Author Topic: American Internet Censorship Bill  (Read 15081 times)

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Offline Kobuk

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American Internet Censorship Bill
« on: November 16, 2011, 06:14:43 pm »
First, a pre-emptive staff warning to keep this thread civil. This thread can and will be moved at any time to the Debate Forum at the discretion of the staff.

Secondly, Please be careful as to discussion of anything illegal as it may or may not pertain to this thread. The "encouragement/advocation" of anything illegal will be edited/removed from posts at staff's discretion.


Anyway........I come home, turn on the computer, and what do I find on the Mozilla Firefox page? This:
http://www.mozilla.org/sopa/?WT.mc_ID=sopa-snippet
. :o

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/11/piracy-blacklisting-bill/

Quote
Legislation that would prevent Americans from visiting websites the government claims are violating copyright rules had a tumultuous first hearing Wednesday, with its main sponsor unexpectedly expressing reservations over the bill’s scope.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), one the chief sponsors of the bill, expressed uncertainty over allowing the Justice Department to obtain court orders demanding that American ISPs prevent users from visiting blacklisted websites. ISPs receiving such orders would have to alter records in the net’s system for looking up website names, known as DNS.

The House bill also allows the Justice Department to order search sites like Google to remove an allegedly “rogue” site from its search results.

“I’m not a technical expert on this,” the chairman of the committee said, adding moments later: “I’m trying to ferret this out.” When he introduced the package last month, however, he pronounced that the bill was needed because “Rogue websites that steal and sell American innovations have operated with impunity.”

In a marathon, 3.5-hour hearing before the 38-member House Judiciary Committee, lawmakers debated among themselves and with a panel of six witnesses, five of which favored the Stop Online Piracy Act. The committee took no immediate action, but it was apparent that the 79-page measure is likely to be amended, in no small part, due to a backlash from the tech community.

Much of the package is similar to a stalled Senate measure known as the Protect IP Act.

Both proposals amount to the holy grail of intellectual-property enforcement that the recording industry, movie studios and their union and guild workforces have been clamoring for since the George W. Bush administration under the theory that online copyright infringement is destroying American jobs.

Smith, who said “everybody in this panel is committed to fighting piracy,” noted commentary from internet security experts concerned over the fallout if the Justice Department begins ordering American internet service providers to stop giving out the correct DNS entry for an infringing website under the .com, .org and .net domains.

Putting false information into the DNS system — the equivalent of the net’s phonebook — would be ineffective, frustrate security initiatives and lead to software workarounds, according to a paper co-signed by security experts Steve Crocker of Shinkuro, David Dagon of Georgia Tech, Dan Kaminsky of DKH, Danny McPherson of Verisign and Paul Vixie of Internet Systems Consortium.

“These actions would threaten the Domain Name System’s ability to provide universal naming, a primary source of the internet’s value as a single, unified, global communications network,” they wrote.

In other words, the bill would break the internet’s universal character and hamper U.S. government-supported efforts to rollout out DNS-SEC, which is intended to prevent hackers from hijacking the net through fake DNS entries.

The bill’s big-pocketed proponents weren’t moved by those arguments.

Michael O’Leary, Motion Picture Association of America vice president, told Smith that, “it’s a concern, but frankly overstated.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California) whose district includes Silicon Valley, expressed alarm that Google was the only company invited to testify against the bill. Google was peppered over and again by lawmakers asking why it it doesn’t simply stop rendering infringing sites in search results.

“The search engines are not capable of actually censoring the World Wide Web,” Lofgren said. “We need to go after people committing crimes.”

Katherine Oyama, Google’s policy council, responded at one point:

“We don’t control the World Wide Web,” she said, adding that Google does not know what sites are hosting infringing content unless the rights holder tells Google. When that happens, she said, Google usually stops displaying results pointing to that particular page within six hours.

The MPAA’s O’Leary countered later that, on a Google search, the in-theater-only movie J-Edgar has “a better chance that the Pirate Bay is going to end up ahead of Netflix” on a Google search.

Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, AOL, Yahoo, eBay, Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and a host of other groups and companies oppose the measure, saying the bill will break the internet as we know it.

Not all members of the committee said the legislation needed work.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) said, “This is a good bill.”

Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina) expressed some reservations, but said legislation was needed.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” he said. “Not only are online privacy and counterfeiting drains on our economy, they expose consumers to fraud, identity theft, confusion and to harm.”

