More Nation-Level Web Censorship, As Sri Lanka Blocks News Sites It Doesn't Like

from the is-this-really-the-precedent-the-US-wants-to-set? dept

It appears that more and more countries are viewing web censorship as a viable political tool. As the US government considers going down that road by requiring DNS blocking on certain sites over copyright infringement, Sri Lanka has decided to jump into the game as well, blocking five news sites that officials found insulting. Even though the law doesn't appear to allow such blocking, the government has declared that these sites committed "character assassination," and that makes such censorship okay. Amusingly, among the countries protesting this action is the US, who has said it's concerned about press freedom in Sri Lanka. I'm sure the Sri Lankan diplomats, in turn, will simply point to PROTECT IP/SOPA and say "um, guys... you're trying to do the same thing..." Once again, the US obsession over copyright is undermining State Department's efforts on internet freedom.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 12:37am

    "Statism is statism by any other name"
    -Psykosonik, Teknojihad

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 1:52am

    another case of the US saying 'dont do what we do, do what we say'. typical hypocritical US attitude.i just wonder how far things will be allowed/encouraged to go, before there is one hell of a backlash against the government and the entertainment industries?

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    frosty840, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 5:08am

    Re:

    Oh, there probably won't be a backlash. These laws are coming in, but I wouldn't expect the jackboots to come down immediately on everyone's necks.

    You just have to keep tightening the screws gradually so people don't notice the new layers of oppression seeping in. After all, we have always been at war with Eastasia...

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 5:15am

    SOPA / Protect IP has nothing to do with blocking news sites. Nice try Mike! Take another box of FUD out and try again.

     

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  5.  
    icon
    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    That all depends if the news site has the same domain as what the SOPA/E-PARASITE types consider 'infringing content' sites. Then it will.
    A poor effort, and surely this piece is about blocking sites in general without due process, not what content may be on these sites?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 5:40am

    Re:

    SOPA and PROTECT IP doesn't even limit what websites can be blocked, so your certainty that news sites won't be blocked is just self-agrandizing. You know just as little as anyone else does about the chilling effects that will be wrought by these bills.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 5:40am

    Re:

    "SOPA / Protect IP has nothing to do with blocking news sites. Nice try Mike! Take another box of FUD out and try again."

    There is a lot to be said about the benefits of optimism, however, when reviewing past promises of government officials it becomes readily apparent that pessimism is warranted. So, one can easily understand why SOPA / Protect IP is viewed as being all about censorship and little about imaginary property.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 6:02am

    Re: Re:

    If you are getting your "news" from a pirate site, it probably isn't news at all.

    Thanks for playing the FUD game.

     

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  9.  
    icon
    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just because a domain has one 'pirate site' on it, it does not mean that all sites on that domain are 'pirate sites'.

    Thanks for failing troll game.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You guys still don't get it. A domain is a domain, like a newspaper is a newspaper. If a newspaper choose to allow illegal content from a third party to make up part of their daily printing, you can be sure that they would get cut off - the whole paper.

    A domain is the same thing. If Techdirt suddenly started allowing someone to run a warez site on warez.techdirt.com, you can bet that the authorities would be knocking on the door at floor64... because it's part of the techdirt domain and site.

    Don't let your news site share a domain with others who might not be legal, and you never, ever have an issue. If you share and partner with people who are questionable, you lose.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You guys still don't get it."

    What about domains like wordpress.com and other free blog sites? I respectfully request that you check the mirror.

     

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  12.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Speaking of news papers, imagine the damage Righthaven could have done with SOPA, e-parasite. No court, just an email to service providers to shut down ad payments, and the websites. Then the payment request letter "Pay us or we keep your site shut off" ... If you doubt this new law will be abused, then you are an idiot.

    Truth be told I hope SOPA does pass, it leaves the IP maxi's with no further options, and a huge backlash.

     

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  13.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Aparently you only have to link to infringing content, please correct me if I'm wrong - and also, this SOPA/E-PARASITE isn't exceptionally well defined, by any degree. So it could very well include a news site.

