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Author Topic: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates  (Read 56072 times)
IainB
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« on: July 10, 2012, 01:43:17 PM »

The Continuing Assault on Internet Freedom - via US Statute - is evidently is not going to stop anytime soon.
Article from publicknowledge.org:
Secret Bill Pushes Part of SOPA and Wastes Your Money
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 04:45:52 AM by IainB; Reason: Subject edited to include more *IP* \"acronyms\". » Logged
IainB
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 09:05:35 PM »

The role of "IP attaches" is defined in this Slashdot news item re Lamar Smith's efforts to apparently introduce new US legislation to control Internet freedoms.
SOPA Provisions Being Introduced Piecemeal From Lamar Smith
Quote
Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday July 10, @04:30PM
from the will-be-hard-to-blackout-the-internet-every-other-week dept.

bricko sends this disappointing but not unexpected news from Techdirt:
Quote
"While it didn't get nearly as much attention as other parts of SOPA, one section in the bill that greatly concerned us was the massive expansion of the diplomatic corp.'s 'IP attaches.' If you're unfamiliar with the program, basically IP attaches are 'diplomats' (and I use the term loosely) who go around the globe pushing a copyright maximalist position on pretty much every other country. Their role is not to support more effective or more reasonable IP policy. It is solely to increase expansion, and basically act as Hollywood's personal thugs pressuring other countries to do the will of the major studios and labels. The role is literally defined as pushing for 'aggressive support for enforcement action' throughout the world. ... In other words, these people are not neutral. They do not have the best interests of the public or the country in mind. Their job is solely to push the copyright maximalist views of the legacy entertainment industry around the globe, and position it as the will of the U.S. government. It was good that this was defeated as a part of SOPA... but now comes the news that Lamar Smith is introducing a new bill that not only brings back this part, but appears to expand it and make it an even bigger deal."
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 09:54:27 PM »

I have nothing polite to say, except for that we knew that they'd be back at it sooner or later with the same crap.
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IainB
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 02:15:22 PM »

@Renegade: Well you might be able to say something polite about this, or at least smile about it:
Internet Defense League creates "cat signal" to save Web from next SOPA
Quote
Mozilla, reddit, lawmakers, even a Tea Party activist team to protect the Web.
by Jon Brodkin - Jul 19, 2012 5:45 pm UTC

When the Internet is in danger, the cat signal will appear.
Internet Defense League

You've heard of the bat signal—now get ready for the cat signal. A diverse crew of Internet businesses, advocacy groups, and lawmakers has banded together to create something called the Internet Defense League. The organization seeks to save the 'Net from bad laws like SOPA. And a cat signal—modeled after the signal used to rouse Batman each time Gotham City is threatened—is what the group will use to alert the world when it's protest time.

When the SOPA blackout day helped convince Congress that the Stop Online Piracy Act was a bad idea that would threaten Internet freedom, it showed how democracy can be used in the digital age to preserve the interests of people above the interests of corporations lining the pockets of politicians. But can the Internet rally to save itself each time it's threatened?

Enter the cat signal. A piece of code supporters of the Internet Defense League can embed in their websites, the presence of the cat signal will tell you another bad law threatening Internet freedom is making the rounds, and that it's time to call your local member of Congress. The cat signal is also being broadcast today on sites like Fight For the Future to announce the Internet Defense League's creation:
[Image]

Yes, the signal was inspired by all those funny cat pictures on the likes of reddit and I Can Haz Cheezburger (two of the founding members of the Internet Defense League). But the League has prominent members who take Internet regulation very seriously.

"I recently gave a talk about being Batman or being Batwoman for your respective Gotham," said Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of reddit (a sister company of Ars). "This is like a call to arms for all the people who are creating something online. Whether they have a Twitter account with 20 followers, or they have a website with 35 million visitors, they all have a Gotham, so to speak, to protect. They all have a community they want to keep strong."

Internet Defense League founders said spotlights will be used to project actual cat signals into the sky today at live kick-off events in New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. But the cat signal will more importantly be a digital signal that can be planted on websites to protest future attempts to censor the Internet.

