TechHui

Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

I would like to share with you a message from Kym Pine.  I asked her to address the concerns mentioned here on Tech Hui and she did. What she says here about legislators being open is true, her quick response to my request is a great example.  Here you go:


"Aloha TechHui members, I am writing to deeply apologize for any
offense we have caused you or your industry this legislative session.
I have whole heartily supported the tech industry for many years
including support Act 221 which allowed many of you to thrive in your
businesses.  I also support the many bills currently at the
legislature which will help you to continue to succeed.

The cybercrime bills that have been introduced this year came from
recommendations from law enforcement during a hearing on cyber crimes which occurred this last summer.  I can post the video from the hearing if this is needed.  I know that many would like to say that I
am getting back at a web designer as the reason behind all of these
bills, but this is simply not true.  It is true that my experience in
cyber crimes awakened me to the cybercrime issue and as a result I
have helped many victims get the help they need.  I have chosen to
allow law enforcement to handle my situation, and I know that in time,
my harasser will be in jail using our regular laws on the books now.

Please know that legislators welcome your input at the state capitol.
All bills are crafted by lawyers at the legislative reference bureau
and they are often written to be vague on the first draft so as to
give committee chairs flexibility to narrow the focus of the bill
based on testimony. One or two consultants from your industry advising us on various bills may not have the same opinion as another and that is why your opinion is so important.

HB2288 was a bill referred to the legislature by law enforcement who
are already working with companies that do save information to catch
serious cyber criminals.  During the committee hearing, the testimony
made it clear that this was not the solution, and I went up to the
chair and told him so and the bill did not make it out of committee.
As a result, of the hearing I have made important contacts with HiTech companies who now want to help victims of cyber crime and we will get together to see if we can do this without legislation.  This is a huge gain for cyber victims who for many years have asked for help and until now have not been listened to.

I encourage members to come to the capitol or call legislators that
may have introduced legislation that relates to your industry.  My
office is room 333 and my number is (808) 586-9730.  I will make it my personal priority to hear your concerns.  You will be surprised how
open legislators are to your ideas and how willing they are to amend
legislation to include your ideas.

I caution members however from attacking legislators personally for
introducing a bill.  90 percent of the time if you just talk to them
they will change or table a bill until the right solution is created
for a particular problem.  HB2288 is a great example.

Attacking legislators, especially well loved and highly popular
legislators like John Mizuno who wins by landslides and knows everyone in his district only makes other legislators want to support him more.  I especially worry that someone created a website in his name because now that will motivate our federal congressional delegation to make that a federal crime.

We need to lower the tone a bit and start talking about how your
industry and law enforcement can work together to help cyber crime
victims.  What has happened is that for some reason your industry has a reputation of only wanting things from the legislature and not
working with us on the things we need your help on.  Legislators have
given your industry $1 billion in tax credits which could have gone to
helping our homeless issue, paid for affordable housing, upgrades to
our schools etc.  We were highly criticized for doing this.

You could really be the heroes in all of this and I look forward to
seeing it work out that way.  You have so much to offer and I am
excited to have this dialogue with you.

Sincerely,
Rep. Kymberly Pine

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Comment by Daniel Leuck on February 20, 2012 at 9:26pm
Apologies Peter :-)
Comment by Peter Kay on February 20, 2012 at 8:42pm

Correction @Daniel: "former Republican" :). I'm an independent now. 

Comment by Daniel Leuck on February 20, 2012 at 7:47pm

Hi Daniela - Its always great to see new voices in the community, and I'm happy you've been working to connect people as well as engage Rep. Pine. As you engage with the tech community here and seek to inform people about such things as how to contact a state representative its probably useful to know that many of us have been in dialog with lawmakers in Hawaii, submitting testimony and participating in tech policy advisory groups for over a decade. Rep. Kim's colleagues such as Sen. Fukunaga, Rep. McKelvey, Rep. Ward, etc. are well aware of this. Please know that I say this to be helpful and provide context, not to disparage your efforts (which I admire.)

