Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Internet Censorchip


 I am given to understand that this week Congress is debating whether to grant themselves the power to censor, even completely dismantle, certain aspects of the Internet. Sites such as YouTube, Wikipedia, and of course

 If enacted, these new laws would force Internet Service Providers to block websites that any corporation suspects violates a copyright,  or even suspects doesn't monitor it's users' content close enough for copyrighted materials. That means that any website, foreign or based in the U.S., could be wiped out on suspicion and made unavailable to everyone in the world.

 I am also given to understand that, depending on how the law is ultimately worded, prison time is in the offing for those who post material offensive to the sensibilities of those companies.  People behind , for example, would be in big trouble.  This is a step towards terrorizing the people over their posted content, and certainly the loss of the Nostalgia Critic would be a shame. 

But more than that, this is a step towards greater information control throughout the Internet.  And if corporations have greater rights of self-expression than individuals (corporations are given “freedom of speech,” but you cannot jail a company) what injustices may follow?

 This is not a law begun by lawmakers interested in promoting justice.  This is a law pressed for by the lobbyists of powerful corporations who have too much influence over government, news, and media as it is.  The Internet is a threat to their monopoly of data disbursement, and they are moving against it.

 Accoding to

Both PROTECT IP Act and SOPA were drafted in order to stop online piracy with groups such as the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) heavily lobbying Congress for passage.

It is believed by many, from Google to EFF, that blacklisting sites with pirated content will adversely affect the channels of communication used by activists, rebels and whistleblowers.
While SOPA is stuck in committee, the under-the-radar PROTECT IP Act has been fast-tracked out of committee and is set to be rushed through a Senate vote, according to EFF. In the Senate, only Rand Paul, Maria Cantwell, Ron Wyden and Jerry Moran have voiced opposition to the bill.”

I have read that Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon has promised to start a historic filibuster of the Internet Censorship Act.  Apparently he will read the names of every person who signs a petition against Internet censorship. I have signed my name, using the link below, and urge all of you to do likewise.  In addition, I urge you to seek out information regarding SOPA, the other version of this bill.

Writing letters is also highly recommended.  I am composing my missive to Mister Obama even now.  And if you're afraid of getting your name on a list - and some people are - then fighting this effort and others like it should be that much more important.

There will, no doubt, be those who will say that such a law could never pass.  Not here.  Not in America.

I respectfully refer such persons to the use of sniper towers and boiling water cannons to lock out unionists at the Homestead Steel Works.  I refer them to the living and working conditions at the railroad towns prior to its being fought down by such champions as Clarence Darrow. 

I refer them to the trial of the Chicago Eight, the exploitive use of the truck system in company towns, the imprisonment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II.  I refer them to McCarthy and his infamous Black List.  And most recently, I refer them to the Patriot act and Guantanamo Bay.
Anything can happen if you let it.

“If the come for me in the morning
They will come for you at night.”

Tamam Shud,

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