reports that you should Call
Your Senators Today: Tell Them To Vote Against Censoring The Internet.
(emphasis mine) [my comment]
Call Your Senators Today: Tell Them To Vote Against Censoring
from the make-this-stop-already dept
As mentioned last week, there's a big push going on by the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce (the largest lobbying organization in the world) to get PROTECT IP voted on and approved in the next few days or weeks. Some in the Senate leadership have decided that with everything else going wrong in the economy these days, they can repackage this as a "jobs" bill, and pretend that they're "helping the economy." Of course, nothing is further from the truth. PROTECT IP (PIPA) is a sure jobs killer in that it will significantly hinder innovation on the internet, including those responsible for millions of new jobs over the past decade. On top of that, IT WILL SET UP THE VERY FIRST MASSIVE INTERNET CENSORSHIP PROGRAM WITHIN THE US. It's hard to see how that's helpful for jobs at all.
The backers of this bill are hoping that since SOPA is even worse than PIPA, there will be less protest and some may see it as a "compromise." That's ridiculous. It's a very dangerous bill that will have long-lasting consequences. If you're an American citizen and believe in the importance of innovation online, today is the day to call your Senators. The folks at Fight for the Future have set up a very easy system to do that. You just put in your info, and it will first give you a quick summary of key points, and then connect you to your Senators. If the Senate realizes that the public really is against this bill, then hopefully they'll finally dump it.
New York Times reports about Stopping the Great Firewall of America.
Stop the Great Firewall of America
By REBECCA MacKINNON
Published: November 15, 2011
China operates the world’s most elaborate and opaque system
of Internet censorship. But Congress, under pressure to take
action against the theft of intellectual property, is
considering misguided legislation that would strengthen China’s Great Firewall
and even bring major features of it to America.
The legislation — the Protect IP Act … has been introduced in the Senate, and a House version known as the Stop Online Piracy Act. … The solutions offered by the legislation, however, threaten to inflict collateral damage on democratic discourse and dissent both at home and around the world.
The bills would empower the attorney general to create a blacklist of sites to be blocked by Internet service providers, search engines, payment providers and advertising networks, ALL WITHOUT A COURT HEARING OR A TRIAL. The House version goes further, allowing private companies to sue service providers for even briefly and unknowingly hosting content that infringes on copyright — a sharp change from current law, which protects the service providers from civil liability if they remove the problematic content immediately upon notification. The intention is
same as China’s Great Firewall, a nationwide system of Web censorship, but the practical
effect could be similar.
Abuses under existing American law serve as troubling predictors for the kinds of abuse by private actors that the House bill would make possible. Take, for example, the cease-and-desist letters that Diebold, a maker of voting machines, sent in 2003, demanding that Internet service providers shut down Web sites that had published internal company e-mails about problems with the company’s voting machines. The letter cited copyright violations, and most of the service providers took down the content without question, despite the strong case to be made that the material was speech protected under the First Amendment.
The potential for abuse of power through digital networks — upon which we as citizens now depend for nearly everything, including our politics — is one of the most insidious threats to democracy in the Internet age. We live in a time of tremendous political polarization. Public trust in both government and corporations is low, and deservedly so. This is no time for politicians and industry lobbyists in Washington to be devising new Internet censorship mechanisms, adding new opportunities for abuse of corporate and government power over online speech. …
The Digital Journal reports that Blacklist Bill allows Feds to remove websites from Internet.
Op-Ed: Blacklist Bill allows
Feds to remove websites from Internet
By Nancy Houser
Oct 27, 2011
The House version of the Internet Blacklist Bill was released October 26, 2011, with no effort to fix problems that existed in the Senate version. A violation of the First Amendment, it is contrary to official positions of internet freedom and censorship.
“Under the Internet Blacklist Bill — S.968, formally called the PROTECT IP Act — the Department of Justice would force search engines, browsers, and service providers to block users’ access to websites that have been accused of copyright infringement — without even giving them a day in court.” (Demand Progress)
The S.968 bill is considered dangerous and short-sighted due to its broad writing that covers a multitude of issues, bringing danger to not only Internet security but is considered a serious threat to free online speech and innovation. The Censorship-galore Department describes it as an attempt to build the Great Firewall of America, requiring service providers to block access to certain websites.
With the Internet Blacklist Bill literally shoved through the House, those same copyright holders will be able to cut off advertising and payment processing to such sites. WITHOUT COURT REVIEW.
EFF.org reports that Disastrous IP Legislation Is Back - And It's Worse than Ever.
Disastrous IP Legislation Is Back – And It’s Worse than Ever
October 26, 2011 - 4:08pm
By Corynne McSherry
We’ve reported here often on efforts to ram through Congress legislation that would authorize massive interference with the Internet, all in the name of a fruitless quest to stamp out all infringement online. Today Representative Lamar Smith upped the ante, introducing legislation, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, or “SOPA,” that would not only sabotage the domain name system but would also threaten to effectively eliminate the DMCA safe harbors that, while imperfect, have spurred much economic growth and online creativity.