I've explained in detail, both here and in testimony, why I believe existing laws coupled with development agreements and public education provide adequate protection for most people. Education of the public is always helpful. Providing advice to your local chamber is helpful. Laws having any similarity to HB2762 or SB2951 are not. I've submitted testimony on many of these bills (although it is hard to keep up), I've called my local representatives and I've covered the topic on TechHui. I'm always happy to provide input and I've never personally attacked a legislator. I'm a nice guy, and I'm pretty easy to find and engage. Alternatively, I think Rep. Pine would find it particularly easy to engage Peter Kay, a fellow Republican and HIA organizer, or Jared Kuroiwa, who is very knowledgeable about the legislative process and has always favored dialog with legislators.

Comment by Karen Chun on February 20, 2012 at 1:49pm

Look, just because Rep Pine can't get fast satisfaction in her vendetta against her ex-website designer, that is no reason to put a huge layer of bureaucracy on all the web designers in Hawai'i.

I thought you GOP guys were all about SMALL government.  Not adding layers and layers of laws regulating how people do business in an area which never, to my knowlege, has created a problem before.

This is Rep Pine's problem and she created it for herself.  To use her position to "get" her website designer and as fallout, make all our lives more difficult AND expose us to the possibility of FELONY charges based only on the say-so of some client, is a failure of her duty as a lawmaker.  She should not use her position to get even with someone in her life.

It is the height of hypocrisy, to be a Republican, to advocate removing laws on businesses and then to advocate a law to fix a problem that is only in Rep Pine's mind.

Comment by Daniela Stolfi on February 20, 2012 at 1:20pm

@Daniel "Why do you or Rep. Pine feel that the details of this arrangement are the business of the state?"

I don't!  I agree with you,  I don't want anyone to tell us how to do business.  I am not against you guys here, I just don't believe that is the intention.  I am not seeing this as an assault on my business but as a way make it easier to seek justice from the existing laws.  Pine is trying to pursue her issue BUT look at how long it is taking.  It shouldn't be that way. The laws in place are not easy or cheap to enforce.  Ryan was and is currently violating copyright law.  If the system worked, then why is the content still up?

I would like to know if  you think there is a problem with people abusing the system or if you think that all people doing business in the tech industry here in Hawaii are honest?  If not,  how do  you think it should be dealt with?  Who will regulate the industry to protect it from these people? Who will protect the consumers or the victims?

My suggestion is to form a council and offer to monitor the industry, like the ODC does.  The ODC is made up of lawyers to monitor lawyers.  It should be that way for the tech industry too.  Its much needed, and you will have a voice in what happens to your peers.

"The best protection from unscrupulous web developers is simply to check references and have a good legal agreement in place....."

You would think that customers would do this.  But I find it surprisingly common that they don't.  Don't you?  At least small businesses and non profits,    I find them to be completely naive that way.  I have chaired the ecommerce committee for the K. Chamber for 3 years and I am constantly surprised at all the scams and rips offs reported to me and all the situations members get themselves into that could have easily been avoided.   They aren't stupid, we are just not considering how foreign a language the internet really is.  We can't assume that all clients should just know better.  I think its our responsibility to protect them.  I don't want people getting taking advantage of at the expense of making my life easier.

Look, these are just my opinions and my experiences, but they shouldn't be priority here.  My real hope was to just help open doors.  If these bills aren't done the way you want, then come up with ones that are.  Consider the other side, because you have to understand that in order to work with them. (you don't have to agree with, it just understand it) You only fight when you have tried and failed.  I don't think its time to fight yet. 

Now that you know what their intentions are, find the balance.   Arguing about it is really pointless.  Challenging me is pointless.  Don't waste your time on me, I am not that important.  Just take the information I am giving you and use it.  I will continue to get you answers and share what I can find out. But think about this.  If the true intention was to just railroad the tech industry with self serving policies, then no one would bother trying to communicate with you guys at all and they certainly would not give me any information or  let me sit in on any of these conversations.  Honestly, they are kind of afraid of the tech community I think.  Its just fortunate that I was in the right place at the right time and suppose I made a good impression,  ( doesn't hurt that  I am so wonderfully charming and interesting [smile] )  which opened an opportunity.   

It took me 30 minutes to get you guys a response from Kym Pine and open a dialogue and another hour to get some answers to questions people asked. I don't want to be the voice of the tech industry here which is why I am passing on the info and asking for you all to respond. The doors are open now.  So see what you guys can come up with!  I am happy to help with whatever I can.

