An onrush of condemnation and criticism kept the SOPA and PIPA acts from passing earlier this year, but US lawmakers have already authored another authoritarian bill that could give them free reign to creep the Web in the name of cybersecurity.
As congressmen in Washington consider how to handle the ongoing issue of cyberattacks, some legislators have lent their support to a new act that, if passed, would let the government pry into the personal correspondence of anyone of their choosing.
H.R. 3523, a piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short), has been created under the guise of being a necessary implement in America’s war against cyberattacks. But the vague verbiage contained within the pages of the paper could allow Congress to circumvent existing exemptions to online privacy laws and essentially monitor, censor and stop any online communication that it considers disruptive to the government or private parties.
Now this is how piracy should be viewed! Thank you, Joss Stone!
Joss Stone, who won a Grammy last year, loves music, but hates the the music industry. In a recent interview she said that – unlike herself – most artists are brainwashed by the industry, and she encouraged people to share her music.
After the show a reporter asked her what she thinks of piracy, and people who download her songs off the Internet. Her response baffled the reporter, as she simply told him: “I think it’s great…” There was an awkward silence for a few seconds, the reporter probably expected to hear something else from her. “Great?,” he said.
“Yeah, I love it. I think it’s brilliant and I’ll tell you why,” Stone continued. “Music should be shared. […] The only part about music that I dislike is the business that is attached to it. Now, if music is free, then there is no business, there is just music. So, I like it, I think that we should share.”
“It’s ok, if one person buys it, it’s totally cool, burn it up, share it with your friends, I don’t care. I don’t care how you hear it as long as you hear it. As long as you come to my show, and have a great time listening to the live show it’s totally cool. I don’t mind. I’m happy that they hear it.”
Stone went on to say that most artists have probably been “brainwashed” by the record labels, when they discourage their fans from downloading music. Of course, Stone is not the only artist who actually wants people to share their work. Last year rapper 50 Cent made some positive remarks about filesharing, and Nine Inch Nails takes it even further, as they upload their music onto BitTorrent sites themselves.
Internet arms race
The redundancy of so much online content and of connectivity routes makes the Internet resilient to physical attacks, but a much more serious threat to its status quo existence is government regulation or censorship. In the early days of Egypt’s Arab Spring uprising, the government of Hosni Mubarak attempted to shut down the country’s Internet in order to cripple protesters’ ability to organize; it did this by ordering the state-controlled Internet Service Provider (ISP), which grants Internet access to customers, to cut service.
Sorry I’m not sorry, Lamar Smith.
While that’s not a total death blow to the idea, it seems that us Internet types led the two bills to get a nice, long vacation. Adios, mofo.
Nona Willis Aronowitz for GOOD magazine. Read up before it’s too late, friends.
What would a post-SOPA internet look like? Here’s a glimpse of a dystopian future.
- Let’s start with the personal: Your Tumblr, Twitter feed, or Facebook page could be “executed” at any time. A fair number of us have online homes these days, whether it’s a Wordpress blog with half a dozen readers or a Twitter page with half a million followers. If you happen to post copyrighted material on one of these sites—and you almost certainly do, especially if it’s not monetized—your domain could be blocked, just like that. In the past, the copyright holder could invoke the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which would warn the site to take the material down. There are no such warnings with SOPA.
- Google searches would never be the same. Search engines are slanted as it is, burying certain sites they deem inappropriate or irrelevant. SOPA would put this bias on steroids. Any site that may contain copyright-infringing material wouldn’t appear in the search results. Even direct searches for domain names may turn up blank pages. Worst of all, the decision to block content is at the discretion of the internet service provider, leaving little recourse if a site owner believes he’s been blocked unfairly.
- It could create sneaky company wars, and ideological ones, too. Not everybody would post copyrighted content on a site accidentally. Rival companies could try to snuff out each other’s sites by posting illegal content in their comments and on their forums. And what about political or religious crusaders? Anti-abortion activists could write a copyright-violating comment on Planned Parenthood’s blog to shut the site down. Creationists could write a letter to the editor of an online science magazine that’s riddled with plagiarized content. President Obama’s staff could post copyrighted paragraphs on Mitt Romney’s site. And so on.
