SOPA Shelved. We Still Blacking Out? Yes. More Internet Censorship Legislation Coming

Responding to two petitions about legislative approaches to combat online piracy, the Obama administration issued the following statement:

“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet. Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.

While we are strongly committed to the vigorous enforcement of intellectual property rights, existing tools are not strong enough to root out the worst online pirates beyond our borders. That is why the Administration calls on all sides to work together to pass sound legislation this year that provides prosecutors and rights holders new legal tools to combat online piracy originating beyond U.S. borders while staying true to the principles outlined above in this response. We should never let criminals hide behind a hollow embrace of legitimate American values.”

SOPA has since been “shelved” indefinitely. Not “killed”, “shelved”. In actuality, SOPA had been pretty well de-fanged the previous week with the removal of mandatory ISP DNS blacklisting. It still makes no provision for the checks and balances one would expect from a piece of legislation that acts on the whims of media publishers to, quite literally, remove all traces of a site from the Internet (including sites that linked to it for any reason). Regardless of the fate of SOPA, there are other bills waiting to take its place.

SOPA was a figurehead, not the complete issue. The Stop Online Piracy Act is not the only Internet censorship bill in Congress. The Protect IP Act (PIPA) is still very much alive and well. PIPA is itself a re-written version of the already defeated COICA censorship bill. OPEN is still being drafted. Even the wording of the White House’s statement quoted above is means for concern as it clearly states the U.S.’s intentions of policing the World Wide Web without regard to the laws and wills of foreign countries.

On January 18, 2012, joins a coalition of like minded web sites who feel strongly enough about this issue to shut down our usual content streams and ad revenue sources in order to promote a day of education concerning this issue. Termed #SOPAblackout, GUO is proud to stand with Reddit, Wikipedia, Craigs List, Anonymous, The Cheezburger Network, Imgur, Mojang, MLG, Red 5, RockPaperShotgun, Destructiod, Boing Boing, Doodlekit, Widescreen Gaming Forum, Shadowville, eSarcasm, several regional segments of Pagan Newswire Collective, and uncountable others in this protest.

It has been a very long time since GUO has not had a new post of some kind on our front page. I hope you will take the time you would have shared with us today and discover the facts of this matter for yourself:

Want to get involved but don’t know where to start? These links should help:

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. You are an agent of change.

No comments :

Post a Comment