A DRM MANIFESTO

2015 CINCO DE MAYO MESSAGE ON DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

For those hoping for a frothy and free-wheeling Cinco de Mayo message, this will surely disappoint.

But for those willing to consider a serious topic and take an open-minded approach, this communiqué could mark a turning point for an oft-maligned industry and provide an opportunity to act meaningfully to benefit all Internet users — and people in general.

Today's date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely triumph over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The victory represented a significant morale boost to the people of Mexico.

As noted on The History Channel, "Zaragoza's success at Puebla represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement."

And as Time Magazine remarked, "The Puebla victory came to symbolize unity and pride for what seemed like a Mexican David defeating a French Goliath."

It helped establish a much-needed sense of national unity and patriotism.

A DAVID VS. GOLIATH MISSION

In that spirit, we seek to commence an era of new industry accord and resolve for those engaged in improving the integrity, security, and value of the Internet for software development, broadband access, data storage, and content delivery; and for consumers and enterprise end-users of web-based services.

For theirs is also a David vs. Goliath mission; and it is one of seriously increasing importance to be encouraged rather than disparaged.

Unlawful attempts to justify digital infringement and disruption are now threatening far more than the economic insult inflicted by the pirating of music tracks or the hacking of company emails.

With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) heralding such advances as connected automobiles and embedded medical devices, seeking to overturn the work of those charged with protecting these data systems can result not only in data loss, but also in serious physical injury or death.

The horrors of a fatal accident as a result of a brake failure caused by compromising and sabotaging a connected car or death as a result of heart failure caused by compromising and sabotaging a connected pacemaker are all too real as we approach mid-year in 2015.

The TSA is now asking airline passengers to be on the lookout for terrorists trying to gain control of planes through in-flight Wi-Fi networks, entertainment systems, or under-seat ports; and the Department of Defense (DoD) would not even consider the deployment of military drones or missiles without encryption.

European Union authorities have projected that the first murder-by-Internet will be committed in 2015.

That this has not yet occurred is a matter more of fortunate circumstance than of effective preparedness.

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Publication Date: Martes, Mayo 5, 2015