Amazon vanishes 1984 from citizen Kindles

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Welcome to the brave new world of cloud computing. When everything - even the books you read - relies on your Net connection, you own nothing and have no presumed rights, you only have those rights that you can afford to assert after the fact. No court is needed to sieze your property, no injunction can act quickly enough to prevent your business documents being deleted from the cloud, no police have juristiction over the foreign servers that leak your personal details to anyone with the money to pay for them.

Imagine what happens to kindle users who have a large library of out-of-copyright books when the US government decides to retroactively extend copyright again. Suddenly, all your books go up in electronic flames. And what about other legally owned books that someone decides are not legitimate reporting but slander and gets a court to order the withdrawl of that book - or sections of that book - from circulation? History and journalism are wiped out in the blink of an eye. If you happen to have the book open at the right page, will you actually be able to watch the words morph into the new reality in real-time?

As we move more of our lives online we give more and more power over our lives to the people who control the Net and the various websites we start to rely on, yet they have no responsibilities to us. This is not a good way to run a free society. It is, however, a great way to run a totalitarian one.


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