Damascus was seen as trying to court liberals in his party at a point where he was thinking of running for President himself.
He seemed to go back to his own ways recently when he demanded the government spend $1 billion in US tax dollars so police can monitor peer-to-peer networks for illegal activity.
As far as Net neutrality is concerned, Biden has stood back claiming it was not necessary to have laws to protect it.
Fortunately the history of US Vice-presidents usually indicates that they are not there to actually do anything unless the President is shot, or caught assisting in a burglary. µ
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