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Censorship Your Rights Online

Sir Tim Berners-Lee Speaks Out On SOPA 188

natecochrane writes "Father of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee called for Americans to protest SOPA and PIPA, laws he says violate human rights and are unfit for a democratic country. Sir Tim's condemnation came on the day an editorial in Australia's leading broadsheet newspapers pointed out that although the laws ostensibly applied to U.S. interests they could overreach to impact those in other countries."
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Sir Tim Berners-Lee Speaks Out On SOPA

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  • by johanwanderer ( 1078391 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:26PM (#38751702)

    Father of the web? Wait 'till Al Gore hears about hears about this poser!

    Web != internet

  • by SonicSpike ( 242293 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:42PM (#38751942) Journal

    This just came out yesterday......

    "For the past several months, Sen. Rand Paul has opposed and led the charge against both the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Yesterday, Sen. Paul issued the following statement.

    "The Internet, as we know it, has had a profound impact on job creation, the global economy and prosperity. It has accelerated wealth creation and facilitated a more connected world. But the Internet's development is based on the free flow of information, innovation, and ideas, not central government control," Senator Paul said.

    "Both PIPA and SOPA give the federal government unprecedented and unconstitutional power to censor the Internet. These bills enable the government to shut down websites that it deems guilty of violating copyright laws. While we support copyright protections, we are also concerned about websites being shut down without their day in court, and making innocent third parties bear the costs of solving someone else's problems."

    Sen. Paul concluded, "I will not sit idly by while PIPA and SOPA eliminate the constitutionally protected rights to due process and free speech. For these reasons, I have pledged to oppose, filibuster and do everything in my power to stop government censorship of the Internet.""

  • Re:And yet... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2012 @03:44PM (#38751976)

    That's because they're already as good as passed. At best, the blackout thing will force them to change the name. There's an anti-"child pornography" bill coming up. If SOPA fails, or only passes without the DNS provisions, they'll just be added to the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act []. Except rather than calling it "copyright infringement" they'll call it "protecting our children."

    The battle's already as good as lost. About all the blackout did was piss people off. So now instead of being mad about SOPA, they're mad about not being able to access the Wikipedia for a day, and they're mad at "a bunch of nerds who are upset about laws that will stop them from stealing stuff."

    Did you watch any of the news about the Wikipedia blackout? All of it put SOPA in a positive light and accused Wikipedia of being "too political."

    The battle's lost. The people don't care. They're just mad at the websites that went on strike, NOT the law they went on strike over.

  • by LateStarter ( 2556756 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:01PM (#38752150)
  • by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:02PM (#38752152)

    The SOPA was written to address "US-based interests", i.e. it specifically claims to go after only US-directed foreign websites, to prevent US-based people from seeing those foreign websites.

    (Defn: "US-directed" means that the site hasn't taken steps to prevent US people from seeing the website, or other nonspecified reasons. "Foreign website" means a domain name which is registered by a non-US registrar, or an IP address which comes from a non-US block).

    But the US doesn't have jurisdiction over foreign domains/websites. So, in that absence, it's US-based companies who have to act:

    * US-based ISPs have to take measures to prevent their customers from "accessing" those websites 5 days. It's not clear what measures must be taken, but they include at a minimum blocking DNS lookups.

    * US-based search engines have to remove hyperlinks to those foreign domains/websites within 5 days

    * US-based ad brokers have to cease serving ads to those foreign domains/websites within 5 days

    * US-based payment companies have to cease processing payments for those foreign domains/websites with 5 days

    Moreover, any US-based service which bypasses this censorship -- TOR, Mafiaafire, free and open DNS servers -- will be shut down by the courts.

  • Re:And yet... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:07PM (#38752228)
    Bad news. Chuck Norris is a christian fundamentalist & republican.
  • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @04:48PM (#38752700) Journal

    Mesh networking is a proven technology that has no central point of failure. This is a site full of outraged nerds.

    So... get off your ass and help render the Internet obsolete. The problem isn't the politics. The problem is the infrastructure, and the solution is ready, waiting to be deployed.

  • by GumphMaster ( 772693 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:40PM (#38753412)

    It sure as hell applies to me. I run a (very) small software business online in Australia under a .au domain name. If a US company decides that my software infringes a patent they claim to hold then they can get my site removed from any US-based searching index and my site blocked by name or IP. That is not catastrophic as my software is not useful in the US, and reasonably well supported by word-of-mouth anyway.

    However, under these abominations of law, they can also force any company with a presence in the US to cease any payment related service to my company. Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Diners will remove their merchant accounts, PayPal is not an alternative etc. Any non-US payment processor accepting Mastercard, Visa etc. will be contractually obliged by the US companies, protecting their own legal arses, to refuse payment services also. This is a death sentence to any online business. The only recourse is to fight a legal battle in US courts, a death sentence to any small company.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.