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Censorship United States Your Rights Online

White House Pressuring Registrars To Block Sites 569

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the strange-world-we-live-in dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While the Senate is still debating a bill that would force registrars and ISPs to block access to sites deemed 'infringing,' it appears that the White House's IP Czar is already holding meetings with ISPs, registrars and payment processors to start voluntarily blocking access to sites it doesn't like. Initially, they're focused on online pharmacies, but does anyone think it will only be limited to such sites? ICANN apparently has refused to attend the meetings, pointing out that they're 'inappropriate.' Doesn't it seem wrong for the US government to be pushing private companies to censor the Internet without due process?"
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White House Pressuring Registrars To Block Sites

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:44PM (#33751604)

    Initially, they're focused on online pharmacies,

    So the worry is that instead of "just" protecting the US drug industry from international competition (like getting drugs cheaper from Canada or Mexico or wherever) they'll start protecting the US music industry too from whomever is their demon of the moment?

    Isn't the stated, uh... elevation... just as bad as the slippery slope?

  • by tsalmark (1265778) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:48PM (#33751668) Homepage
    It often seems the US is trying to turn itself into a has-been ghetto on the world stage. Due process is one of those pillars of democracy that they fight so hard to bring the rest of the world.
  • by webdog314 (960286) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @03:55PM (#33751768)

    Screw the reason for the censoring. ISP's shouldn't be making decisions on content AT ALL. Today it's online pharmaceuticals. Tomorrow it'll be sites pertaining to Islam, or in opposition of the government. How long do you think it will take our leaders to demand a system by which THEY can add sites or domains to the blacklist directly?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:02PM (#33751894)

    Do you even know what socialism is? Because it isn't this.

    You're right, this is tyranny. This is the reason God gave me the right to own a firearm. This is the reason the Founding Father's put restrictions on how they can govern me, such as restricting themselves from interfering with my God given right to the freedom of expression.

  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:06PM (#33751958)

    huh.

    in my experience... not so much.

    In fact, the guy they are busting in colorado was shipping real drugs.

    There are plenty of scam sites, but once you get a site that gives you the real thing, you stayed with it.

    Cost?

    36 Viagra.. 25mg
    $360 with a prescription legally...
    Go to doctor every 3 months.

    33 Viagra.. 100mg (so 132 uses when pill-cut to 25mg)
    $100 - go to doctor once every six months.

    Thyroid Medicine?
    $105 with prescription & insurance
    $180 with prescription & no insurance
    $50 online.

    Dirty secret?
    Same medicine legally in Medicine? $20
    Same medicine legally in India (by the same damn manufacturer)? $2.00

    You can tell pretty quickly if viagra, thyroid medicine, or blood pressure medicine are fake.. you know, in 2 or 3 days your BP shoots back up to 175/100. You can tell pretty quickly if your thyroid medicine is fake, you get really tired and your hair starts falling out. And of course, you can tell within 30 minutes if your viagra/cealis, etc are not real.

    ---
    Now some you can't- cholesterol medicine (Lipitor) for example. Your blood would change in a couple weeks but you'd have to take a test (available for $10 at Walgreens).

    Fact is we are GROSSLY overcharged for pills in the U.S. And the government is doin everything it can not to stop bad pills but to stop good pills.

  • by KDN (3283) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:08PM (#33751996)

    Its not USSR style socialism where the companies are run by the state. But it is Nazi Germany style socialism where the government tells the companies what to do or else. Hm, now that I think of it, that is kind of like present day China.

  • websites? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:13PM (#33752058)

    so they're blocking port 80 and 443?

    ok fine with me. I think I'll manage somehow =).

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:21PM (#33752166) Journal

    >>>"White House's IP Czar...start voluntarily blocking access to sites"

    You see what happens when you don't pay attention? I spend the summer playing videogames and watching movies, and while I'm distracted President George Duh Bush comes back to office. Jeez. I thought we go rid of that joker and his-anti free speech ways.

  • by wizkid (13692) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:22PM (#33752182) Homepage

    I've been voting for non-democrap/republishit candidates since the patriot act, which violates the constitution.

    If republican's are for a smaller government, why did the federal gov balloon during their era.

    If Democraps are for a socialist government, why do the give in to every corporate request that they make?

    Why are people so clueless that they can't figure out what these a$$holes are up to?

  • by FoolishOwl (1698506) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:25PM (#33752256) Journal

    Voting for third-party candidates is actually a viable strategy.

    The Democrats and Republicans usually craft their campaigns to differ from each other by the minimum possible for there to be a discernible difference. Presidential elections are frequently decided on the basis of a few percentage points.

    This means a candidate that has little chance of being elected can actually have a significant influence on the election, if they can attract a few percentage points of votes -- that means one or the other major party candidates will have to adjust their platform to try to draw those voters, or lose the election. Ross Perot (not someone I admire, by the way) had this sort of influence on the Republicans, after he won 8% of the vote in 1996.