John Clark, the security chief for Pfizer, testified that counterfeit drug sales run rampant on the internet.

“I see counterfeited medicines as attempted murder,” he said.

Troubling to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) was how the bill described what sites could be targed, those “dedicated to infringing activity.”

The House bill allows rights holders to demand that online ad services and credit card companies stop working with an allegedly infringing sites. The copyright holder need only allege the site is “dedicated to infringing activity” — as say Viacom alleges about YouTube, and if the ad service or credit card company does not quickly sever ties, they can be held liable. No court approval is needed to send such a letter.

“It imposes harsh, arbitrary sanctions without due process,” Google’s Oyama said.

Smith’s measure also grants the U.S. attorney general sweeping powers to block the distribution of workarounds, such as the MafiaaFire plugin on the Firefox browser, that let users navigate to sites that have been blacklisted or had their domain name seized.

Smith asked witness Maria Pallante, the U.S. Registrar of Copyrights, what she meant by her testimony that if “Congress does nothing,” the “U.S. copyright system will ultimately fail.”

“I don’t think,” Pallante said, “that’s an overstatement.”

It’s not clear how the copyright system is failing given that Netflix streaming service counts more than 21 million subscribers accounting for the largest share of peak internet traffic every night, that YouTube is paying millions out to copyright holders, and an increasing number of people get their online music from paid and ad-supported services such as Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, Amazon and iTunes.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 06:50:46 pm by Kobuk »
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Offline Mylo

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2011, 06:49:00 pm »
Quote
Could this pass?
Yes. The Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act have widespread support in Congress and are expected to pass.

Widespread support?  Expected to pass?  Even when there is so much negativity?  I've got to read more into this and then I'll make a better post.

Offline Murkrow

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2011, 07:47:41 pm »
Are we suddenly becoming China now?

seriously? are they freaking serious?!

guess what. im gonna post anyways. gave up on these *insert Murk's fowl mouth here* LONG TIME AGO.
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I'll meet you there." ~ Owl City

Offline Gavin Leucrota

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 09:35:39 pm »
That... This is... They're trying to control something they don't even begin to understand!

I saw something about this on Know Your Meme earlier today, and assumed it was just another short-sighted attempt to "make everything better" that'd get scrapped moments later. I really can't believe this is getting any kind of support. Going back to KYM, I found the video explaining what this is, watched it, and became quite upset. Here's a link to the video.

Offline Metalhead_Mockingbird

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 09:58:34 pm »
This is no. Just... no. On so many levels no. So much Free Speech violation this doesn't even begin to be Constitutional AT ALL.

And I'm sure Anonymous is going to stick their nose into this as well, which should be interesting how that'll play out. 
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Offline Mylo

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 10:21:27 pm »
This is actually going to pass?  Is this for real?  :o

The entertainment industry needs to realize the fact that their business model is outmoded.  They cannot come to realize this fact, or even embrace the power of the Internet.  They're blaming the consumers (and they do have grounds, considering this was made primarily to stop pirates), but they refuse to modernize.  

Now that I think about it, the Internet is something that governments all over the world have to fear.  It's too big, too free, and too fast.  The media coverage of social media's influence in pretty much everything important nowadays only amplifies the growing concern for the people at the top (this includes both entertainment executives and government itself).

I have a feeling this is more of an experiment than anything (like Bank of America's $5 debit card fee), and that ultimately, it'll create more problems than it helps to solve.  Or who knows?  If it doesn't work, maybe they'll just start directly blocking IP's.  If this law lasts more than a year, and if it is actually utilized, then... this is the beginning of something big.

EDIT: I just read that this is going to cost $47 million US tax dollars a year.  The MPAA says they lose about $3 billion a year in box office sales (not DVD or digital downloads).  So basically, this law only has to stop about 2% of piracy to be deemed "successful."  What a sham.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 10:27:31 pm by Mylo »

Offline Shim

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 11:14:44 pm »

Offline Gearbox

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 11:55:47 pm »
I dunno what to say that wouldn't sound cliche. Hopefully organizations like Demand Progress will slow down, if not stop the bill.

Offline Landrav

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 11:56:17 pm »
For about a minute I was worried. Then I started thinking of how one might circumvent this feeble attempt to censor the internet. Then I remembered Anonymous and now I have no worries... at least about the technical side of this problem.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2011, 12:37:10 am »
For about a minute I was worried. Then I started thinking of how one might circumvent this feeble attempt to censor the internet. Then I remembered Anonymous and now I have no worries... at least about the technical side of this problem.

