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Last post Author Topic: Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates  (Read 97101 times)

IainB

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...Of course it helps to have a link where you can send your letter in opposition:
[url]http://act.demandprogress.org/letter/CISPA_IBM

It does indeed! (That's why I it right at the start of the post and not as an embedded link in the copied email.)    :tellme:

Tinman57

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I presume this ArsTechnica news item is true (one can't be too sure, given some of their aparently mediocre journalism): Obama threatens CISPA veto, sponsor calls opponents basement-dwelling 14-year-olds

If it is true, then:
  • (a) It looks like the Obama administration are wanting to block this CISPA legislation that could threaten to erode citizens' statutory rights - whereas the same administration is at the same time apparently intent on shoving through other legislation that would ... threaten to reduce citizens' statutory rights!?
    Is this some kind of "good cop, bad cop" play?

  • (b) Some people (not me you understand) might say that a senator who would malign in such a vitriolic and despising way any opponents to his proposed legislation to erode citizens' statutory rights would seem to be acting unprofessionally and against the interests of citizens, and that may indicate that he has a vested interest in the proposals getting pushed through - but I couldn't possibly comment.

  Kind of makes you wonder, don't it?  These very same politicians have to take an oath to protect the Constitution of the U.S., but their communist like agenda says they're trying everything they can to destroy the Constitution and remove the freedoms and rights of all Americans, and in some cases other nations.  I think most all politicians rate right down there with spammers, scammers and crooks.....

Tinman57

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...Of course it helps to have a link where you can send your letter in opposition:
[url]http://act.demandprogress.org/letter/CISPA_IBM

It does indeed! (That's why I it right at the start of the post and not as an embedded link in the copied email.)    :tellme:

  LOL!  The way it sets at the very top I thought that was part of something else.  That's why I always put links at the end of the article.

  Anyhow, I got that same exact email today and wasn't too surprised that it had got posted here already, which is a good thing.  Hopefully people will take it to heart and at least take the time out to make their voice heard by contacting their Representatives.

  BTW, 

Tinman57

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  Not only is this piece of dirt for government spying, but he also thinks of freedom loving people as, well, read on...

Quote
CISPA sponsor Rep. Mike Rogers said something on camera that he will probably regret for a long time.
Rep. Mike Rogers admits that CISPA helps rich tech CEOs, then calls opponents of CISPA "14 year olds in their basements." And it's on video.

http://www.reddit.co...ispa_helps_rich_tech

IainB

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Not only is this piece of dirt for government spying, but he also thinks of freedom loving people as, well, read on...

Well yes, and that's kinda why I wrote:
(b) Some people (not me you understand) might say that a senator who would malign in such a vitriolic and despising way any opponents to his proposed legislation to erode citizens' statutory rights would seem to be acting unprofessionally and against the interests of citizens, and that may indicate that he has a vested interest in the proposals getting pushed through - but I couldn't possibly comment.

It's such an amazing thing for a Senator to say about opponents to a bill he is proposing. As someone on this reddit thread commented:
Quote
[–]Selfcommit 4 points 8 hours ago
How is this not front page?

That would seem to be a good question.

Just supposing: If you were a Senator who was being put under enormous pressure to shut your mouth and propose a bill that you knew with certainty would inevitably chip away at US citizens' constitutional rights, then might you make the sort of seemingly daft and outlandish remarks that this Senator is making, just to publicise the issue and get people's attention about what was going on?
It's certainly getting attention now, isn't it?

TaoPhoenix

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Hmm, I thought that I posted a link to CISPA passing the US House, but now I can't find it.

Tinman57

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Hmm, I thought that I posted a link to CISPA passing the US House, but now I can't find it.

  Let me FTFY...

[ If Obooboo don't veto this, we're all in for a super-snooping government,
with the likes of Facebook, Google, IBM, and any large data-mining
corporation helping them without any legal recourse.  Yes comrade, you do
live in an Orwellian world.....]

CISPA passes U.S. House: Death of the Fourth Amendment?
The controversial cybersecurity bill has passed the U.S. House and is now on
its way to the Senate chamber. Privacy groups believe this tramples on the
Fourth Amendment.
http://www.zdnet.com...amendment-7000014205


Tinman57

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  Just got this email from FightForTheFuture.org......

Quote
It’s time to get pissed. The U.S. law that would turn Google, Facebook, and Twitter into legally immune government spies just passed the House.

We expected CISPA to pass; that's why this spring, we’re going to organize the largest online privacy protest in history to make sure CISPA is gone for good.

And, in response to Rep. Mike Rogers' accusation that CISPA opponents are just "14 year-old tweeter(s) in the basement", we thought we'd also challenge Rep. Rogers to get on live national television and debate a 14 year-old in a basement on CISPA. The search for the 14 year-old begins. Are you or do you know a 14 year-old who could totally school a congressman on this issue? Please forward this email to them!

This bill affects everyone -- not just U.S. citizens. Anyone with a Facebook account could now have their data shipped directly to the U.S. government. That's why Internet users overwhelmingly oppose this bill. Over 1.5 million people signed petitions against it. But Congress didn’t listen.

Does this remind you of something? Yep, this is the exact position we were in with SOPA last year. Then the Internet rose up and we made history with the SOPA strike.

Join the largest online privacy protest in history to make sure CISPA goes the same route as SOPA and doesn’t become the law that breaks the 4th Amendment. Are you in?

CISPA threatens our most basic rights. Privacy is important not just for our security but for our rights to freedom of expression. The giant tech companies that stood with Internet users against SOPA are not going to help us this time (but some of the large sites like Mozilla, Imgur, and Reddit are all against CISPA and we love them).

Only a massive grassroots outcry will stop this bill. We’re starting to build the tools. But we need your help.

http://www.sitesnotspies.org

TaoPhoenix

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And, in response to Rep. Mike Rogers' accusation that CISPA opponents are just "14 year-old tweeter(s) in the basement", we thought we'd also challenge Rep. Rogers to get on live national television and debate a 14 year-old in a basement on CISPA. The search for the 14 year-old begins. Are you or do you know a 14 year-old who could totally school a congressman on this issue? Please forward this email to them!

This part is epic!

Tinman57

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And, in response to Rep. Mike Rogers' accusation that CISPA opponents are just "14 year-old tweeter(s) in the basement", we thought we'd also challenge Rep. Rogers to get on live national television and debate a 14 year-old in a basement on CISPA. The search for the 14 year-old begins. Are you or do you know a 14 year-old who could totally school a congressman on this issue? Please forward this email to them!

This part is epic!

  Especially since there's a whole bunch of 14 year old nerds out there that could clean his clock...   8)

IainB

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Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but it's rather curious, and disturbing news:
Fox Censors Cory Doctorow’s “Homeland” Novel From Google
(See link for details.)

Tinman57

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Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but it's rather curious, and disturbing news:
Fox Censors Cory Doctorow’s “Homeland” Novel From Google
(See link for details.)

  I downloaded the book.  Now to find the time to read it.... 

IainB

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This just sort of popped out at me and poked me in the eye as I was reading the Reason.com Hit & Run blog in my feed-reader.
I had to do a doubletake to make sure I had read it aright. The motivation for this apparent example of counter-democracy would appear to be that at least one senator might be fearful that shifting public notification of local government actions to the Internet and away from newspapers might make him more accountable.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Brickbat: Here, Sir, The People Don't Govern
Charles Oliver|Apr. 23, 2013 7:00 am

"I am the senator, you are the citizen. You need to be quiet."
That was what North Carolina state Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Waxhaw, said to Hal Tanner. Tanner had just asked for a recorded vote from the State and Local Goverment Committee on a bill that would shift public notification of local government actions to the Internet and away from newspapers. The committee had just had a voice vote on the bill, and Tucker, the committee's co-chairman, said it had passed. Tanner, publisher of the Goldsboro New-Argus, said the bill failed the voice vote and asked for a vote on the record. Tucker denied telling Tanner to shut up, though the remark was confirmed by others at the hearing.
_____________________________
Whilst this discussion thread has mainly related to evidence of existing/future potential Internet freedoms being restrained by government or **AA lobbies' and/or other "Big XXX" lobbies' actions, this is the first instance I can recall where there is evidence that the restraint is coming from the other end - i.e., by deliberately avoiding use of the Internet where it might improve citizens' freedoms and democratic rights and ability to more actively participate in civil matters, and make government (and senators) more open to scrutiny, and more accountable and transparent for whatever legislation they find themselves having to push or block.
This would seem to be akin to pulling the teeth of potential future use of the Internet for increased transparency and democratic scrutiny and participation.

If it so happened that there were (say) any senators with a tendency to behave like arrogant little Fascist toads with hidden agendas that they want to keep hidden, and without them being scrutinised or held accountable, then I think that pulling those teeth might be a very good idea for those senators to consider.

My suggestion would be to keep an increasingly wary eye open for any such "democracy dentists" - just in case they show themselves, like.    ;)

Tinman57

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 Oh Yea!  Now if they'll do the same with CISPA...

Quote
Plans to end warrantless email searches pass Senate committee
Summary: The privacy law governing how U.S. law enforcement can access email data after a certain time has been passed unanimously across both sides of the Senate.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed a bipartisan measure that would force U.S. law enforcement and government agencies to get a warrant before reading citizen emails.

http://www.zdnet.com...committee-7000014527

TaoPhoenix

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Hmm. Well everything needs to be taken with salt, it seems like maybe the Senate has a little more sense than the House on the "abuse-privacy" front.


CISPA may already be dead in the Senate
http://www.dailydot....ecurity-bill-failed/

"Experts and sources with knowledge of the situation say the most controversial Internet bill of the year, the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), is already dead in the water.
...
But though CISPA resoundingly passed the House of Representatives April 18, "it is extremely unlikely for the Senate" to vote on the bill," the ACLU's Michelle Richardson told the Daily Dot."

However, as predicted, they then are "...senators are "drafting separate bills" to include some CISPA provisions."

So then instead of all the Nasties being chunked into one bill, they will wander into smaller little bills that wear down our ability to protest them!

THAT is the fundamental new advantage emerging against regular citizen process now! Citizens have no measure to permanently stop "with prejudice" or something, whatever Congress feels like passing. So we have *AGAIN* apparently stopped a Big Name bill, (and look how many there are!), only to be explicitly informed that they are apparently learning they can't smash all of the evil rules into one bill, so now they will make little bitty "hot-pepper" bills that will be easier to slip by one by one.
>:(




kyrathaba

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IainB

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As usual, Falkvinge nails down a rather pertinent point: United States Government Shows The World It Doesn’t Understand The Internet, Claims “Ownership” Of Specific Files.
I hadn't realised the US Government was doing this, until I read the post.
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
The United States Department of Defense has “claimed ownership” of CAD drawings of a plastic, printable pistol. In doing so, they apparently believe they can stop the files from existing. The result is obviously the complete opposite, which calls into strong question the judgment and ability of United States Government to set Internet policy at all.

When the public received the means of production through 3D printing, it was obvious that you could no longer regulate which objects were allowed to exist and which didn’t, just as you can no longer regulate distribution of information. Well, obvious to anybody but bureaucrats in governments who insist they cannot lose any control.

The think tank Defense Distributed has been developing 3D printer drawings for weapons parts for some time. First, they published drawings for vital parts for the AR-15 rifle (the civilian version of the military Armalite M-16) which could be printed by anybody in their homes, and then moved on to creating an all-plastic weapon which could be printed by anybody without dependence on other manufacturers, the “Liberator” in 17 parts.

This was not a matter of breaking the law of weapons regulations – this was a matter of the law having become unenforceable and obsolete through advancements in technology.

