Thursday, November 18, 2010

Congress Back To Censoring Internet

Brett Trout - patent attorney BlawgIT

Congress Back to Business as Usual 
Now that the elections are over, Congress can get back to the job of censoring the internet. The kerfuffle over the TSA taking naked pictures of you and/or giving you a groin pat-down has to come as a welcome voter distraction for those lawmakers bent on ramming S. 3804: Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) through Congress before voters even know what it is. Simply put, the COICA allows the government to keep “blacklists” of websites the government, in its sole discretion, decides are “dedicated to infringing activities.” The COICA does not require any hearing or judicial review, just “BAM” your website is gone. Not just the allegedly infringing material, not just the webpage upon which it appears, your entire website.
Enlisting Your ISP Against You
But won’t your Internet Service Provider (ISP) stand up for you and your rights? Theoretically, but the COICA offers your ISP legal immunity if your ISP works with the government to shut down your website. You know your ISP better than I do, but given the choice between fighting the government to defend your rights or throwing you and your website under a bus, I have to imagine you stand a fairly good chance of winding up on the short end of that deal.
But What About the Safeguards?
There are no safeguards. The COICA diminishes the Department of Justice and the Attorney General to “Jack-Booted Thugs” doing the dirty work and stifling freedom of speech on behalf of huge corporate copyright interests. As noted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) “[w]ithout safeguards and a thorough accounting of the consequences, laws and policies targeting so-called ‘pirates’ can be used to pry away human rights and undermine fundamental elements of democracy and freedom.”

Read the rest of the story and sign the petition to stop this bill at Brett Trout's BlawgIT


Sally_Oh said...

Our ISPs are really only two or three that control the internet: comcast, at&t, verizon... these telecommunications industries got immunity for all the illegal wiretapping that went on. I'll bet they got that in exchange for letting the gov run rampant through their customers' sites and constitutional rights.

McClarinJ said...

Sign the petition at: