in reply to
(OT) Pending Anti-Terrorism Legislation in the US could impact us all
First of all, idnopheq, thank you for the post. I know some people are probably telling you that it wasn't appropriate, but I believe you raised some points that are important to consider.
I personally believe that, here in the USA as well as in other nations, civil liberties will be greatly affected by legislation, and the frightening part is that this act is probably going to take effect quite quickly due to the current groundswell of bipartisan "Anti-Terrorist" support.
While I certainly do think that there is a need for significant change in our domestic and international policy, this particular act is far-overreaching, and as you say, I agree that it will affect us here at PerlMonks.
We all saw what happened with Merlyn's case, and how easy it is for large corporations to misinterpret roles and responsibilities, and to lie in court to make themselves appear vigilant; imagine if this power is extended to large branches of national government. While I agree that virus authors, credit-card hackers, and 15-year-old stock market manipulators are committing crimes when they wreak havoc upon our networks, I personally think that the punishment should match the crime, and that life in prison without possibility of parole is a high price to pay for the majority of these acts.
The Anti-Terrorism Act is a high price to pay, as well; and we're going to pay with our civil liberties. If we can't get strong encryption without a backdoor, or test our networks for security problems without fear of being prosecuted, we are going to have serious trouble meeting our responsibilities as systems architects and administrators. Please, before the reflexive patriotic downvoting of idnopheq's post, think about how these things might affect you, and affect your ability to continue working in your chosen field.