    Also, your argument about the news company owning the domain is probably true for your big companies, but certainly not every news site.

    With your third party example "warez.techdirt.com" wouldn't it be wiser to block that site, not the entire domain, by your reasoning floor64.com should be shut down too, as they own the domain.

    "If you share and partner with people who are questionable, you lose."
    So if you set up a news site on a domain, then the owners of that domain sees fit host someone else's site on the same domain which contains infringing content (unbeknownst to you, the news site owner) you should automatically get railroaded, or if you will "broadbrushed" because of the infringing site?
    That makes perfect sense.
    Your first point:
    "A domain is a domain, like a newspaper is a newspaper. If a newspaper choose to allow illegal content from a third party to make up part of their daily printing, you can be sure that they would get cut off - the whole paper."
    I'm afraid, if a newspaper allows illegal content, nine times out of ten it'll just issue an apology (the size of a fingernail on page 39, right next to the dating advertisements).
    "Don't let your news site share a domain with others who might not be legal"
    I thought it was innocent until proven guilty, "might" not be legal, dependant on the depth of analysis, that can pretty much be anyone.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If they want to create "sub sites", they would need to publish them seperately and make sure that they know who they are publishing for.

    Know the user. Know the writer, make them legally liable.

    Until then, wordpress.com and others take a huge risk allowing anyone to publish anything at any time.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I'm afraid, if a newspaper allows illegal content, nine times out of ten it'll just issue an apology (the size of a fingernail on page 39, right next to the dating advertisements)."

    If the newspaper allowed CP to be published as part of it's paper, or other illegal content, they wouldn't just get to put up a little retraction, they would suffer grave legal consequences of their actions. Using the excuse "it's user submitted content from an anonymous source that we actively try to not track" wouldn't go over very well.

    All anyone wants is for the online world to draw back even to the "real" world in a liability sense.

     

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  16.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Until then, wordpress.com and others take a huge risk allowing anyone to publish anything at any time."
    Indeed, free speech maximalists, the lot of them!
    Ban free speech and all that harbour it's wretched stench!

     

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  17.  
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    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So the rest of my post was spot on? Thanks very much, I hope you feel enlightened.
    Oh, and:
    "If the newspaper allowed CP to be published as part of it's paper, or other illegal content, they wouldn't just get to put up a little retraction, they would suffer grave legal consequences of their actions. Using the excuse "it's user submitted content from an anonymous source that we actively try to not track" wouldn't go over very well."
    So a fine as well then, that's completely the same as shutting them down completely.

     

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  18.  
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    Ninja (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There are means for making the author liable with current laws. If a determined blog is selling, let's say, drugs, you can ask for a judicial warrant to close it down and have the police track the one behind via subpoenas to worldpress and the ISP (the guy may be using TOR and/or proxies/vpns and then it'd be nearly impossible to catch them that way but a police officer could impersonate a buyer and arrest on the trade spot).

    These ppl are either ignoring the law or using questionable accusations to do stuff without due process. SOPA any1?

    But of course, you agree with such methods, right Mr Troll?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 8:49am

    The problem with not blocking the sites, is that the infringment will continue and the time between someone being accused and being prosecuted for infringment provides the infringing site the opportunity to move their operations to another domain. By blocking the infringing site you prevent them from redirecting their users to the new site.

    As far as freedom of speach is concerned, don't use services that allow infringment to occur and you won't have to worry about it being shut down.

    I do think their needs to be an expedited appeals process, but I am in favor of blocking sites dedicated to infringment.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Prisoner 201, Nov 9th, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    I hope this law passes.

    Imagine Anonymous uploading infringing content to any site that allows user content and then reporting it.

    Epic lulz does not even begin to describe it.

    I have been saving up popcorn since I first read about SOPA, just for such an event. Its not often you can see a country's digital ecosphere BURN >:)

     

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  21.  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Nov 9th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    It's not a double standard if we're the ones applying it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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