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The Internet Government

Mexican Senator Drafts One of the World's Worst Internet Laws (gizmodo.com) 163

Kyusaku Natsume writes: This week, Mexican Senator Omar Fayad from ruling party PRI proposed a law to the Mexican Senate that would make it illegal to update your OS, disparage politicians, or become a whistleblower (Google translation of Spanish original), among other such nonsense. The poorly drafted law was written with the collaboration of the Mexican Federal Police — the agency that caused the U.S. government to cut back its financial support in the Mexican drug war because of their constant human rights abuses. Unsurprisingly, the stated goals of the law are to fight child pornography, identity theft, online bullying, and financial fraud.
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Mexican Senator Drafts One of the World's Worst Internet Laws

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  • by KatchooNJ ( 173554 ) <<Katchoo716> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday October 30, 2015 @01:28PM (#50833819) Homepage

    Wait until someone tells him about the Dark Web.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wait until someone tells him about the Dark Web.

      You mean "undocumented web"

      No wonder people want to leave that corrupt place so bad.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @01:40PM (#50833925) Homepage Journal

    Ted Cruz will create the final draft for the US senate.

  • Isn't that the same in each and every country?
    • s/government/people in power/
  • Updates are forbidden? Call it an Upgrade.

    No new taxes? No problem, call it a fee....

    See how easy this is?

    • by Buggz ( 1187173 )

      Updates are forbidden? Call it an Upgrade.

      The proposal doesn't mention updates specifically, it tries to criminalize "[disturbing] the functioning of a computer system". Performing an update is used as an example of how one could break that law, should it pass.

      • by vux984 ( 928602 )

        it tries to criminalize "[disturbing] the functioning of a computer system".

        Ok.

        Performing an update is used as an example of how one could break that law, should it pass.

        But the law, as written, is clearly *attempting* to criminalize malicious disturbance. And it's pure sophistry to argue that this should includes the lawful system maintainer installing patches and updates to maintain the system. Even if some of them require a reboot, or contain a bug that causes downtime, etc etc.

        Only a complete idiot would interpret it that way. Granted, the world is full of complete idiots, some who would derive a benefit if they interpreted that way, so they would in fact interpret i

        • by pla ( 258480 )
          Only a complete idiot would interpret it that way.

          After 9/11, we had "experts" touring the country to teach local PDs how to deliberately misuse the powers of the PATRIOT act for fun and profit.

          The problem here has nothing to do with the intent of the law, but rather, that complete idiots will end up the final interpreters of it.
  • Bunch of Lies (Score:5, Informative)

    by cayce ( 189143 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @01:51PM (#50834029)

    None of the claims in the article are true. While the draft has many inconsistencies and deficiencies (no exceptions for white hat or academic hacking among others), it does not criminalize anything of what is said in the article. Said law has been attacked heavily due to political reasons (Senator is on his way to be a governor candidate) and not because the law itself (that is really needed as there is a void in the legislation on cyber-crime that's due for over a decade).

    You have to understand the Mexican judicial system is different and laws are not interpreted in the same way as English common law (Mexico uses civil law with heavier Roman law influences).

    The wording of the law where people are claiming it would be illegal to modify your own PC, specifically words "dolosamente", which roughly could be translated to "with malicious intent". So yes, the purpose of said law is to criminalize any modifications or alterations to an information system with malicious intent, not wiping your own mobile. Both the original 3RD and gizmodo articles deliberately choose to omit that part. Which any decent lawyer or tribunal wouldn't.

    The law also provides that any of the crimes in it will be prosecuted as private crimes, where the affected part needs to press charges and can withdraw them (issue a private pardon) at any time; with the exception of crimes against public infrastructure. It also provides that tribunals & judges must be consulted by IT experts on any cases regarding the law (so interpretation of the law would be influenced by the industry professionals).

    • But if you wipe your own phone with malicious intent, that would be a crime. For example, if you were angry and threw your phone on the ground and broke it - that would be a violation.

      However, the story broke on Spanish-language sites first, so claiming that it's all down to translation errors is a little odd.

      Now, the fact that you'd have to sue yourself to be liable might present a challenge. But maybe someone with dissociative identity disorder would be willing to try.

      • by cayce ( 189143 )

        But if you wipe your own phone with malicious intent, that would be a crime. For example, if you were angry and threw your phone on the ground and broke it - that would be a violation.

        However, the story broke on Spanish-language sites first, so claiming that it's all down to translation errors is a little odd.

        Now, the fact that you'd have to sue yourself to be liable might present a challenge. But maybe someone with dissociative identity disorder would be willing to try.

        You cannot file a "querella" against yourself in Mexican law. You couldn't even begin to start the legal process, even if you could it would get dismissed ASAP.

        • Suppose you shared the device with a spouse. Would they have legal standing against you? If so, that's still not right.

