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Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill

Postby SlyckTom » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:03 pm

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act took one step closer to becoming a reality today as the US Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill. This bill is still far from becoming law of course, but to make it to the halls of congress it needs committee approval - and today it got just that. There wasn't even any opposition, it just passed with flying colors - making the MPAA quite happy but others disappointed.

The MPAA, as we already read yesterday, is eagerly looking forward to this bill becoming law. It would give the Department of Justice the tools necessary to block foreign websites, or to shut down domestic ones. Bob Pisano did his cause few favors yesterday when he readily dismissed the free speech concerns over this bill. As we've all grown to love about the United States, there's no government authority that actively blocks websites. This bill, if it becomes law, would negate that tradition.

Now it seems the MPAA is doing a bit of backtracking. In their press release today, they tried to smooth over some of these concerns by distinguishing the checks and balances incorporated into the bill:

* The Department must publish notice of the action promptly after filing, and it would have to meet clear criteria that focus on the sites’ substantial and repeated role in online piracy or counterfeiting;

* Provide safeguards allowing the domain name owner or site operator to petition the court to lift the order;

* Provide safeguards against abuse by allowing only the Justice Department to initiate an action, and by giving a federal court the final say about whether a particular site would be cut off from supportive services.

But exactly how will the DoJ initiate this action? Who supplies them with what websites to knock offline? The entertainment industry? On their own volition? It's these unknown details that have people worried. Never mind the fact that website owners have to prove their own innocence by petitioning the court to lift the order. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

The RIAA is also trying to smooth over free speech concerns in their press release today. From RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol (emphasis added):

"With this first vote, Congress has begun to strike at the lifeline of foreign scam sites, while protecting free speech and boosting the legal online marketplace. We congratulate Chairman Leahy and Senator Hatch for their leadership on this bill and to the Senate Judiciary Committee for its action today."

How does establishing a great US firewall help protect free speech? It seems the entertainment industry's damage control department is in full effect, trying to stem the tide against this dangerous censorship legislation before it's too late. But we think it may already be.

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Re: Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill

Postby QGP » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:20 pm

If this becomes law, it could very well result in a fragmentation of the Internet, with alternate DNS systems coming into play. The implications of this are profound, and I doubt the dimwit politicians realize it. I say it's about time the US lost its control of the Internet -- it's on a destructive road to perdition. I say this despite being a US citizen.
Last edited by QGP on Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill

Postby Dustin_D_Lense » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:52 pm

I can just see it now. The MAFIAA knocking (or threatening) off sites that give its members products bad reviews.

It will also be interesting how in what passes for a democracy (but behavng more like China by the minute) what they are going to do about sites that merely hold them at account by publishing lists of the sites they are blocking.

While it is laudable that the authorities might want to block sites involved in criminal activities such as phishing or sale of counterfeit drugs etc. It is a different matter entirely including P2P related that the public actually wants access to and giving the power to the MAFIAA that the public is already in a pitch battle with.

Once people know what is being blocked, it is easy eough to get around.
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Re: Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill

Postby ejonesss » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:12 pm

time to invest in some foreign non usa vpn and proxy servers.
…-..-..-..-..-.-----.-…-..-…-..-…-...
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Re: Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill

Postby sunnyd » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:39 pm

An article from EFF on this...

UPDATE: The Case Against COICA

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/11/case-against-coica

UPDATE: EFF is deeply disappointed to report that the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the COICA Internet censorship bill this morning, despite bipartisan opposition, and countless experts pointing out how it would be ineffective, unconstitutional, bad for innovation and the tech economy, and would break the Internet.

Notably, Senator Feinstein and Senator Coburn commented on the need for more work on elements of the bill — an important consideration as negotiations shift to the Senate at large. The bill is unlikely to come up again until next session, and in the meantime, we look forward to educating Congress about the dangers in COICA, and joining others to oppose this or any other infringement "solution" that threatens lawful speech online.
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Re: Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill

Postby TehZomB » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:41 pm

Wow that's just surprising and disappointing.
The worst part is I called Cardin's office (whom voted FOR the bill) and they told me he was against the bill... I sure know who I'm not voting for come next election season... assuming the other candidate has a better stance on these types of issues.

Dustin_D_Lense wrote:While it is laudable that the authorities might want to block sites involved in criminal activities such as phishing or sale of counterfeit drugs etc.

Very true. This would cut down on the work credit card companies have to do due to identity theft.

ejonesss wrote:time to invest in some foreign non usa vpn and proxy servers.
No need for that, just use offshore DNS :)

QGP wrote:If this becomes law, it could very well result in a fragmentation of the Internet, with alternate DNS systems coming into play. The implications of this are profound, and I doubt the dimwit politicians realize it. I say it's about time the US lost its control of the Internet -- it's on a destructive road to perdition. I say this despite being a US citizen.

Could not agree more (also a US Citizen). ICANN is not supposed to be a government-controlled body, and by connection the internet shouldn't be either. I believe in a free and open internet, one that is not touched by government (Except for DMCA takedowns to websites, or similar laws for other countries, we need something in place). Simply using different DNS servers will not be a problem for me, not in the slightest bit. I currently use OpenDNS, and it is anycasted, so maybe if they end up complying with the law I'll have to chance, but hopefully they'll just remove US servers. Place some in Canada.

Furthermore, I hope they realize that smart sites will just tell users how to edit their hosts files? Even easier. Speeds up connections, too.
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Re: Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill

Postby Dazzle_2 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:22 pm

Some groups have already prepared for this virtual land grab on the internet.

http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/arch ... ta-barges/

It just shows you whats for sale in the US, politicians, their tongues all bought and paid for by the media mafia, keep licking boys :lol:
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Re: Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill

Postby craftycorner » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:08 pm

Wasn't there someone who said censorship is treated as a malfunction by the Internet? Can we say bypass? Pretty easy when you consider the base definition of the Net is a whole bunch of interconnected PC's (and a few supercomputers) who's owners are determined to send and receive data.

What was that I heard about wi-fi some guy created involving antennae and a can of dry beans.
My God, its full of files!

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Re: Judiciary Committee Approves Internet Censorship Bill

Postby sunnyd » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:01 pm

Within this article (and link posted at bottom also) there is a petition that anyone can sign in opposition to this. The document in the article by the Law Professors is also a good read (link pasted at bottom also).

Oregon Senator Wyden Effectively Kills Internet Censorship Bill

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/oreg ... ship-bill/

It's too early to say for sure, but Oregon Senator Ron Wyden could very well go down in the history books as the man who saved the Internet.

A bill that critics say would have given the government power to censor the Internet will not pass this year thanks to the Oregon Democrat, who announced his opposition during a recent committee hearing. Individual Senators can place holds on pending legislation, in this case meaning proponents of the bill will be forced to reintroduce the measure and will not be able to proceed until the next Congress convenes.

Even then, its passage is not certain.
Activist group DemandProgress, which is running a petition against the bill, argued the powers in the bill could be used for political purposes. If the whistleblower Web site WikiLeaks is found to be hosting copyrighted material, for instance, access to WikiLeaks could be blocked for all US Internet users, they suggested.

Petition (in the article) is this one...http://demandprogress.org/blacklist/

Law Professors' Letter In Opposition ... http://www.temple.edu/lawschool/dpost/COICAFull.doc

Also, another article on this...

Senator: Web Censorship Bill A "Bunker-Busting Cluster Bomb"
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news ... r-bomb.ars
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