November 16th: American Censorship Day; Don't Let Congress Censor The Internet

from the take-a-stand dept

On November 16th, the House of Representatives will be holding hearings on SOPA, its bill to put in place all sorts of restrictions and regulations on the internet, at the behest of the big Hollywood studios, who have failed to adapt. The bill is nothing short of an attempt to censor the internet, creating -- for the first time ever -- the ability for the US government to flat out censor entire websites. The hearings on the 16th are completely stacked in favor of the bill. The sponsors of the bill can't even stand to have a fair hearing and listen to those who are worried about the unintended consequences of the bill.

That's why a bunch of websites have teamed up to declare November 16th: American Censorship Day. If you run a website, please sign up to participate, to help educate your users to the problems associated with the bill, and to urge them to express their concerns to Congress. Don't let Congress build the Great Firewall of America while you sat back and did nothing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 7:55am

    who cares, its not like this world is worth saving. i got my front row tickets to the end of it all.

     

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  2.  
    icon
    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Re:

    "who cares, its not like this world is worth saving."
    Because we have a choice, the grass is always greener on the other world...

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.....

    Ooooo look, the apologists are doing a virtual Occupy Washington.

     

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  4.  
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    Another AC, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    Re:

    What's an apologist?

     

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

  5.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    Ooooo look, the apologists are doing a virtual Occupy Washington.

    Actually, it looks more like you woke up a sleeping giant from where I am sitting.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re:

    I apologize!

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re:

    "Ooooo look, the apologists are doing a virtual Occupy Washington."

    Actually, it looks more like you woke up a sleeping giant from where I am sitting.

    That's a good one. You have the political equivalent of Larry, Curly and Moe (Wyden, Lofgren and Issa) as your allies in Congress. Too little, too late.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Those in Congress and those lobbying for this bill are as intelligent as Larry, Curly, and Moe relative to the technocrats against it.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    Re:

    You sure are happy for someone who's rights and liberties are about to be obliterated.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re:

    (because I'm an apologist).

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Apologist, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re:

    I'm sorry that you don't know that. I apologize.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Those in Congress and those lobbying for this bill are as intelligent as Larry, Curly, and Moe relative to the technocrats against it.

    And who do you think is going to win? nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.....

     

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  13.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "And who do you think is going to win?"

    Hopefully the public not the corporations, you know "We the People" and all that...

    ProTip: That means not you sir shill.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's a good thing I've posted this blog to my Facebook account. Nothing like using the Internet to get the word out.
    I hope Mike lets us all know which politician voted for this. Then I can spam that list to my Facebook account too. Need to let the people know who voted for this.

     

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  15.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re:

    Trolls are happy at anything that riles you up.

    Don't feed 'em, I say.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    This will only work if big companies like Google & Youtube & Facebook & Ebay etc all agree to it, since they're such massive and popular sites that people could hardly miss it if they did it for a day. Smaller sites unfortunately don't really have the muscle to force this kind of stuff into the news and get the national attention needed to make a point and stop SOPA.

     

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  17.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There won't be any winners, the legacy companies will still die off, it'll just take a little bit longer.

    Would be funny though if Sony uses SOPA to have Universal shut down over copyright infringement... I'm pretty sure they could make something up, not like they actually need evdience, or a court, or judge or even a jury.

     

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  18.  
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    Qritiqal (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:21am

    LET IT HAPPEN

    Our congressman need to be taught a lesson.

    Let them pass this horrendous bill. Let them watch the lights go out on major online retailers. Let them watch our economy tank.

    The only way to make sure they never do anything like this again is to let the first time be SO bad that they can never forget.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:31am

    Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    Before I can even /see/ the proposed letter to be sent to Congress, this "pro-freedom" site puts up a form that requires effectively ID-ing oneself, AND promises to annoy you in future:
    ---------------
    (fields name): Address, City, State, Zip Code

    "Fight for the Future will contact you about related campaigns, but we won’t share your email with anyone."
    ---------------

    Anyone here stupid enough to give that away? It's also indicative that front page has a link to "GeoIP service" (taking the link gets to a database for fee), so if you gave them the above, you've helped commercial enterprises to track and target you.

    So it's MONETIZING MIKE! Managed to "monetize" your opposition to SOPA, have you? What a SHAM you are.