You talk like Anonymous is some kind of superhero :D

I mean, people in China still use Facebook

Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2011, 01:59:48 am »
Quote
Legislation that would prevent Americans from visiting websites the government claims are violating copyright rules had a tumultuous first hearing Wednesday, with its main sponsor unexpectedly expressing reservations over the bill’s scope.

I didn't have time to read this whole thread/article yet, but I saw this first line of the article quoted and my first thought was, "Welp... there goes Youtube."
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Offline Alsek

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2011, 02:33:48 am »
Totally being pushed by special interests.  The odd thing is that there should be some pretty significant special interests opposing it too.  We'll see what happens.  Also EFF is a great organization.  Definitely something to look into.

Offline Foxpup

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 02:41:29 am »
I've been preparing for this ever since the Australian Communications and Media Authority started bouncing around similar proposals, so I know of a few simple ways around such schemes. I'd say more, but... Kobuk, when you say "discussion of anything illegal", do you mean things that are illegal now, or things that will become illegal if this bill passes? You need to be more specific about these things...
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2011, 06:30:53 am »
I've been preparing for this ever since the Australian Communications and Media Authority started bouncing around similar proposals, so I know of a few simple ways around such schemes. I'd say more, but... Kobuk, when you say "discussion of anything illegal", do you mean things that are illegal now, or things that will become illegal if this bill passes? You need to be more specific about these things...

When I say "anything", I mean ANYTHING illegal. ;)
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Offline Gearbox

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 07:06:23 am »
Eh. It probably won't pass. Google, Yahoo, Facebook, eBay, and whatnot have way too much pull to have their stuff stomped by a few special interest groups like the MPAA or The Writers Guild. The record companies aren't really much of a match for a company like Google. And I've seen at least 10 of these proposed bills, and from what I can remember very few if any of them actually passed. Luckily. Hopefully nobody pulls any ninja crap with 'em one of these days and pushes it through at midnight or something.

Offline Foxpup

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2011, 07:22:06 am »
I've been preparing for this ever since the Australian Communications and Media Authority started bouncing around similar proposals, so I know of a few simple ways around such schemes. I'd say more, but... Kobuk, when you say "discussion of anything illegal", do you mean things that are illegal now, or things that will become illegal if this bill passes? You need to be more specific about these things...

When I say "anything", I mean ANYTHING illegal. ;)

Have you no sense of justice? Why, when faced with the choice to be lawful or to be good, do you choose to be lawful? >:(

Although I can't say I'm at all surprised, given that Furtopia is based in America...

Eh. It probably won't pass. Google, Yahoo, Facebook, eBay, and whatnot have way too much pull to have their stuff stomped by a few special interest groups like the MPAA or The Writers Guild. The record companies aren't really much of a match for a company like Google. And I've seen at least 10 of these proposed bills, and from what I can remember very few if any of them actually passed. Luckily. Hopefully nobody pulls any ninja crap with 'em one of these days and pushes it through at midnight or something.

PROTECT IP passed, although I think there's a Senate hold on it at the moment. I see no reason not to expect SOPA to pass also. Hope is dangerous to freedom. Freedom requires action. Fortunately, there are still those of us who are willing to take action...
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Offline Narei Mooncatt

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2011, 07:46:10 am »
I've been preparing for this ever since the Australian Communications and Media Authority started bouncing around similar proposals, so I know of a few simple ways around such schemes. I'd say more, but... Kobuk, when you say "discussion of anything illegal", do you mean things that are illegal now, or things that will become illegal if this bill passes? You need to be more specific about these things...

When I say "anything", I mean ANYTHING illegal. ;)
Well, Foxpup... if those ways around are not illegal now then I guess this means it's free game unless/until it becomes illegal. At least, that's what I get from the literal wording of the rules. I do agree, if the discussion of something that could potentially become illegal is not allowed, the rules should reflect that view. Then again, it could have some negative consequences and limit some people's willingness to post some things on here that are controversial but not illegal. But I digress... Moving on:

After reading this, it reminds me of the stereotypical angry nerd stories. You have the jocks (the MPAA, etc) that try to push the nerds (Google, Facebook, net security firms, ect) around and always expect to get their way. Don't forget the nerds run the internet and can easily wreak havoc on the jocks. Make Google block sites that host music from their searches, and watch Google block results for every stinking band signed to your music label. Facebook to kick all those same bands off that site. Ditto Twitter. With as big as social media has become, and especially critically important search engines to find anything you need, those big money groups are playing with fire.