"This digital signal is a critical component of how IDL works; it's code that lets any website or individual broadcast messages to their personal networks in an 'emergency alert system,'" the group said in its announcement. "When the Internet's in danger and we need millions of people to act, the League will ask its members to broadcast an action. (Say, a prominent message asking everyone to call their elected leaders). With the combined reach of our websites and social networks, we can be massively more effective than any one organization."

reddit is just one of many members in the Internet Defense League. It also includes a Tea Party activist, Mozilla, WordPress, Fark, Imgur, Tor, BoingBoing, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, advocacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Marietje Schaake, a Dutch member of the European Parliament (which recently rejected the AntiCounterfeiting Trade Agreement). Congressmen including US Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), US Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), and US Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) are also on board.

Ohanian and several other members got the word out about the Internet Defense League this morning in a somewhat chaotic conference call with reporters. (Imagine lots of noisy people not on mute and everyone trying to speak over everyone else because there's no established order for reporters to ask questions).

Moran said he wasn't necessarily expecting Internet freedom fighters to win the war against SOPA, but thought the battle was worth fighting anyway. The protest's ultimate success was gratifying, and helped preserve the abilities of businesses to innovate by using the Internet, he said.

"We have patted each other on the back and congratulated each other for that success, but I would say these battles, including the ones specifically related to SOPA and PIPA, are not behind us," Moran said. "And Congress has the habit of doing things without much forethought, without understanding these issues, particularly these tech issues, are ones many members of Congress don't have a complete understanding of. I think… individuals with expertise, knowledge, and a passion for the Internet have a great role to play in making certain the policies developed by Congress are ones that are advantageous to the Internet, and from my perspective advantageous to innovation."

Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman said the scale of the Internet makes it possible—for the first time in human history—for anyone to publish anything, speak to anyone, or start a business without permission from someone else, and that right needs to be preserved. "We've made a huge bet on the Internet," Surman said, calling the Internet Defense League "a group of creative people who are excited about what the Internet can be as an open system."

Mark Meckler, co-founder and former national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, said the Internet Defense League's nonpartisan, people-centered approach is ideal for protecting the Internet from the tendency of politicians to over-regulate. "The Internet is not the problem. The Internet is the solution, so the Internet Defense League is here to help be the solution and prevent government from intruding on that which has the chance to save society," Meckler said.

The Internet Defense League has the code ready for download. But there are questions about just how it will work in practice, such as who decides when to broadcast the cat signal, and how the decision made. Group leaders didn't present a specific method, but said it will be modeled on the way things become memes or viral on the Internet.

Just how to measure "viralness" hasn't been determined. But group members will hold discussions amongst themselves, and pay attention to what's happening on the Web at large. For example, if posts about a bill on Internet issues make it to the front page of reddit ten times in a row, there's a good chance the Internet Defense League would take a look and see if it's worthy of action.

One threat being monitored by group members is the Senate version of CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act). One reporter asked if net neutrality is on the agenda, but no specific commitments were made.

There's always the possibility that not every member of the group will agree that a certain threat is actually a threat. While the cat signal code can be automatically triggered, members can also choose to turn it on a case-by-case basis, deciding for themselves which events are actually worth protesting.
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cmpm
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2012, 11:03:54 AM »

http://act.demandprogress...n/cispa_senate/?source=fb

Another one happening now.

CISPA

http://www.aclu.org/blog/tag/cispa
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2012, 12:14:31 PM »


I wish I had tons of money to throw at silly projects!

We can practically make a satire app for all this stuff!

"Big Brother Welcomes You!

Here is a list of explicit and/or implied rights you used to have and thought you still did. Click on a right to find out which bill under proposal takes it away!"