Comment by Daniel Leuck on February 20, 2012 at 11:53am

@Daniela & @Peter - That is an excellent way to frame the conversation.

Daniela wrote: I did encourage her to create her own account so she can participate in discussion.

Thats great. I realize its not the most comfortable thing for an elected official, but a lot can be gained from direct engagement.

To all TechHuians: I suggest we reward any politician with the courage to engage directly with an especially high level of respect and focused dialog.

Comment by Daniela Stolfi on February 20, 2012 at 11:17am

Great Peter, thank you!  A good start.   I will email Pine and ask her to look at your questions although I am sure she is monitoring.  I did encourage her to create her own account so she can participate in discussion.

Comment by Peter Kay on February 20, 2012 at 10:16am

@Daniela perhaps we can start with some simple questions: 

1. What problem are we trying to solve (and lets keep it to our state for now)?

2. How much is that problem costing society?

3. What will be the cost placed on society with new proposed legislation?

4. What will be the economic and jobs impact from the proposed legislation?

It would be helpful if Rep. Pine has any documents or research addressing the above.

Comment by Karen Chun on February 20, 2012 at 9:53am

WHAT crime?  Are website designers running wild carjacking people?  What crime?

Comment by Daniela Stolfi on February 20, 2012 at 9:45am

@jared Yes, I get that, I was just trying to address the statements someone made about licensing. 

Regarding the language, keep in mind, just like Pine said, these 1st drafts are kept vague for a reason and those details you mentioned can be worked out.  Let me tell you, many of these guys are completely overwhelmed by all this.  I saw it.  I actually felt bad.  It was like recently when I was asked to explain a process to a court on a defamation case (not related to anything we are talking about here) to show them how people claim their google listings and a few other processes related to social media.  It was really hard.  I had to redo my demonstration twice.  The simplest of things were over their heads.   And this was a room full of educated intelligent people.  Even when dumbed  down to the point of absurdity, it was still not enough and in the end, I really think they didn't get it.

And yes, it would require more diligence on our part, but I don't really view that as a bad thing.  Like I said earlier, if we are doing our jobs right and taking all the steps we should be taking anyway, we should never have to worry.  Its not meant to go after the law abiding folks.  Can  it be used to go after them in some kind of crazy circumstance? Sure.  But so can just about anything else. 

I think its inevitable that new laws are going to piss people off and sometimes cause innocent people to get screwed.  Its going to always be an ongoing thing we have to watch, as the internet continues to grow and change every single day.  Just look at our copyright laws.  Those are seriously falling short now and right when they fix it, someone figures out a way to abuse it so it needs to be addressed again. People have opened up a business models using loopholes in the laws.   Example is the Copyright holders with malicious intent entrapping and extorting money from innocent infringers .  I mean who would have thought people would figure this out?? Intentionally circulating their images on free wall papers sites/stock etc so people would  use them, and then go and sue them??  Not to mention that most of these situations, the image was DL by the person they paid to do the site, but because the law states the owner is responsible they have to pay and then go after the designer in court.  Who can afford all that? In the end, the small business either pay these guys or get a lawyer or take their chances.  And the bad guys are getting away with it.  The victims don't know the law and don't realize there is some protection there.  This is an example of how a law has given lawyers and photographers a way to make way more money then they ever could before honestly, and until someone shuts this down, the good guys will continue to get ripped off.  And the worst part is that once the laws change, which it will now have to, the honest copyright holders will have to deal with a longer process making it way harder to protect their legitimate infringement claims.

NO ONE WINS. 

THIS is why its so important to focus on the CRIME.  Stop the people abusing the system, then nothing needs to change. If anyone can come up with ideas on how to do that without causing us all to be inconvenienced then great!  But I think you will find that its impossible and why these policies are not perfect. 

I agree with you all, nobody wants anything to change, none of us want the government crawling around in our underwear.  I just don't see any other way to protect victims and ourselves at the same time.

I agree this whole thing needs work, so lets fix it!

I think what would be great for everyone to propose solutions.  Rather than attacking what was done, and trying to just shut it down, write up what you all think should happen.  Now that you all know what their goal is, (which is crime)  come up with suggestions on how to address the criminal aspect in a way that you feel protected.  Its a challenge, a

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