  • 42, or is it 57? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:30PM (#33752304)
    Next time think before voting for a President who believes we have 57 states. Second grade kids know better than that.
  • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:46PM (#33752554)

    National Health Care, Social Security, Welfare, HUD, there are a whole lot of programs that the US has been starting and enlarging over the last 100 years that are socialist. Like them or not is debatable. Socialist or not is not debatable.

    Sure it is.

    I would argue that they have more in common with traditional patronage systems (dating back at least to the Roman Republic) than they do with modern socialist thought. All of those programs function to pacify lower social orders to the net benefit of established social elites (it's hard to keep your mansion when people want to murder you, ask Marie Antoinette).

    They are wrapped in socialist rhetoric, I would agree, but they are hardly socialist in function (notice how actual socialists are as unhappy with those programs as anyone else).

  • by jimrthy (893116) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:47PM (#33752576) Homepage Journal
    Government is tyranny. The trick is finding the balance between safety and convenience (on one hand) and 1984.
  • by KDN (3283) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:55PM (#33752688)
    Not just communists, but liberals, democracy, and anything that did not support the racial purity of the German people.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:56PM (#33752708) Journal

    If that actually worked the Democrats would have taken a turn to the left after Nader cost them the election in 2000. But they decided to try to win over Bush voters instead of Nader voters.

  • by Rei (128717) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @04:59PM (#33752742) Homepage

    I think there's a big difference between spammers promoting sites that sell fake drugs, and legitimate online pharmacies which don't spam-vertize and which sell legit drugs. I think there's a compelling interest to shut the former down. I don't think there's a compelling argument for the latter. Honestly, I think it's pretty stupid that 98% of drugs out there have to have a prescription to get. It's not like druggies on the street are getting hopped up on immunosuppressants or anti-convulsants or whatnot.

    I've seen the good these legit online pharmacies have done for whole communities of people who are too afraid to go to the doctor for conditions and who often have done more research on the drugs for their conditions than the medical professionals who would otherwise prescribe them.

  • by cjb658 (1235986) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:09PM (#33752898) Journal

    Missed the "Democratic" in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Have we? Maybe, just maybe, politcal groups name themselves things that will appeal to their audience.

    They can claim to be Democratic because they have elections. However, since there is no secret ballot, Kim Jong-Il always gets 99% of the vote.

    And 1% of the population mysteriously vanishes...

  • by CynicTheHedgehog (261139) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:11PM (#33752918) Homepage

    Write to your state legislature and request preferential voting ballots. The plurality system we have today causes people to vote for one of two candidates that is most likely to win and offends them the least. With preferential voting you can truly vote your conscience without "robbing" your second- or third-ranked candidate of a vote. Some states already have this; see:

    http://instantrunoff.com/ [instantrunoff.com]
    http://www.fairvote.org/ [fairvote.org]

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:27PM (#33753170)

    I voted for Obama based on my belief that he would make better decisions than McCain.

    And that's why the majority made such a clearly bad decision. Anyone who took a step back from all the talking points could clearly see they had exactly one path available; regardless of who you voted for. There was McCain who told people the truth - which wasn't what they wanted to hear. Then there was Obama who lied, lied, and lied some more and only told people what they wanted to hear. Exact opposites. Once he was in office, Obama very closely followed the plans cleanly laid out by McCain (and other Republicans). Its not as if Obama had much of an option to do otherwise. McCain even said as much.

    Anyone who honestly thought Obama would do what he said was completely disconnected from reality and likely ignorant of world events; excluding headlines. Bluntly, it NEVER mattered who you voted for in the last election, there was only one reasonable set of actions which could have been implemented.

    Really the only difference between the two candidates last election is, one told you what you didn't want to hear and the other blew smoke up your ass. All too often, in most facets of life, people are lured in with feel-food smoke blowing.

    Seriously, its only been in maybe this last year where there has been any difference between Democrat or Republican as a result of that election. When people tell you it doesn't matter, Democrat or Republican, its true. The only real difference is which sector or special interest is lobbying. And this shows absolutely no chance of change until purchased lobbying and corporate contributions are outlawed. Until those change, you'll never have an honest government. And the longer the status quo remains in effect, the more corrupt things will grow and the more difficult it will be to change.

    Honestly, there was one real difference in the last election...at least one politician actually told the truth for once. That alone, is noteworthy - but it cost him the election. Likely means no politician will make that mistake again. At least not any time soon.

  • by Score Whore (32328) on Thursday September 30, 2010 @05:55PM (#33753494)

    I don't want to argue for him, but you don't seem to have read what he wrote at all. At no point did he way that some people are inherently superior due to an advantaged birth. He is clearly not talking about a value judgment of individuals at all. Rather he is saying that some people accomplish more, they contribute more, they create prosperity.