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IainB
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2012, 02:32:04 PM »

Another one happening now.
Blimey, yes, so there is. I think @Renegade's term - "like cockroaches" - could be applied.
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IainB
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 05:42:26 PM »

Copy of email from info@demandprogress.org Re: Cyber-security:
(If anyone reading this is keen to have their voice heard on this subject, then please register with demandprogress.org, then you can be kept informed directly.)
Quote
The Senate version of CISPA looks like it'll be voted on later THIS WEEK. We need senators to OPPOSE the bill, but SUPPORT pro-privacy amendments to it. 

Please click here email your Senators right away.

But let's highlight some good news: Our efforts to secure Internet freedom and privacy protections have largely worked -- and frankly, far better than we'd expected.  Provisions have been added to:

    Keep the data in the hands of civilian agencies (as opposed to the National Security Agency);
    Restrict the government's use of the information to cyber security issues and the prevention of immediate physical harm;
    Require annual reporting on the data's use;
    Let Americans sue the government for abuse; and
    A clandestine attack on Net Neutrality has been removed.

Now these changes are under attack by pro-surveillance forces. 

Please click here to urge your senators to vote no on the cyber-security bill, and to help us protect privacy rights.

And then use these links to share the image at right, so everybody knows how urgent this effort is:
[fb]    If you're already on Facebook, click here to share with your friends.
[fb]    If you're already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet

Thanks.

--Demand Progress
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IainB
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 08:03:22 PM »

As a timely reminder and example - if we needed one - as to why this subject is important to Internet users in the so-called "Free World", there is this post at Mashable: How Iran Silences Its Citizens on the Web
It's all about totalitarian Fascism and the negation of freedom and liberty. Read the full post at the link.
Therefore, the general objectives of the exercise would seem to be (as far Internet users in the so-called "Free World" are concerned):
  • (a) to protect themselves from any and all government-driven statutory changes/initiatives to increase "cyber-security", implement DRM, copyright and expansion of same, reduce piracy, increase censorship or other means that would effectively lead to controls to govern, regulate or otherwise restrict the freedoms of use of the Internet.
  • (b) to protect themselves from corporate lobby-driven statutory changes/initiatives to increase "cyber-security", implement DRM, copyright and expansion of same, reduce piracy, increase censorship or other means that would effectively lead to controls to govern, regulate or otherwise restrict the freedoms of use of the Internet.
  • (c) to seek to change the arguably corrupt status quo where corporate lobbies have a stronger voice and a greater say in forming legislation that works towards their commercial/monopolistic advantage and against the interests of the people in general.

This Iranian situation is an example of one of many countries where a totalitarian Fascist regime prevails. The simple truth is that if a free people wish to avoid incremental moves in the same direction ("coming soon to a State near you"), then they will need to be vigilant and fight those people and their artefacts (statutes) that would take us there (QED).

In the case of Internet fredoms, the Mashable article finishes with this: (my emphasis)
Quote
...
People who work in the tech space in Iran acutely feel the threats posed by this environment. Take for instance the horror confronted by Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian-Iranian facing the death penalty because a file-sharing program he developed was used to upload pornography to the web. His innocuous programming is considered a crime because software developers can be held liable if consumers “inappropriately” use their products.

Being active online today in Iran is fraught with risks that most readers living in democratic societies cannot imagine. This may be the most important reason for world leaders and diplomatic representatives of the free world to put digital freedom on the agenda. Only with sustained pressure can Iran’s netizens get the tools they need to fight for a better future.
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IainB
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2012, 08:46:23 AM »

News from Techdirt about a potentially good move for Internet freedoms, albeit a bit belated: SOPA/PIPA Wakes Up Internet Giants To Realize They Need To Be More Engaged In DC
(Copied below sans embedded links.)