- Wikis and photo sites would be things of the past. Who would risk exposing a site to literally billions of users who could accidentally or deliberately post copyrighted content? Wikipedia, Wikileaks, even Flickr and other photo sites would be too much of a liability for site proprietors.
- And more.
SOPA Blackout Aims To Block Internet Censorship Bill
“Thousands of websites, including some of the most popular, are going dark today to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, which is designed to thwart copyright infringement but that Web experts warn could threaten the functionality of the Internet.
Encyclopedia giant Wikipedia, popular news-sharing site reddit, browser pioneer Mozilla, photo-sharing favorite Twitpic and even ICanHazCheezburger.com are blocking access to content throughout Wednesday, symbolizing what the bill may allow content creators to do to sites they accuse of copyright infringement. Other websites, including Google, are expressing solidarity with the protests by featuring anti-SOPA content on home pages.
The online protests are being joined by a physical demonstration in New York City, where thousands of representatives from the city’s tech industry plan to demonstrate outside the offices of Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.),co-sponsors of the Senate version of SOPA, beginning at 12:30 p.m. As pressure has mounted, both have expressed willingness to compromise.
SOPA would give both the government and major corporations the power to shut down entire websites accused of copyright infringement with neither a trial nor a traditional court hearing. The legislation is aggressively backed by Hollywood movie studios and major record labels, along with several major news providers, including Fox News and NBC-Universal, which have largely shied away from coverage of the bill.
The burst of opposition to SOPA and its Senate companion, Protect IP (or PIPA, for short), has caught many lawmakers, who thought they were endorsing a fairly non-controversial anti-piracy bill with strong corporate support, off guard. Senate co-sponsors of the bill regrouped on Tuesday, huddling in the Capitol with major industry backers of the bill.
In December, HuffPost reported that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a Protect IP co-sponsor with deep ties to both Hollywood and the technology industry, thought disputes between two of her most prominent corporate constituencies had been worked out. After that story ran, Feinstein attempted to broker a compromise, calling both tech companies and film studios…”
(via huffingtonpost, CNN, BCC)
The Obama Administration says “No to SOPA.”
“A developer who calls himself T Rizk doesn’t have much faith in Congress making the right decision on anti-piracy legislation, so he’s built a work around for the impending censorship measures being considered: DeSOPA. The Firefox add-on is stunningly simple as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would block specific domain names (e.g. www.thepiratebay.com) of allegedly infringing sites, T Rizk’s lightweight tool allows you to revert to the bare internet protocol (IP) address (e.g. 220.127.116.11) which takes you to the same place.”
Read the full story on the Atlantic Wire.
The Atlantic also has another article which looks at Project Madison, a crowd-sourced project by Rep. Darrell Issa, which Fast Company’s Gregory Ferenstein explains as, “a stripped-down interactive blogging platform, which allows citizens to select individual passages of legislation, and strike or add their own language, with comments for each suggestion.”
Want more background on what SOPA is and how it may affect you? Read our background post.
Activist site of the night: Defendtheinter.net does a great job of using visuals to tell the story of how damaging SOPA could be to the Web. Great site. You gain much more from this one visual than you might from any long screed.
Hearings in the US House of Representatives to finish markup on the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA) were slated to resume tomorrow, but it looks like things will remain at a standstill until next year. The holiday break has now pushed the committee hearing back to a yet-to-be-rescheduled date, with nothing more specific than “early next year” being promised at the moment. That news comes as a Whitehouse.gov petition asking President Obama to veto the bill and any future ones like it passed its goal of 25,000 signatures, well ahead of the January 17th deadline (as of this writing, the count stands around 29,000).
According to a report by the Knight-Batten Award-winning nonprofit MAPLight, the 32 sponsors of the bill received just under $2 million in campaign contributions from the movie, music, and TV entertainment industries.
To put that in perspective, this weekend’s box office take for Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (you can’t make this stuff up) took in $23 million in just one weekend. So, for less than a tenth of the take from Alvin and the Chipmunks, our congress-critters have let themselves be influenced by a historically and unendingly regressive group of trade organizations.
By the way, if you calculate up the contributions the tech industry has made to these same 32 “lawmakers,” you’ll find the total to be $524,977 — one fourth the amount contributed by the entertainment industry.