    And yes, in the end they should have a higher standard of living. Otherwise you are treating people unequally. Look at it from the whole equation rather than just the result. Person A made substantial sacrifices, they learned a valuable skill, they work sixty hours a week and they have a high standard of living. To then turn around and say that Person B deserves the same standard of living without ever having had to make the sacrifices and put in the work is treating them unequally. The only real way to treat them equally is to let them reach their own level of success driven by how much they want to put into it.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Thursday September 30, 2010 @09:21PM (#33754958) Journal

    Nice to see I'm not the only one who likes to read history of the 20th century. I would say Hitler had more of a oligarchy than a true fascist state, as there were plenty making money that were NINO (Nazi in name only) and as long as they kept production high Hitler didn't give a shit if they made out like bandits, whereas Mussolini was more hands on. I'd I'd say there is a BIG difference between fascism and corporatism, in that with fascism the state controls the corporations, whereas like in the USA today corporatism is just the opposite, with the multinationals using their power to control the state. You see fascism always seems to have a nationalist bent, whereas corporatism allows foreign powers more control over the state than the people themselves wield.

    What neither of these belief systems really take into account though is the truly terrifying power propaganda has over the populace today. With deregulation allowing virtually all forms of mass communication to be completely controlled by a few the ability to manipulate the populace has become a truly terrible weapon in the multinational corporation's arsenal. That is why I truly believe what we are seeing in TFA is only the beginning, as the Internet in its current form is a threat to their power. they will not stop until the Internet is nothing but a home shopping network that plays approved content. The next attack I believe will be over encryption, as allowing mass groups private communication is a threat to power. Mark my words, it won't be long until you see Nancy Grace and the other talking heads talking about how tools like TrueCrypt are "nothing but tools of child molesters OMG!". That my friend, is the brilliance of propaganda. They don't have to outlaw it, as if they get the public to believe "TrueCrypt and other encryption = child molesters" then simply having it will be enough for most juries to convict you. Welcome to scary land, enjoy your stay.

  • by Xest (935314) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:35AM (#33756604)

    Everything you said is complete nonsense.

    The USSR was totalitarian-communist, not socialist, there IS a difference. A few European nations are socialist (democratic-socialist), and socialism can often be spotted by higher level of taxes, but great level of state provided benefits- in some European countries for example you get free child care, subsidised fuel costs and that sort of thing at the expense of higher taxes.

    Nazi Germany was not socialist, it was totalitarian-fascist. Hitler was installed at the behest of the Germany people and so was a legitimate leader.

    Present day China is less socialist than the US, because it offers little protection for the average person- companies can abuse them all they want, and if they struggle to provide and need help, well, tough shit. In the US workers have many more protected rights and some level of state benefits. China is more Capitalist than the US nowadays, the only difference is that China is staunchly authoritarian-capitalist. The US is, in contrast, loosely demoratic-capitalist.

    Perhaps the most salient point though is that there's not actually anything wrong with socialism. For some reason Americans have been sold it and see it as some big evil bogeyman, and yet many European states are much more socialist than the US and yet their citizens are often also much happier, much healthier, and much better educated. Obama has certainly made a very loose push towards socialism, but it's hard to argue that it IS socialism, it's just heading in that direction. The problem is that some elements of US society have tried to link socialism and communism as being equivalent, and have then tried to imply that any move towards socialism is hence like moving towards USSR style communism. Clearly that's absurd, at best it means that Obama has tried to make the US a bit more like some of the European countries who have a healthy, thriving population without the gross disparity in wealth and the associated crime and health problems that come with it that the US has. Whilst you may personally not like that model (which is a perfectly fair and valid feeling on your behalf if it's the case), it shouldn't be hard to understand why he wants that model when it works so incredibly well elsewhere.

    Demonising it as a move towards soviet or nazi style rule is just comical though, if you really believe that you should keep out of political debate until you're better educated. If you disagree with it, then come up with reasons why you disagrees- research the downsides of it and put those forward as reasoned arguments, weighed up against the upsides. Use other countries as case studies, see if it has worked elsewhere, see what the negative side effects have been.

    It's probably a lot to ask, because the American public seem quite content basking in ignorance when it comes to political debate half the time resorting merely to dumbed down attacks on politicians of the "OMG SOCIALIST" type, but I'd absolutely love it if you'd go out and prove me wrong, and start engaging in more reasoned and intelligent debate about the issues with your fellow countrymen which yes, involves accepting that there are positive and not just negative sides to the opposition's proposals, whatever they may be. After all, even soviet style communism decreased income disparity, even if it fucked most other things up. It's just about weighing the good vs. bad and coming to a conclusion based upon that but I believe you'll have a hard time arguing that the US as a whole wouldn't benefit from a slightly more socialist stance to eliminate some of it's burning social issues, even if it may not benefit you personally.

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