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  • Very Dangerous Legislation Moving Forward

    Posted by David Foster on December 30th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, writes:

    This week, a bill that would create America’s first Internet censorship system is going to a full committee for a vote, and is likely to pass.

    He is referring to the “Stop Online Piracy” act and the related “Protect IP” act. Links to information and analysis concerning these bills, for which heavy lobbying activities are underway, here.

    This is dangerous stuff, and, as Tim notes, people need to be contacting their CongressCreatures now.


    9 Responses to “Very Dangerous Legislation Moving Forward”

    1. George Hunt Says:

      Hello! I read your piece about the Internet censorship committee decision. I believe you will smell the taint of John D. Rockefeller IV (“Jay”). He was pushing for censorship about 18 months ago. His idea as I recall was to expand military and commercial presence and decrease public use. His rationale was to limit the public’s share of the Internat “becasue with the 2008 collapse and lost jobs people would rely on the Internet to communicate and it would infringe on the military and commercial usage” or something close to that. His speech about “cybernetic warfare” can be found through keywords of Jay Rockefeller Internat”. The talk I am referring to was somewhere else and I couldn’t locate it. George Hunt P.S.: Please take a look at my site “”. I just published three short videotapes entitled “Water water everywhere” which tells a mind-boggling story how the UN is ready to take control of Fresh Water.

    2. zenpundit Says:

      The Bill is akin to empowering police to shell a building with a 150 mm howitzer based on an anonymous tip that something bad may have happened in it. It’s that bad.

      No proof required. No due process. Ignores “fair use” for political, social or education. No impartial arbiter. Tramples the 1st Amendment. No recourse if your site is blacklisted based on…..someone not liking you saying you infringed copyright belonging to….someone else. You don’t have to be selling anything. Unelected government bureaucrats can shut down your site on a whim.

      We have a generation of elected officials in Congress, mostly boomers but not exclusively, who hate the Bill of Rights with their heart and souls

    3. david foster Says:

      Zen…good analogy.

      I’m not sure these CongressCreatures even HATE the Bill of Rights, they just regard it as some sort of mildly irritating antique that is irrelevant to present-day concerns. Kind of like something from your great-great-grandmother that you have to pretend to admire but mainly must ignore.

      An interesting piece in Wired, here.

    4. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Are the activities of “Anonymous” hacker group and Wiki-Leaks going to be cited as more reasons why this bill should be passed? I am not in favor of it, but I can see how supporters could use the bad actions of a very few to tar the entire internet.

    5. david foster Says:

      Note that former Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) is now chairman & CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, which is supporting the bills.

    6. david foster Says:

      Quite a few more links here.

      One of the links is to the site of Col Karen Kwiatkowski, who is running for Congress and who says:

      If passed, SOPA will dramatically increase the federal government’s role in our lives, online and offline. It authorizes the Attorney General to block websites accused of copyright infringement from search engines and ISPs. And it allows the Attorney General to “commence action” against them without a court order. SOPA will result in fewer independent websites, blogs, media sources, start-ups and tech industry jobs. And as a result, lower quality….It increases the cost of doing business for U.S. tech firms, payment network providers and advertisers. In addition to increasing legal and compliance costs for small businesses, it also increases the size and scope of the federal government.

      SOPA expands the State Department, Attorney General’s Office, Copyright Office and other agencies and creates a new set of bureaucrats. One we have never heard of before is the “intellectual property attaché.” IP Attachés will be trained and appointed to regional bureaus, embassies and diplomatic missions throughout the world. And they work with copyright holders at the expense of taxpayers. Thanks to (her congressional opponent) Bob Goodlatte, taxpayers will be footing the bill to ensure Mickey Mouse knock-offs are not brought to the US without the Walt Disney Corp’s authorization. Of course it will not work in preventing knock-offs. But it will destroy the Internet and economy.

      “Destroy” may be too strong, but this legislation would certainly do serious economic harm at a time when we can’t afford it. Even more important is the threat to civil liberties and the precedent of turning the federal government into an enforcement subsidiary for a politically-well-connected industry.

    7. david foster Says:

      I meant to include the direct link to Col Kwiatowski’s site–here it is.

    8. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Lamar Smith is apparently one of the sponsors of this dog’s breakfast – I’m in his district, and I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in him. He seemed like a very thoughtful and reasonable sort; he even showed up at one of our Tea Party meetings, and he seemed to be Tea Party sympathetic. I’ve already sent him a message as one of his constituents … hope it’s one of those that melts down his his e-mail account by Monday morning. If he carries on pushing this, I can absolutely guarantee I will vote for his next serious challenger.

    9. Tatyana Says:

      David, sorry for OffTopic: knowing your involvement in matters of college education and and anti-credentialist position – what do you think of this MIT initiative?

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