Tech at Night

Censorship’s the big word right now. The FCC’s under pressure to ban pro sports blackouts, and the Supreme Court may end national profanity rules. However I consider those things small. Few people have access to television broadcasts. Most of us aren’t actually censored by these regulations.

We all have access to the Internet though; that’s how a nobody like me is able to shape the debate against well-funded leftist groups. So I’ll freely admit it: It’s a self-serving thing for me to oppose Internet censorship. I don’t want the Obama administration to have the power to collaborate with private leftist groups to steal people’s domains, and force all ISPs to cooperate with that effective creation of a national censorship blacklist.

They want to call the little guys “E-PARASITES,” using copyright as cover to censor whatever the heck they want. Because once you let the government start blanking out parts of the Internet, then what’s to stop them from blanking out oversight of that censorship? Nothing. Just ask Australia, which censored the internet “for the children,” but then started banning oversight of the censorship, as well as unrelated content like American anti-abortion websites.

The committee vote on SOPA / E-PARASITES is coming, and I’m hearing that the witness list for the bill is stacked 5-1 in favor of the bill. In the Republican House, we’re rigging the hearings in favor of giving the President more regulatory power over the Internet. It boggles the mind. Please consider contacting the Judiciary Committee and asking them to oppose this censorship power grab.

If the US Government starts monkeying around with DNS, the world will ignore it, the same way we ignore Chinese attempts to censor the Internet. We will lose our position as world leader of the Internet overnight.

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Tech at Night

Top story is easy to pick tonight. The legislation that’s been known in the Senate as PROTECT IP, the Internet censorship blacklist bill that promises to make a huge power grab online, Communist China-style, has come to the House. They’re calling it by two different names: E-PARASITES and Stopping Online Privacy Act, but by either name it’s just as bad.

Even as the current laws do work, this bill expands government, and puts the government’s thumb firmly on one side of the scales balanced by the DMCA. Current law attempts to provide a balance between the rights of all of us online, and the rights of copyright holders accusing others of infringement. PROTECT IP/E-PARASITES/SOPA would give copyright holders private nuclear options to knock sites offline, and government would enforce it.

No, really, how bad is it? It threatens, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube, three critical tools used by conservatives and Republicans against this administration, and this House bill would arm this administration against them. It’s insane. It’s just so poorly thought out. PROTECT IP also removes safe harbor concepts critical to the DMCA that gave ISPs reason to be fair to the little guy when pounded on by the big guy. No more, should this pass.

PROTECT IP. SOFA. E-PARASITES. I don’t care what you call it, creating national censorship blacklists to be enforced by law by all ISPs is just a terrible idea. Censorship by its very nature hinders public oversight of that censorship. In fact, some of the first things they censored in Australia’s version were lists of things censored, which meant when the censorship expanded to other topics, any discussion of that was threatened with legal action.

Kill this bill.

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.