          • by cayce ( 189143 )

            Why wouldn't it be right? If your spouse takes your car and maliciously destroys it. Let's say because you cheated. You would have a legal standing about the destruction of said vehicle as a criminal mischief (This figure already exists on most places).

    • The wording of the law where people are claiming it would be illegal to modify your own PC, specifically words "dolosamente", which roughly could be translated to "with malicious intent". So yes, the purpose of said law is to criminalize any modifications or alterations to an information system with malicious intent, not wiping your own mobile.

      Unless "malicous intent" is very carefully defined in the law then it could mean whatever the government wants it to mean; for example, you installing an adblocker could be construed as "malicious intent" since you'd be deliberately negatively affecting advertising companies' profits. You're very naive if you believe it wouldn't be used for such purposes.

      • by cayce ( 189143 )

        Unless "malicous intent" is very carefully defined in the law then it could mean whatever the government wants it to mean; for example, you installing an adblocker could be construed as "malicious intent" since you'd be deliberately negatively affecting advertising companies' profits. You're very naive if you believe it wouldn't be used for such purposes.

        Except it is not.

        "Dolo" is carefully explained in the jurisprudence of Mexican law and it's, more often than not, used in an exculpatory way than the opposite.

        It implies malicious intent and awareness of the crime that's being committed. Intent is a very hard thing to prove in a tribunal of law.

        And I'm not being "very naive", I understand enough of the Mexican judicial system to know how quickly a case would be dismissed if someone tried to use it for such purposes. You just would have to recourse to an "a

    • The wording of the law where people are claiming it would be illegal to modify your own PC, specifically words "dolosamente", which roughly could be translated to "with malicious intent". So yes, the purpose of said law is to criminalize any modifications or alterations to an information system with malicious intent,

      So, you can't "upgrade" someone to Windows 10?

  • Instead of fighting illegal immigration and police corruption in Mexico. The U.S. needs to bight the bullet and annex Mexico already. Mexico is like the weird uncle by marriage. He's odd and overtly inappropriate at times but he's family. And if the military tries to fight us we know we can pay most of them to switch sides.
    • The U.S. needs to bight the bullet and annex Mexico already.

      Pray tell, are you for or against social programs and a safety net for the poor? Because if you're for them, but against more government spending, you really don't want Mexico. And if you're against them, you really, really don't want Mexico. I'm slightly in favor of taking over Mexico, but you really don't want to pay for it. Cleaning up our mess down there would be incredibly expensive.

      • Just look at East Germany: the western side is still pouring money into reunification, and that's with a country that used to be part of them, where the culture is similar and the language is the same.

        This guy wants to annex a country with an entirely alien culture, an entirely different language, and all kinds of social problems?

        • I agree, the US should start by merging with Canada.

          • We just got rid of the Conservatives. We don't need the Republicans. How about we open talks to merge with Cuba?

            • You may not need the Republicans, but *we* need you guys to reduce the Republican voters to a small minority of the overall voting population.

              Or, we could have a compromise: let's break apart the US, let the South and Texas be independent, and the rest of the US merges with Canada. Maybe Mexico will try to annex the South after that.

        • Germany is not a particularly old country, I'd argue that it's only as old as 1871 in its current unified form. The idea that it must be reunited out of some tradition is unreasonable given that to date it's been in a unified state for maybe 100 years total. Germany as a nation is younger than the American Civil War, I hope that puts things in perspective. And I'm not saying a country has to be old to be unified, that obviously makes no sense as no country would be unified under that case. But that East and

          • I saw nothing in the GP that said Germany was "old", only that East and West were previously unified. The latter is a fact.
            • Unified briefly, hardly a great justification to reunify.

              • Why the fuck do they need your approval, fatty? I doubt you could even point to Germany on a map[1], so stop parroting the first thing Google throws up.

                [1] Of Germany.

          • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

            Germany, in various incarnations, is one of the oldest countries in Europe. It's just that it was not strongly politically centralized in the time that it was the Holy Roman Empire. The culture and language has been, perhaps not exactly the same, but relatively similar everywhere in the German speaking areas for centuries. Germans might live in Prussia or Bavaria or even Austria, but they know they are ethnically German because they do have a shared culture from a very long association as part of the Emp

            • Germany was nominally a region throughout the 19th century until the reunification. And the Kingdom of Germany was just one component of the Holy Roman Empire, certainly an important and central component, but is that really Germany as an independent nation or as a central state in a sprawling empire?

              Certainly a lot of German people throughout history, just like there are a lot of Celtic people and a lot of Saxon people. But I assure you there is no Celt nation that can tie itself as a direct continuation o

              • And the Kingdom of Germany was just one component of the Holy Roman Empire

                Until you grok the difference between Germany the cultural/linguistic entity and Germany the political one you're going to keep embarassing yourself.

                just like there are a lot of Celtic people and a lot of Saxon people. But I assure you there is no Celt nation that can tie itself as a direct continuation of some original nation.