     

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  20.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    Re: LET IT HAPPEN

    Pretty much. People won't care until YouTube shuts down and they can't get their daily intake of cat videos. Then they'll look like a deer in headlights and wonder "How could anyone have foreseen this??"

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    Re:

    This will only work if big companies like Google & Youtube & Facebook & Ebay etc all agree to it, since they're such massive and popular sites that people could hardly miss it if they did it for a day. Smaller sites unfortunately don't really have the muscle to force this kind of stuff into the news and get the national attention needed to make a point and stop SOPA.

    You may want to consider whether those companies are willing to spend all of their political capital in an uncertain effort to beat this back. It may come as a shock for you to learn that this may not be the single biggest issue in the lives of these companies. Most it won't affect them as this bill targets foreign sites. The domestic component of SOPA isn't worrisome to them at all.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:38am

    Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    I just wonder how many Google dollars are passing through Gigi to Mike to keep the anti-SOPA article quota as high as it is.

     

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  23.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    this "pro-freedom" site puts up a form that requires effectively ID-ing oneself
    Unlike Big Content (who you shill for constantly), the opposition apparently is trying to get support from real people, and not just astroturfing through sock puppets with form letters. No wonder you have a problem with it.

     

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  24.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    FEEEAR! UNCERTAINTYYYY! DOUBT!

    Note To Anyone Watching: The above post is an actual example of FUD.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    arcan, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    At least Wyden can stop the bills from getting through the senate for a while. as long as he can do that we got a chance. i would not be surprised if the whole idea of unanimous consent was designed for situations when a senator feels that the other side is so heavily bribed that they will no longer see reason. and yes i believe paying massive campaign contributions to congressmen so they will vote on your side is the same thing as offering them a bribe. it is nice that he still has a few more years

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 9:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He can stop the bill for about an hour.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 10:01am

    Re: Re:

    I think Google might be pissed; they're going to lose a lot of money on this, from the ads they have on pirate sites.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    While not in full agreement with this (or its breathless tone) I do note with much displeasure that the code this site's offering refers people to Facebook...which of course I have permanently blacklisted.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 10:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    Yes, #23 is a shining example of FUD. Glad you recognize it!

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 10:23am

    Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    Perhaps 11/17 should be "See - Nothing Was Censored Day".

    Seriously, "censoring"? I find it utterly amazing that enforcing one's copyright is deemed here...dare I say it..."censoring".

     

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  31.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    Just like it's amazing that anyone could be against the US PATRIOT act. Aren't they patriotic?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'd like to think that at least some of the politicians in the US review this blog. I want them to know that what they do is important and that "We the people" are going to hold them accountable in some way.
    While I personally don't have the influence that the AA groups do, I do vote and I do get my friends and family involved.
    I want content creators to get their $. I really do.
    I just am not willing to give up on due process and freedom of speech (Because these things make our country somewhat unique.) to bow before these overlord wannabes.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    if you look up the history of copyright it was actually used/created as a form of censorship

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100810/02525810568.shtml
    ^ that's not the first place i've seen it, but it's the one i could find right now

    so... yeah, i don't think anyone who actually has a clue about copyright, i mean the REAL clue not the lies we've all had shoved down our throats by shills, is going to buy into that statement

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Found on - http://www.americancensorship.org/

    "Thousands of sites that are legal under the DMCA would face new legal threats."

    You know this a terrible bill when you have to use the DMCA as a tool to generate support against it.

     

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  35.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    LRN 2 THREAD

    ;)

     

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  36.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:42am

    Re: Re:

    as this bill targets foreign sites.

    Stop lying.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Good. Let them lose money. People shouldn't be allowed to profit off of other people's hard work.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Except that Facebook China could be shutdown and censored, Google China can also, which is a good thing for China, Europeans also would rejoice if they could find a way to close the competition.

    All big internet companies have foreign facing websites that can and will be included on the "foreign sites".

    That you are so dishonest that you need to lie is just sad.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    That is why people call you dumb, because you couldn't see the forest from the tree.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Will you go away when you lose? I mean you clearly think the losers need to shut up...so will you?

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Sign the Petition 2 Stop Censorship

     

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  42.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    Seriously, "censoring"? I find it utterly amazing that enforcing one's copyright is deemed here...dare I say it..."censoring".

    If this were about enforcing one's copyright, you'd have a point. The problem we have -- which so many of you fail to acknowledge -- is that the bill is much broader than that and will stifle all sorts of non-infringing speech.

