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Censorship Government United States Your Rights Online

Internet Blacklist Back In Congress 278

Adrian Lopez writes "A bill giving the government the power to shut down Web sites that host materials that infringe copyright is making its way quietly through the lame-duck session of Congress, raising the ire of free-speech groups and prompting a group of academics to lobby against the effort. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced in Congress this fall by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). It would grant the federal government the power to block access to any Web domain that is found to host copyrighted material without permission."
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Internet Blacklist Back In Congress

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  • Priorities! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:13PM (#34246910)
    With the huge backlog of important legislation requiring immediate attention in an already gridlocked congress, it's sad this is even being considered. I guess the financial incentives to its backers are just too large. Set the controls for the heart of the sun, we are doomed.
  • by MonsterTrimble ( 1205334 ) <monstertrimble AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:20PM (#34247032)

    Disclaimer: I am Canadian, so I didn't vote for Obama (although I would have).

    The Obama administration has turned out far worse than GWB's eight years with respect to the digital age. For all the command they had of social media and running under the 'change' they were bringing with them, they sure seem to want to bow to their old masters.

  • by Professr3 ( 670356 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:25PM (#34247112)
    Nobody bothered to actually ask what kind of "change" he was talking about. D'oh!

    Also, I told you so. I still remember the Slashdot Obama love during the election - got modded down pretty heavily for some comments that, today, would be voted up. The public is fickle :(
  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:27PM (#34247148)

    I hope they realize there is no real way to distinguish a google torrent search from a pirate bay torrent search.

    On the other hand, actual hosting- might be trickier- just Youtube then.

  • by FiloEleven ( 602040 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:28PM (#34247180)

    Oh, I wouldn't count on that. I don't know about the other new Republican senators, but this certainly goes against Rand Paul's ideals. He's going to be a huge and welcome thorn in the side of both parties.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:29PM (#34247198)

    You may wish to explore the Metagovernment project [].

    It resembles libertarianism in some ways, in that it is completely opposed to coercive government. But it differs in that it has no opposition to the idea of governance. That is, as long as there is a consensus behind the governance.

    The funny thing is, when people hear about the idea of consensus government, the most common criticism is, "but how could we pass laws if we had to find a consensus on each one?" And I suspect you know the libertarian answer: who cares? Why do we need so goddamn many laws?

    Another difference between Metagovernment and libertarianism is that Metagovernment is possible in the current world. It doesn't require that Congress overthrow itself. Instead, they are just setting up a new, ground-up form of governance. Over time, the big institutional governments will just become obsolete husks that will be dispensed with.

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:39PM (#34247380)

    if you allow any individual or group to gain more money than others, you practically give the power in their hands. no amount of 'equality' legislation in the political arena, can offset this economic power; the one with the gold makes the rule.

    It's the damn voters. It's the voters who keep sending these sacks of shit back to DC.

    The very fact that you can "spend your way into a seat" is an indictment of the voters and not the money. It means that most of them are so shallow and stupid that they act like a kitten caught between competing shiny things.

    The only thing that'll fix our system is to find a way to disenfranchise such people.

  • Re:bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @04:56PM (#34247614)

    The incarceration of convicts is now a private matter. There are plenty of private security forces. At what point is the public police force and criminal justice system merely a cog in a private system? At what point has the balance of power shifted enough to the private sector that it has a significant influence on the public sector in these areas?

    It's all a matter of detail. And the devil sits right there.

  • by domatic ( 1128127 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:04PM (#34247768)

    Libertarianism doesn't take into account the Golden Rule the parent post brought up or power vacuums. In Libertarian Fantasy Land, Strong Contracts Are All We'll Ever Need. So, of course, what will happen is everyone in an economic position of power will hang a contract on everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. The door to Krogers will have a EULA you that you agree to by walking past it. And that is just the direct approach that will be taken if Libertarian philosophy is taken and implemented at face value. Of course just like every other would-be utopian idea it won't be. Power will still be bought and sold and the only thing accomplished will be to (maybe) change exactly how you go about it.

    Basically what I'm saying here is Libertarianism as a system is just as open to subversion as everything because people will be involved. I'd be open to a (truly) libertarian bloc in the government to slow down and bring into open things like COICA but it is a fantasy to think there is any system that can prevent things like it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:20PM (#34248044)

    political philosophy boils down to "You aren't the boss of me, I'll do whatever I want to, whenever I want to and you can't stop me."

    That is a relatively good political philosophy, though. It's a huge step up from the mainstream political philosophy of "I'm with the government and I want to hurt someone." I'll take childish over evil any fucking day.

  • Re:bullshit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @05:42PM (#34248434) Homepage Journal
    by that logic, and by any logic, the only way to prevent it, is collective ownership AND participation of all people in all aspects of life.

    you cannot make one aspect of life totally equal, democratic, and another totally medieval, feudal, and expect things to work out. because, one will affect the other.

    there will be no free trade with a feudal medieval political system, and there will be no democracy with a feudal medieval financial system.

    because, any group that is able to gain more power than others, will rule that aspect of life, and then will infiltrate/dominate the other through their powerbase in that aspect.

    I think it is large, bloated governments that allow corruption to thrive. If the left hand doesn't know (and can't know) what the right hand is doing, it's much easier to get what you want done. A small, open government would be more effective and less corrupt.

    these are all ayn rand bullshit. which can only persuade people who are not learned in history enough, in order to know enough about feudalism, its advent, its progress and its demise in history.

    i would recommend you to start researching medieval history. you will find that, almost all of its aspects except requirement of being highborn, are identical with capitalist market system.

    hell, you will even find that, in medieval britain, it was possible for any serf to become a lord by acquiring enough land through marriages or buyouts. being highborn wasnt even a requirement.

    and incidentally, most of the basics of the capitalist system comes from britain, and its colonies, carrying the same heritage.

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @09:00PM (#34250414)

    In a typical election, 40% of the vote goes one way, 40% goes the other. It's almost always unthinking party loyalty. There is no hope for most of those people. I know Democrats, for example, who vote Democrat despite the fact that Barack Obama, Reid and Pelosi have literally almost nothing in common with their views. It's all because "they're a Democrat/Republican family."

    The points you raise are hardly insightful. Those problems have existed in literally every system of government from feudal monarchies, to Communism, to whatever-it-is-we-have-today. The establishment always plays hardball, no matter what form the establishment takes.

    One of the interesting things our founders realized, like the Romans and others before them, is that a limited government with minorly democratic features is the closest thing to an ideal. If you look past the issue of slavery in the South, the US was the freest it ever was when it was the least democratic. The reason for that is simple: people in democratic states tolerate 5x more shit than those in nominally or outright undemocratic states in most cases because they don't have the pretense of "choosing their tyranny." Therefore, the government has to actually be judged on what it does, not the process by which it gets there (after which it gets a free pass because a temporary majority agreed with it).

  • Re:Hardly suprising (Score:3, Interesting)

    by apoc.famine ( 621563 ) <> on Tuesday November 16, 2010 @09:19PM (#34250538) Journal
    Even now, there's a damn good chance they'll just block the DNS entry. And how hard is it going to be to post "" to twitter, facebook, or any other such site?

    IPv6 will make it easier, but even now, all a site has to do, at the absolute most is change their IP address and then hit the social networking sites to spread it. Hell, I bet someone could hack together a p2p distributed "dns" program in less than a few hours. A bit of pgp to authenticate a site, and they'd be able to push a new IP address to the p2p cloud any time they needed to. A few hours, and everyone around the world would have the update.

    Blacklists will never stand any sort of reasonable chance from any sort of "IT" person. The ability to extend that to the masses is trivial.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM