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Internet freedoms restrained - SOPA/PIPA/OPEN/ACTA/CETA/PrECISE-related updates

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Meanwhile, ArsTechnica reports that the French police/SS (Secret Services) have been giving an amusing demonstration of Internet censorship and obscurity on the Internet, coupled with the Streisand effect:
Wikipedia editor allegedly forced by French intelligence to delete “classified” entry

...The entry had existed on French-language Wikipedia for many years, but recently came to the attention of officials in France's Homeland Intelligence agency, known as the DCRI (Direction Centrale du Renseignement Intérieur)...    ;D

--- End quote ---

According to Wikiscan, which publishes statistics about, the “Station hertzienne militaire de Pierre-sur-Haute” entry is currently the most-viewed page in french-language Wikipedia, broadly beating “The September 11th Attacks” and “Jérôme Cahuzac”, France's chief tax collector who is currently embroiled in a tax-dodging scandal.    :tellme:

--- End quote ---

Beautiful. You couldn't make it up.

There is no mention yet on whether the Wikipedia entry on the top secret Maginot Line is to be similarly expunged.    ;)

EDIT 2013-04-07 2005hrs:
Wikipedia's Maginot Line article and the Station hertzienne militaire de Pierre-sur-Haute article are both still there as at this date/time.
I've made an archive copy of both if anyone wants, and if either gets deleted in the next few hours (just PM me).    ;)

Looks like Inspector Clouseau or his descendants may be alive and well in the French police/SS.

Lauren Weinstein's Blog has an interesting post on the "Inspector Clouseau" event I mentioned above - coincidentally, he also refers to Clouseau.
The post is France Threatens the Internet: "Censorship or Shackles!"
This is just an extract, covering some general points which concerned me when I read about the censorship - after all, that's my (and your) Internet they are forcibly censoring there, and this latest thing is just "signs of the times" (quote copied sans embedded hyperlinks/images):
Around the world, governments are attempting to remake the Web and the greater Internet in their own traditional images.

They have significant resources that can be brought to bear, especially when they succeed in redefining Internet-based freedom of speech as national security risks. Shackles, cells, even firing squads and other lethal methodologies are at their disposal.

Increasingly, we see vague and often highly suspect claims of "cyberwar" being bandied about as a predicate at least for vast diversions of power and money to the "cyberscare-industrial complex" -- and even as potential justifications for cyber or physical retaliations against the designated enemies of the moment.

We see this same class of fear tactics being deployed to justify government scanning of private computing and communications facilities, demands for purpose-built surveillance of encrypted communications systems that actually make these systems more vulnerable to black-hat hacking, and a range of other demands from authorities. Since the big cyber-security bucks are now in play, it's understandable why authorities would prefer to concentrate on theoretical computer-based infrastructure risks, rather than the very real risk of explosives in some empty desert area being used to bring down critical high voltage transmission towers.

With cybersecurity as with so much else, "money is honey."

In context, it's obvious that whether we're talking about overbearing government security services apparently using China and North Korea as their new operating paradigms, or the 21st century version of traditional power and money grabs via fear tactics deluxe, we can't help but return to the fact that governments are trying on various fronts to maintain their old authoritarian models of security and censorship in the new world of ubiquitous Internet communications.

And while today's story involved France and Wikipedia, these are only really placeholders of the moment that can be easily substituted with other countries and other organizations -- or individuals -- going forward.

The best of times, the worst of times. We dare not permit the distraction of seeming clowns in the foreground to blind us from the sharp and shiny falling blades of censorship and surveillance lurking just behind, aimed directly at our figurative (and in some horrific cases perhaps quite literal) naked necks.

--- End quote ---


CISPA voting session slated for this week
Summary: Should firms be exempt from lawsuits stemming from data sharing, and should citizen privacy become a victim?

By Charlie Osborne for Zero Day | April 8, 2013 -- 08:08 GMT (01:08 PDT)

Follow @ZDNetCharlie
If the current cybercrime space prompts firms to share citizen data, should companies be held liable in citizen lawsuits?

Many firms, including AT&T, Verizon and Boeing, do not think so. This is the issue that is coming before the House Intelligence Committee this week, and the governmental body may pass a bill which would provide large companies lawsuit immunity in the case of data exchange and unhappy, privacy-conscious Americans.
  See the rest here:


Congress Wants to Make CFAA Penalities Worse -- We Need to Stop Them
Last week, Congress put forth a bill that would dangerously expand computer crime law to double or even triple the penalties prosecutors could use to threaten computer users -- people like digital rights activist Aaron Swartz. We've got to stop them and tell them this law needs real reform to protect visionary, talented, justice-driven individuals like Aaron. We're pulling out all the stops this week, and we need your help. We need the Internet to speak out with a voice so loud legislators have no choice but to listen.

Here's the game plan:

We have built a Twitter tool that helps you to tweet at legislators. Staffers count these messages, so please tweet lots.
Call the House Judiciary Committee. We've collected their numbers and prepared an easy-to-follow script for the phone call. If you've never called your legislators before, today is the day to start.
Change your Twitter icon to reflect that you're taking part in this cause. We've created an image that can help spread the word.
Finally, if you haven't yet, please take our action alert to e-mail Congress about the specific changes we'd like to see in a reformed CFAA.
Congress can't get this right unless they hear from you. Please join us in taking action today.
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^^ Yes, people seem to be waking up to this, albeit belatedly.
For example: CISPA Amendment Proves Everyone's Fears Were Justified While Failing To Assuage Them


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