Despite all the cries from tech experts throughout the United States, Congress is still doing its best to pass SOPA. Is there a correlation? Are our elected representatives paying four times more attention to the entertainment industry compared to us in technology? You be the judge.
tl;dr: A handful of congress-critters (Lamar Smith, Joe Baca, Howard Berman, Marsha Blackburn, Mary Bono Mack, John Carter, Steven Chabot, John Conyers, Jim Cooper, Elton Gallegly, Robert Goodlatte, Tim Holden, Peter King, John Larson, Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Lee Terry, Melvin Watt, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, John Barrow, Steve Scalise, Ben Luján, Judy Chu, William Owens, Karen Bass, Ted Deutch, Ben Quayle, Tim Griffin, Dennis Ross, Alan Nunnelee, Thomas Marino, and Mark Amodei.) took an average of $524,977 each from lobbyists to sponsor SOPA. Even though the people they represent overwhelmingly oppose SOPA and don’t want it to become law, they’re still doing everything they can to pass it, against the wishes of their constituents — who they supposedly represent — because it’s what they were paid off to do.
This is yet another reason we need a revolution in America. We need to burn it to the ground and start over, eliminating corporate money and lobbyists from the political process entirely.
Despite what you may have heard at the end of last week, the vote for the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) is not delayed until 2012 nor is it delayed “indefinitely” – instead members of Congress hoping to run the act through a vote without any more internet-based campaigns to stop it have secretly rescheduled for the middle of this week. This blacklist legislation is also known as the PROTECT IP act in the Senate, and what today’s news means is that the Judiciary Committee that was said to have convened until the end of January to re-work the act so that it better fit with the wants and needs of the VAST majority of free internet users is now going to vote this week instead. Opponents of the act will not be pleased.
It was in a TechDirt article that it first seemed to appear in comments that the vote had been re-scheduled not long after the first re-scheduling to make the vote in a quick and silent manner. CA-49 worker and House GOP watchdog Darrell Issa noted once that the vote would likely be Wednesday and that he’d received confirmation from Republican leader Eric Cantor that votes may take place Monday and maybe Tuesday. There is only one reason for this vote to be moved back into 2011: sidestepping moves like An open letter to Washington as signed by internet OGs like Sergey Brin and Mitchell Baker.
You can take action by contacting your state representative with this easy to use form or just call them up if you’ve got their number handy. H.R. 3261: Stop Online Piracy Act can be read in its entirety at Goftrack.us, complete with gems like this one: “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.” Seem like a pretty big open space there? You are not alone in thinking this. Take action now or big business owners will be able to request and receive the ability to censor pages and content you post to the internet without due process. That’s the long and short of it.
So when these assfucks in DC decide to ruin the internet, here’s how to access your favorite sites in the event of a DNS takedown
# Social media
# Torrent sites
# Social networking
# Live Streaming Content
# File Sharing
Added LJ and DW.
Unfortunately, I’m getting “Page Not Found” replies when putting the IP addresses into the browser.
Same here, but I am not the most tech savvy person so I’m wondering if I’m the one doing something wrong. 0.o
NOTE: to anyone having problems with tumblr’s IP try using 18.104.22.168/dashboard . From my limited tech knowledge, it might have something to do with lack of a homepage from that IP or something. I don’t know, but 22.214.171.124/dashboard works for me when 126.96.36.199 alone does not.
In the wake of that 1000+ note post linking this engadget article:
Net Neutrality and the SOPA/ProtectIP Bills are different entities.
Net Neutrality deals with the issue of several large companies - namely Comcast and Verizon wanting to become “gatekeepers” of the Internet; slowing traffic to sites they (as Internet Service Providers) don’t like. And creating a “Fast Lane” for sites that pay them money.
Net Neutrality is important because, without it, the Internet as a free market is dead. Small start-up siites will not be able to survive, because they can’t pay the “toll” to get into this “fast lane.”
The SOPA/ProtectIP Bills are the bills that create an Internet censorship power within the Government.
The Net Neutrality debates have been raging for months now, and they’ve finally come to a conclusion. This is good. But it’s NOT a decision on SOPA and ProtectIP. They are different. Completely.
Please reblog this to spread the word and inform everyone.
Keep posts like THESE going-not that link.