As with its Senate-side evil sister, PROTECT-IP, SOPA WOULD REQUIRE SERVICE PROVIDERS TO "DISAPPEAR" CERTAIN WEBSITES, endangering Internet security and sending a troubling message to the world: it’s okay to interfere with the Internet, even effectively blacklisting entire domains, as long as you do it in the name of IP enforcement. Of course blacklisting entire domains can mean turning off thousands of underlying websites that may have done nothing wrong. …
But it gets worse. Under this bill, service providers (including hosting services) would be under new pressure to monitor and police their users’ activities. Websites that simply don’t do enough to police infringement (and it is not at all clear what would qualify as “enough”) are now under threat, even though the DMCA expressly does not require affirmative policing. It creates new enforcement tools against folks who dare to help users access sites that may have been “blacklisted,” EVEN WITHOUT ANY KIND OF COURT HEARING. The bill also requires that search engines, payment providers (such as credit card companies and PayPal), and advertising services join in the fun in shutting down entire websites. In fact, the bill seems mainly aimed at creating an end-run around the DMCA safe harbors. Instead of complying with the DMCA, a copyright owner may now be able to use these new provisions to effectively shut down a site by cutting off access to its domain name, its search engine hits, its ads, and its other financing even if the safe harbors would apply.
And that’s only the beginning: we haven’t even started on the streaming provisions.
We’ll have more details on the bill in the next several days but suffice it to say, THIS IS THE WORST PIECE OF IP LEGISLATION WE'VE SEEN IN THE LAST DECADE — and that’s saying something. This would be a good time to contact your Congressional representative and tell them to oppose this bill!
the Business Software Alliance now backpedaling on SOPA support (Ars
European Parliament joins criticism of SOPA (Macworld UK)
Congress seeks to tame the Internet (Salon)
Filtering and Blocking Closer To The Core Of The Internet? (Intellectual Property Watch)
Why SOPA Will Destroy the Internet As We Know It (The Faster Times)
The US joins China in censoring the Internet (The Voice of Russia)
SOPA Could Kill the Internet: Experts (TheStreet.com)
INTERNET CENSORSHIP IS ALREADY GETTING WORSE
Technorati reports that Google Censorship Rising Faster Than Ever.
Google Censorship Rising Faster Than Ever
Author: Stephen Alexander
Published: November 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm
Google is rapidly becoming the internet police in regards to censorship on the internet. Google has complied with nearly two-thirds of the requests for removing content between January and June, according to a recent transparency report. As compared to the previous reporting period this is an huge increase from the lowly forty percent rate.
The report said that there were 757 items to be removed by request and 92 content removal requests from government agencies and courts. The reasons for removal range from allegations of defamation, copyright, privacy, and security. In addition, there are claims that content is unlawful as hate speech and pornography.
INTERNET CENSORSHIP LOOKS LIKE
Economic Policy Journal reports that Deepcapture Web Site Shut Down.
Saturday, October 22,
Deepcapture Web Site Shut Down
[deepcapture.com = GATA (in terms of credibility)]
The web site, Deepcapture.com, founded by Overstock's Patrick Byrne to battle and report from an anti-short seller perspective, parts of the Wall Street underworld, appears to be shutdown.
According to Stockwatch.com, Vancouver promoter Altaf Nazerali has won a court order that has at least temporarily shut down the deepcapture.com website. He complained that the site, which
purports to expose[s] stock
market wrongdoing, posted material portraying him as a
criminal and a fraud artist [HE IS
A CRIMINAL AND A FRAUD ARTIST!]. The
order, handed down in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on
Wednesday, Oct. 19, instructs the
site's host to block access to any material referring to Mr. Nazerali and
prohibits the domain's registrar from allowing a transfer of the domain.
While it is not clear how much of deepcapture.com directly referred to Mr. Nazerali, ATTEMPTS TO ACCESS ANY PART OF THE SITE ONLY RETURNED A BLANK SCREEN ON FRIDAY. THE ORDER WAS GRANTED WITHOUT ANY PRIOR NOTICE TO DEEPCAPTURE.COM. …
My reaction: Congress is considering misguided
legislation will set up the very first massive internet censorship program
within the US.
1) The bills, PROTECT-IP and SOPA, would empower the attorney general to create a blacklist of sites to be blocked by Internet service providers, search engines, payment providers and advertising networks, all without a court hearing or a trial.
2) private companies will be able to sue service providers for even briefly and unknowingly hosting content that infringes on copyright.
3) This is the worst piece of IP legislation we've seen in the last decade.
4) Google censorship is already rising faster than ever.
5) PROTECT-IP and SOPA would require service providers to "disappear" certain websites, effectively blacklisting entire domains.
6) The deepcapture.com has already been "disappeared" from the web. (I will write more on naked short selling in a later entry)
7) Today is the day to call your elected representative tell them to vote against censoring the internet.
Conclusion: The two biggest, most enduring, and most credible “conspiracy” websites in the financial world were GATA's website (Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee) and DeepCapture.com (about illegal naked short selling). Now one of those two is gone.
It appears that in there desperation to keep Americans unaware its rampant corruption, the government is now trying to simply censure the internet. If those two bills above pass, it won’t be long before GATA's website and MarketSkeptics.com end up like DeepCapture.com, A BLANK SCREEN.