Time will tell whether this initiative by "the large Internet companies" is genuine or has hidden agendas.
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IainB
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2012, 11:29:07 AM »

Huh?
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzPdYpyoqtQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzPdYpyoqtQ</a>
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IainB
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2012, 06:53:34 PM »

More news via Slashdot: RIAA Admits SOPA Wouldn't Have Stopped Piracy
Quote
Posted by samzenpus on Monday July 30, @12:32PM
from the lost-cause dept.

jfruh writes "One of the arguments against the now-dormant SOPA legislation was that, in addition to eroding Internet freedom, it would also be ineffective in stopping music piracy. Well, according to a leaked report, the RIAA agrees with the latter argument. The proposed laws would 'not likely to have been an effective tool for music,' according to the report. Another interesting revelation is that, despite the buzz and outrage over P2P sharing, most digital music piracy takes place via sneakernet, with music moving among young people on hard drives and ripped CDs."
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2012, 01:04:29 AM »

Yeah I saw that one too, why can't "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" matter OUTSIDE expensive court rooms?  What's the deal with blatant lies carrying the day?
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IainB
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« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2012, 05:40:15 AM »

Yeah I saw that one too, why can't "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" matter OUTSIDE expensive court rooms?  What's the deal with blatant lies carrying the day?
Beats me. I don't really understand the nuances between US laws, politics and the apparent tolerance/sanction of what sometimes (to me) looks like unchecked corporate corruption. But then I do not live in the US and am relatively ignorant of the US way of life and its legal system. For example, I still can't understand how the heck the Cyber Security bill can have a gun amendment tucked away inside of it (per the video above). Amazing.    tellme
Who knows? Maybe it's all part of a cunning psychological/marketing plan that American citizens are being exposed to - to desensitize them preparatory to being walked all over. If so, then is it working?   Wink

Moving on, there's what looks like it could be a useful suggestion here from techdirt: Let Your Senator Know Right Now That You Are Watching If They'll Vote To Protect Privacy
(Copied below, sans embedded links, so you will need to go to the linked post to see those and take some action.)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 05:59:49 AM by IainB; Reason: Minor corrections. » Logged
IainB
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« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2012, 07:22:53 AM »

ANother relevant news item from techdirt: Add Argentina To The List Of Countries Looking To Censor The Internet (For The Children, Of Course)
Quote
Add Argentina To The List Of Countries Looking To Censor The Internet (For The Children, Of Course)
from the growing-list dept

We've noted that both Russia and China recently pushed for even more internet censorship, and both did so while claiming that it was really to "protect the children." Of course, lots of other countries are following suit. For example, Argentina is now considering a bill that appears to created a blacklist of websites that ISPs must block. Once again, this is done "for the children," as the list is supposed to include sites dealing with child porn. The problem, of course, is that such lists rarely seem to stick to just child porn -- and with little oversight, the over-blocking and over-filtering of legitimate content becomes way too easy. In the meantime, we're still at a loss as to how censorship is a better solution than actually going after those responsible if they're posting illegal content.

Iran, Russia, China, Argentina, etc. - those countries with historically the sorts of repressive regimes that you would probably expect this of. But I think that Australia and New Zealand - not repressive at all really (or at least, not yet anyway) are in the list too - with the justification for child porn censorship and scanning of your email accounts for same.

Bit by bit, inch by inch.

One of the comments to the above post: (my emphasis)
Quote
12. Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 11:33pm
none of the countries that are going down this road are doing so for any reasons other than to invade privacy and take away freedoms. they are in the main more like dictatorships than anything but supposed democratic countries like the USA and UK are jumping on the band wagon, whilst condemning those other countries of course. the way things are going, the internet as we know it is going to stop completely, then, as far as ordinary people are concerned, we will only be able to access emails which will be checked first for 'illicit' content and sites that the individual governments allow, the rest of the internet being blocked completely. think back to what started all this censorship and put the blame squarely where it belongs, at the door of the entertainment industries.

Might have a point there... huh
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IainB
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« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2012, 07:58:42 AM »

On the international front, also from Techdirt, a thought-provoking piece about Canadian innovation: Canadian Cities Looking To Opt-Out Of CETA Rather Than Get Roped Into An ACTA-Like Situation
by Wendy Cockcroft, 2012-07-27.

Crafty Canucks. Worth a read.
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« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2012, 11:10:42 AM »

On the international front, also from Techdirt, a thought-provoking piece about Canadian innovation: Canadian Cities Looking To Opt-Out Of CETA Rather Than Get Roped Into An ACTA-Like Situation
by Wendy Cockcroft, 2012-07-27.