In a way, I think it would be interesting to watch a full scale net war like that. I wouldn't want it to actually happen because of how much it would devestate the developed world, but reading about it in a history book or something like that would be facinating. And perhaps a bit funny too.
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Offline Foxpup

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2011, 09:34:14 am »
Well, Foxpup... if those ways around are not illegal now then I guess this means it's free game unless/until it becomes illegal. At least, that's what I get from the literal wording of the rules. I do agree, if the discussion of something that could potentially become illegal is not allowed, the rules should reflect that view. Then again, it could have some negative consequences and limit some people's willingness to post some things on here that are controversial but not illegal.

The problem is that this bill makes it illegal for ISPs to provide access to certain sites (which is bad enough), but as far as I can tell, it doesn't just apply to ISPs: it's apparently illegal for anyone to provide access to the blocked sites. So if you're providing yourself access by your own means, then you're a criminal. Of course, if the bill doesn't pass, then the techniques for accessing blocked sites won't be illegal, but you also won't need to use them. I hate laws without loopholes...
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Offline Lynk

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2011, 11:47:29 am »
For about a minute I was worried. Then I started thinking of how one might circumvent this feeble attempt to censor the internet. Then I remembered Anonymous and now I have no worries... at least about the technical side of this problem.
Heh, Anonymous was also the first thing to pop into my mind when I read this. They aren't gonna just let this slip past.

Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2011, 12:17:47 pm »
The entertainment industry has squealed like stuck pigs everytime
a new way to distribute media was developed and sold over the
last 50 years. But each time they end up making billions more..

This will likely end up costing taxpayers more and nothing else. It's
very difficult to stop software workarounds..

Even with tens of thousands of net watchers many users in China still find
ways to use the net as they wish.

I hope there are enough commercial interests to prevent such nonsense here.

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Offline Mylo

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2011, 12:25:37 pm »
Check out the Wikipedia article: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act

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Offline MWBrantley

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2011, 03:53:53 pm »
This isn't something new and out-of-the-blue; from what my aged relatives (I'm not exactly a spring chicken myself :D) tell me, the 'Entertainment Industry' has been grousing about 'lost revenue' since the first retail-available recording devices came to be used to record AM radio, and haven't stopped since. I really don't see how all this new regulation is supposed to stop hackers and identity thieves; it sounds to me as if they're targeting the wrong end of the system.

The thing is, though, the bill will probably pass, and we'll just have to adjust our lives accordingly. It just might/probably turn out to be about as effective and have as little actual impact as previous attempts to regulate artistic freedom. Just have to wait and see.
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Offline Mylo

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2011, 06:09:53 pm »
Does anyone know when we'll find out?

Offline Kobuk

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2011, 06:50:20 pm »
Foxpup:  I just got home from work, so I haven't had much time to prepare what I want to say. What I can temporarily say is this:  Furtopia is a PG/Family Friendly community. We have members here of all ages, especially children as young as 12 or 13. So the discussion of illegal topics, items, etc. needs to be kept to a minimum or not at all........or taken to the adult forums. The "encouragement/advocation" of anything illegal which could harm a person's health/safety or get them into trouble is strictly prohibited on the forums as we do not need members (Especially any children) hearing/reading about such things and later trying to do them IRL. So trying to discuss/encourage/advocate for example an illegal way of downloading a song is banned.
Now you or someone else may say: "But even if you prohibit "encouragement/advocation" of illegal stuff, or keep discussion of illegal topics "in check" so to speak, Adults and children are still going to hear about and do illegal stuff from their friends, school, etc., etc., etc."

What people do off of Furtopia is their own business. But here on the forums, the rules are to be followed. We don't need parents coming on here asking why their son Billy learned about illegally downloading a movie on a respectable family friendly furry forum, know what I mean?  ;)


I won't discuss anymore about the rules here so as to not derail the thread. If members have further questions, then they can PM the staff.
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Offline Alayna Nikita

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Re: American Internet Censorship Bill
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2011, 07:53:52 pm »