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Thread: Stop the Internet Blacklist

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    Stop the Internet Blacklist

    The government should have no business censoring websites.


    David Segal: Stop the Internet Blacklist
    When it really matters to them, Congressmembers can come together -- with a panache and wry wit you didn't know they had. As banned books week gets underway, and President Obama admonishes oppressive regimes for their censorship of the Internet, a group of powerful Senators -- Republicans and Democrats alike -- have signed onto a bill that would vastly expand the government's power to censor the Internet.

    The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced just one week ago, but it's greased and ready to move, with a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee this Thursday. If people don't speak out, US citizens could soon find themselves joining Iranians and Chinese in being blocked from accessing broad chunks of the public Internet.

    Help us stop this bill in its tracks! Click here to sign our petition.

    COICA creates two blacklists of Internet domain names. Courts could add sites to the first list; the Attorney General would have control over the second. Internet service providers and others (everyone from Comcast to PayPal to Google AdSense) would be required to block any domains on the first list. They would also receive immunity (and presumably the good favor of the government) if they block domains on the second list.

    The lists are for sites "dedicated to infringing activity," but that's defined very broadly -- any domain name where counterfeit goods or copyrighted material are "central to the activity of the Internet site" could be blocked.

    One example of what this means in practice: sites like YouTube could be censored in the US. Copyright holders like Viacom often argue copyrighted material is central to the activity of YouTube, but under current US law, YouTube is perfectly legal as long as they take down copyrighted material when they're informed about it -- which is why Viacom lost to YouTube in court.

    But if COICA passes, Viacom wouldn't even need to prove YouTube is doing anything illegal to get it shut down -- as long as they can persuade the courts that enough other people are using it for copyright infringement, the whole site could be censored.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Stop the Internet Blacklist

    So is this more of a copyright owners powers thing taking on infringement (which I refuse to have an opinion on)
    Or a government censoring dangerous peoples? Its not exaclty clear what its going to censor and I wouldnt think itd be an issue of mass censorship because american government would fear the outrage of the people.

    If its anything like italy's blog killing log that goes after the pathological liars spreading poison, but needs to be heavily considered and weighed out, I may be for it.

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    Re: Stop the Internet Blacklist

    Quote Originally Posted by SE102 View Post
    So is this more of a copyright owners powers thing taking on infringement (which I refuse to have an opinion on)
    Or a government censoring dangerous peoples? Its not exaclty clear what its going to censor and I wouldnt think itd be an issue of mass censorship because american government would fear the outrage of the people.

    If its anything like italy's blog killing log that goes after the pathological liars spreading poison, but needs to be heavily considered and weighed out, I may be for it.
    Regardless of what it's intended to do or what it initially does, we're creating a dangerous precedent if we allow this: That the government can censor websites that it doesn't like (without even going through due process in the case of the AG's blacklist). Eventually it could go far beyond what it was initially intentioned to do.

    I agree that anyone who is opposed to censorship should strongly oppose this bill. There are less draconian ways to fight piracy than by censoring the internet.
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    Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD

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    Re: Stop the Internet Blacklist

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Regardless of what it's intended to do or what it initially does, we're creating a dangerous precedent if we allow this: That the government can censor websites that it doesn't like (without even going through due process in the case of the AG's blacklist). Eventually it could go far beyond what it was initially intentioned to do.

    I agree that anyone who is opposed to censorship should strongly oppose this bill. There are less draconian ways to fight piracy than by censoring the internet.
    Ecaxtly. How would we like it if government officials would moderate this forum?
    Opinions exist to be voiced. They matter.
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    Re: Stop the Internet Blacklist

    And people wonder why I dont really cry when people like the RIAA start sobbing about piracy.

    This bill is a way for groups like the RIAA and those it funds to preserve their outmoded business practices by using the law of the land to do what their lawyers cant.

    RIAA News Room - RIAA Applauds New Senate Bill Targeting Rogue Foreign Sites Trafficking In Illegal Music And Movies - Sep 20, 2010

    http://www.mpaa.org/resources/a51188...b8a9a6bf63.pdf

    These groups are basically using censorship to try and fight a losing war.

    Yay intellectual property?
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    Re: Stop the Internet Blacklist

    Quote Originally Posted by SE102 View Post
    So is this more of a copyright owners powers thing taking on infringement (which I refuse to have an opinion on)
    Or a government censoring dangerous peoples? Its not exaclty clear what its going to censor and I wouldnt think itd be an issue of mass censorship because american government would fear the outrage of the people.

    If its anything like italy's blog killing log that goes after the pathological liars spreading poison, but needs to be heavily considered and weighed out, I may be for it.
    It's copyright owners taking on infringement.

    The reason for the bill is that there are websites that offer copyrighted content free for download without the consent of the copyright holders. However, many of these websites have their servers in foreign countries, out of the jurisdiction of the American court system. So they can't be prosecuted for violating copyright.

    By having an internet blacklist in the power of the court system, foreign websites will be able to be prosecuted and then banned from being accessed by Americans.

    But, as many can see, the potential for abuse is astonishing, as there are definitely the possibilities to use this list for censorship. Imagine the "obscenity" standard being applied to the whole internet, and so the government gets to choose which content gets to be accessed. Imagine the political suppression that can happen because of this.

    All because the entertainment industry simply refuses to adapt their business models after the Internet Revolution. It's a damn shame.

  7. #7
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    Re: Stop the Internet Blacklist

    As usual, the public is distracted by emotional rhetoric on wedge issues while congress screws over the citizens to appease some corporate backers. What we need is media attention on this pathetic bull****.

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    Re: Stop the Internet Blacklist

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    As usual, the public is distracted by emotional rhetoric on wedge issues while congress screws over the citizens to appease some corporate backers. What we need is media attention on this pathetic bull****.
    Of course, the media is run by some of the same corporations backing this sort of thing...
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
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    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Stop the Internet Blacklist

    Sounds like the law the is finally catching up with technology in a practical way.

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    Re: Stop the Internet Blacklist

    The internet is no country or companies property.
    The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.

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