Late yesterday, the United States’ Department of Defense contacted Defense Distributed and told them that the United States government were seizing the drawings and claimed ownership of the files. This move was utterly ridiculous, as the drawings had already been published. The immediate effect was that Defense Distributed complied, and everybody else started seeding the files like wildfire. This is cause for concern – not the fact that the files exist, but that the US Government can be so completely boneheaded to think they can prevent information from existing by saying so.

The pistol drawings exist in the form of a magnet link which picks the file from whoever has them, with no central repository. The other files from Defense Distributed have also been censored by the United States government, which contain vital (printable) parts for an AR-15 and similar things, but these files are similarly available through a simple link. Predictably, their distribution has gone absolutely stratospheric.

We have long seen how the US Government is completely boneheaded and unfit to set and shape Internet policy, due to their simply not understanding of what the Internet is and how it works. This episode underscores that conclusion strongly.

Part of the reason the US doesn’t understand the Internet is because of the country’s vastly substandard infrastructure, since they have allowed cable companies and telcos to dictate what the Internet should look like (and the US is therefore far, far behind countries like Romania and Lithuania – countries that were considered near-developing countries 20 years ago, a timeframe that policymakers in Washington are apparently stuck in. We’ll be returning to that in a separate article.)

In any case, this episode shows that the US government is simply unfit to even have an opinion on shaping the future Internet.

IainB

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Good news. Not so much a restraint of Internet/IT Freedom, but a removal of a potential or threatened restraint - in New Zealand, at least.
A news report from the NZ Herald on 2013-05-09: IT industry backs software patent change

ARS Technica reports on it as: New Zealand government closes door on software patents
Quote
This week, New Zealand Commerce Minister Craig Foss bowed to pressure from software patent opponents. The latest language states clearly that "a computer program is not an invention," and is not eligible for patent protection. The Labour Party called it "a humiliating back down."

The decision was hailed by InternetNZ, a non-profit organization that promotes an open Internet. "Patenting software would not only make the continued development of the Internet more difficult, it would reduce innovation and could well stymie interoperability of various software platforms," the group wrote on Thursday.

New Zealand's Institute of IT Professionals also praised the move. "If you look at the New Zealand market, you would be hard pressed to find many people that were thinking patents would be a good idea," the organization's chief executive Paul Matthews told the New Zealand Herald.

Tinman57

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In any case, this episode shows that the US government is simply unfit to even have an opinion on shaping the future Internet.

  It's things like this that make the U.S. government look like a bunch of blathering idiots.  And it's things like this that make the U.S. citizens distrust the government more and more every day.
  The only thing we can do is hang our heads low in embarassment as the rest of the world looks towards us in astonishment.


TaoPhoenix

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This week, New Zealand Commerce Minister Craig Foss bowed to pressure from software ...

Am I the only one who thinks FOSS Software advocates need to meet with Craig Foss?
:D

TaoPhoenix

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Huh. But wait, there's more...
Blogger writes about predatory publishing, is threatened with $1B suit

Or take this from the Prenda Law saga:
"Hilarious New Team Prenda Argument: Judge Wright's Order Is Irrelevant Because of Gay Marriage"
http://www.popehat.c...use-of-gay-marriage/

Now I know I really missed out on the "funniest profession" I should have studied in school - Law. But why do all those boring cases when you can threaten to sue for (pinky) One Billion Dollars and assert Gay Marriage to throw out a judicial order!


IainB

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One of the first things that our law lecturer taught us was the maxim:
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"The law is an ass."
- Mr. Bumble, in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist

IainB

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IainB

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demandprogress.org have sent out an email from Aaron Swartz's father to their subscribers, asking for supporters to email a letter of thanks to senators Patrick Leahy, John Cornyn, and Al Franken, who apparently all pushed for answers when the US Justice Department appeared before the Judiciary Committee to discuss Aaron's case.
Supporters can send an email using a template at the demandprogress.org website.