Archive for November, 2011

Stop Internet Censorship

From OMG!Ubuntu:

The “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) bill, combined with the PROTECT IP Act, will give the U.S. Justice Department the power to force ISPs to block access to any website that is suspected of hosting or linking to copyrighted material.

This means self-declared “rights-holders” will be able to go after the disputed sites’ hosting companies; search engines that do not filter them out; and payment services that support them. As the writer for OMG!Ubuntu put it:

“From YouTube to Wikipedia; if it’s accused then the lights go out.”

All of this will be without due recourse. Apparently, according to the MPAA and other outfits that back this bill, “innocent until proven guilty” is no longer in operation.

To make matters worse: because much of the internet’s hosting and hardware is located within the U.S., SOPA will cause the internet of the rest of the world to be policed by the U.S.

Thankfully, there is opposition. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia and other technology companies have sent an open letter to ranking members of the U.S. Congress, saying in part:

…the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of web sites. We are concerned that these measures pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation, as well as to our Nation’s cybersecurity. We cannot support these bills as written…

The online campaign group Aavaz has an online petition which people from all over the world are being asked to sign. It will be delivered to the U.S. Senate before the bill is voted on later this month:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet_d/?ciSZkcb

Another way to fight this censorship is at americancensorship.org.

Please help us fight censorship before it is too late.

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