Crafty Canucks. Worth a read.

I didn't know about CETA before...

After reading a short bit of that article, I had to go outside for a cigarette because I was about to explode in a furious rage of 140 dB profanity... and it's 2 am here...

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IainB
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2012, 02:58:54 AM »

^ +1 Wot @Renegade said in the spoiler...     ohmy
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2012, 05:42:46 AM »

^ +1 Wot @Renegade said in the spoiler...     ohmy

you can add me to that list as well
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« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2012, 06:31:31 AM »

^ +1 Wot @Renegade said in the spoiler...     ohmy

you can add me to that list as well

After a few hours, I was calm enough to go back and read some more. smiley

I can say that I am happy to see that the city I am from in Canada has applied for an exemption to CETA. Phew~! And several other cites in the county have passed resolutions.

There's a good bit of information here:

http://canadians.org/acti...2011/CETA-resolution.html

No further comment on it though. Wink I'm trying to keep this clean~! Grin tongue
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IainB
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2012, 06:24:07 PM »

Just got this email from info@demandprogress.org:
Quote
Great work on the calls and emails yesterday.

Staffers on Capitol Hill tell us there was a big uptick in constituent pressure today.

But they also say we need to push even harder to win the Franken-Paul amendment, and other privacy amendments, when they come up for votes this week.

Pro-privacy changes have been added to the cyber-security bill, but they don't go far enough to protect us from surveillance by the government and corporations.

There are three things that you can do to help us pressure the Senate:

We can win this one.

-Demand Progress
Paid for by Demand Progress (DemandProgress.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. Contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

One last thing -- Demand Progress's small, dedicated, under-paid staff relies on the generosity of members like you to support our work. Will you click here to chip in $5 or $10? Or you can become a Demand Progress monthly sustainer by clicking here. Thank you!
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IainB
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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2012, 03:09:08 AM »

Some measure of success from info@demandprogress.org:
Quote
The Internet wins again!

The advocates for the cyber-security bill failed to get enough support to proceed to a final vote on the legislation.

They won't be reading your email and sharing your personal data -- anytime soon, at least.

Will you thank the senators who stood with us to protect privacy and Internet freedom? We'll need their help again soon

And then please use these links or forward this email (and Success Baby) to make sure your friends know too.

You guys were amazing throughout this fight: Demand Progress members sent 500,000 emails to the Senate and made thousands of phone calls in opposition to the bill.

Countless other activists took up this fight too -- groups like the ACLU, EFF, Center for Democracy and Technology, Fight for the Future, and Free Press.

Just as important was the coalition of senators working on the inside to stand up for our rights:

There's a newly empowered corps of senators who've made it clear that they'll stand strong when the government threatens our privacy -- people like Ron Wyden (OR), Al Franken (MN), and Bernie Sanders (VT).

Please click here to make sure they know that we're grateful, and that we'll stand with them too -- we'll have to fight this battle again sometime soon.

Great work, everbody!

-Demand Progress

PS: Please share the great news with your friends and help us convert them into Internet activists.  You can forward this email or use these links.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 08:28:53 AM by IainB » Logged
Renegade
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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2012, 04:51:30 AM »

Quote
The Internet wins again!

Don't forget gun freedom! They stuck gun control into that bill as well... Seriously. I'm not kidding.

But I am very happy to read that! Thanks for posting it IainB! smiley  thumbs up
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« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2012, 05:32:48 AM »

Some measure of success from info@demandprogress.org:

thanks thumbs up

(probably no big deal, but the two long links in the quote in your post are using your moniker)
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2012, 08:31:38 AM »

Don't forget gun freedom! They stuck gun control into that bill as well... Seriously. I'm not kidding.
Yes, I know. I think I already pointed that out in two places:
  • this thread above - here.
  • in the NRA thread that you started up in The Basement.
(My comment in each was "Huh?")
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 08:39:14 AM by IainB » Logged
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