                Relevance to the matter at hand: zero.

          • Oh please. Yes, Germany (and in fact most European nations) is not that old as far as a unified nation-state. Before the late 1800s, it was a collection of duchies or whatever. Much of Europe was like that. However, even if it wasn't politically united, it was culturally and linguistically united, and that was my whole point: East and West Germany in 1991 were linguistically almost the same (West had more English/American influences, East had more Russian influences), and were culturally still very clos

            • I'm not sure I agree that it was all that culturally united, having known several Bavarians.

              The nationalism isn't particularly healthy, which is one reason why they shouldn't have unified.

              Canada and the US aren't culturally all that different. I think if you went to sleep in Madison (WI) and woke up in Ottawa (ON) with a hang over you might not realize you were transported into a foreign country. (great practical joke btw)

              • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                It's a bit different up home. If I cross the border, everything is more expensive and they speak pidgin French.

                • You live in Antwerp?

                  • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                    Nah, I live in Maine. I go to to pidgin French territory in under a half-hour drive. Well, the actual journey is longer now, the border's a bit more difficult to cross. Well, not difficult, slower. I've picked up the language, to some extent, but it's been absolutely useless when I've gone to France. There are some similarities but it's damned confusing for a layman. I'm not a linguist.

                    However, if I remember properly, I think I got your humor. :D

              • by dryeo ( 100693 )

                As soon as they bought something and looked at their change, consisting of loonies, toonies, no pennies and colourful plastic they'd know. The odd American might also notice that they got too much change back too.

              • I'm not sure I agree that it was all that culturally united, having known several Bavarians.

                Bavarians are a bit of an outlier. The German equivalent of Irish jokes are about Bavarians.

                When I say Irish jokes, I mean Polack jokes. You must be an American to be so wrong about other countries and so sure you're right.

                The nationalism isn't particularly healthy, which is one reason why they shouldn't have unified.

                I don't see how that's the case - they've hardly been sticking the pointy hats on and goose-ste

                • but in any case it's not your call.

                  I dare you to try and take my right to have an opinion away.

                  • I dare you to try and take my right to have an opinion away.

                    I dare you to try and take their right to have an opinion away. You can't, haha, they already did it. Sucks to be you, keyboard ninja.

        • This guy wants to annex a country with an entirely alien culture, an entirely different language, and all kinds of social problems?

          Carly Fiorina could do it, just like she did with HP and ... umm, hang on.

          I'll get me coat.

          • I can't believe anyone actually thinks she'd make a good president. She ran HP straight into the ground; what do they think she'd do to the country?

            • Nobody remembers that. Does anybody talk about Mitsubishi's unintended acceleration problem these days?

              (Not that I buy the premise that running a business is like running a country anyway).

              • Everyone in the tech field remembers that, but also importantly, her time at HP is almost all Carly talks about in terms of her credentials, though she incredibly tries to paint it as a successful tenure.

                And don't you mean Toyota's unintended acceleration problem? People still remember that too, that wasn't that long ago.

        • We have a similar situation in the UK, except it's been going on for 300 years.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      We took Texas from them and look at the grief that has caused us.

    • Sadly America doesn't have the balls to Annex either Canada or Mexico. (The former which would be a far better fit to the culture.)

  • More and more lately I'm becoming convinced that the Internet, which at one time showed such great promise, has just become utterly useless for anything other than paying your bills and shopping -- and there are plenty of criminals out there who would ruin it for that, too.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's still a great place to look at cat videos.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Uh... Have you tried doing research with it? It's a free 24/7 tutor on any subject if you know how to parse the questions.

      • Uh... Have you tried doing research with it? It's a free 24/7 tutor on any subject if you know how to parse the questions.

        ..well, to be fair, I do research with it all the time.. but even then you have to be careful, taking everything you find with a certain amount of skepticism.

  • I can't believe that nobody's made a joke yet about how many Mexican CPUs you can fit into a microATX case.

  • I've read a lot of computer law stories recently. All of them seem to take a slant of "politicians are idiots who don't understand computers". But when I've read them, the interpretation of "tech journalists are idiots who don't understand the law" seems a much more valid conclusion.

    In most political systems, several people are involved in drafting these laws. Is it really likely that none of them thought through the possible ramifications?

    Journalists, on the other hand, tend to work alone. And they of
  • Anyone else find it hilarious that Windows 10 doesn't give a crap about Mexican laws?
  • He almost got the four horsemen of the infocalypse right. But I guess money laundering is no longer on the table, considering, well, who'd want to piss off their main money source?

  • Everyone, as in EVERYONE, would be better off without the War on Drugs. I'm sure you all know this... "Now get back to drinking beer and being fat and stupid" -- Bill Hicks, Philosophy
  • You can just pay the cops to look the other way. Business as usual.

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