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Government Censorship Electronic Frontier Foundation Piracy Privacy United States Your Rights Online

Stop Online Piracy Act Supports Blacklisting, Says EFF 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the by-any-other-name dept.
hessian writes with this quote from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the Stop Online Piracy Act: "Of course the word 'blacklist' does not appear in the bill's text — the folks who wrote it know Americans don't approve of blatant censorship. The early versions of PROTECT-IP, the Senate's counterpart to SOPA, did include an explicit Blacklist Provision, but this transparent attempt at extrajudicial censorship was so offensive that the Senate had to re-write that part of the bill. However, provisions that encourage unofficial blacklisting remained, and they are still alive and well in SOPA. First, the new law would allow the Attorney General to cut off sites from the Internet, essentially 'blacklisting' companies from doing business on the web. Under section 102, the Attorney General can seek a court order that would force search engines, DNS providers, servers, payment processors, and advertisers to stop doing business with allegedly infringing websites. Second, the bill encourages private corporations to create a literal target list—a process that is ripe for abuse."
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Stop Online Piracy Act Supports Blacklisting, Says EFF

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  • Re:Scary (Score:4, Informative)

    by lennier1 (264730) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @02:43AM (#37996164)

    At least it's more honest than in Europe countries where politicians/lobbyists in several countries were using the fight against child abuse as a pretense for the implementation of such censorship systems.

    Just look at Australia, where there's already rampant abuse of online filters which were introduced like that:
    http://nocleanfeed.com/learn.html [nocleanfeed.com]

    The list of material that will be banned under a mandatory filter is much broader than illegal child sexual abuse material. Based on previous decisions of the Classification Board, it includes:

            Information about euthanasia;
            Movies such as Ken Park or Baise-Moi;
            Books such as Join the Caravan and Defence of the Muslim Lands
            Many, many computer games, because Australia lacks an R18+ rating, although the filter will not immediately ban such games.

    Items that have been banned because they 'promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence' include things such as:

            A satirical article title "The Art of Shoplifting" in a student newspaper (see libertus.net's summary of the case).
            A computer game that features "an amateur graffiti artist [...] who uses graffiti and tagging as a way to protest the corrupt Dystopic city of New Radius, in a future world where freedom of expression is suppressed by a tyrannical, Orwellian city government" (wikipedia) because it "provided elements of promotion of the crime of graffiti." (see libertus.net's summary of the decision).

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