Earlier this month it was announced that the G8 nations were considering a new Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement which might make it possible for airport customs officials to search for illegal downloads on iPods, mobile phones and laptops.
Think about that for a second. Recent research by the British Music Rights group found that the average teenager and student has 800 illegal downloads on their MP3 player. How many music files do you own of which you don’t exactly remember where you got them from? Ever take them with you on your MacBook or iPod when you travel? Yeah, me too.
Fortunately the chances of this actually happening are slim. That hasn’t stopped some people in the technology business to, eh, freak out. In reality the proposed agreement is aimed at larger smugglers of
illegal DVDs and other media files. As they say in the report detailing the proposal “border measures, particularly how to deal with large-scale intellectual property infringements, which can frequently involve criminal elements”.
But in theory, if the tools were there, one day it could just as well be applied to that iPhone in your pocket.