     

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  43.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    I just wonder how many Google dollars are passing through Gigi to Mike to keep the anti-SOPA article quota as high as it is.

    Wow, ridiculous conspiracy theory much? Fwiw, I don't think I've spoken to Gigi or anyone at PK directly in over a year.

    I love how you pretend that the only possible way people could be opposed to this is if they were being paid to be opposed to it.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    Yup, it was. But, and here is where details start coming to the fore, that was in another country.

     

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  45.  
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    Paul (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    Re:

    I have an idea for Google for November 16th:

    G_____

    ..............................
    |............................|

    Don't know how the character graphics will look in your browser, but I t____ the old s_____ blanking out of key w____ applied to g_____ would get the m______ across b_________. Not only is it censorship, it also fails to prevent people from getting the information that the law would try to suppress.

     

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

  46.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So there shouldn't be labels?

     

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

  47.  
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    btrussell (profile), Nov 11th, 2011 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    "I love how you pretend that the only possible way people could be opposed to this is if they were being paid to be opposed to it."

    That is because most people think others think like them.

    They are being paid to believe it, therefore the opposite must be true, others are being paid not to believe it.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Chilly8, Nov 11th, 2011 @ 8:51pm

    I wonder if the next step after SOPA might be to require a government license to use a VPN, like laws in Oman and Pakistan, even to access you office network from home.

    As the government gets an order to block access to one VPN, more will show up in their place, or maybe even the shut down one will re-appear under a new name.

    You watch, the government will be playing whack-a-mole trying to stop people from using VPNs to bypass the blacklist, which mayh well result in laws, like those in Pakistan and Oman, requiring a government license to use a VPN, to access your office network from home.

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Nov 12th, 2011 @ 4:53am

    Most of these laws are retroactive.

    Does techdirt have to go back and remove old links, average joes old posts(infringing avatar), etc...?


    I own the copyright to my avatar.
    Anyone and everyone may use it if they wish for any purpose they wish.

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    @udrey Barnfart, Ayatollah of the Texas County Lib, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 10:09am

    But we MUST have censorship! It's for the good of the children!

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Meanwhile, web-wide TRACKING is a far worse threat.

    "I love how you pretend that the only possible way people could be opposed to this is if they were being paid to be opposed to it."

    Mike, how often am I labelled an "industry shill" or "paid shill" on this site? Come on, it's the easiest way to try to tar and feather someone with an opinion you don't agree with. You don't argue points, you just call them a shill and repeat it every time they make a point, valid or not.

    However, the AC does bring up a valid point: Google does appear to be putting a fair bit of money into different organizations, some openly and some much more quietly. The chance of a sock puppet situation is very high.

    Google has a ton of cash, and the ability to both spend it to protect it's interests and aims to be the middleman of everything, and also having the money to finance groups and lure key people to their side. Staff from EFF has ended up in very high positions at Google, and there has always been a good relationship. Does Google help finance them?

    In the end, "American Censorship Day" appears to be a bit of astroturfing the same small number of groups that keep repeating the same thing over and over again. Heck Mike, you are actually quoted on the site. Perhaps you want to be a little more direct about your involvement and personal support for the project - did you have a hand in creating it?

     

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

  52.  
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    brandon (profile), Nov 13th, 2011 @ 8:24am

    Pictures online?

    Would this legislation also cover copyright for photographs? Because I can't think of too many sites this wouldn't effect if that's the case.

     

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

  53.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:06am

    Re: Pictures online?

    Would this legislation also cover copyright for photographs? Because I can't think of too many sites this wouldn't effect if that's the case.

    Yes. The terms cover *any* form of intellectual property. So all copyright, patents, trademarks, publicity rights, etc.

     

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

  54.  
    icon
    brandon (profile), Nov 14th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Pictures online?

    Thanks Mike

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    americancensorship.org is down

    Censored or what?

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 5:26pm

    Isn't censorship illegal, because it is against the first amendment? "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." And if they would like to argue prior restraint, meaning the few vague restrictions on speech, they still don't make internet censorship legal. Someone posting something on the internet is not equivalent to yelling "Fire!" in a movie theater. This is all just stupid... And by the way, if the supreme court doesn't deem this unconstitutional, we all have the right to abolish this government and put better people into office. Just saying.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    StupidCongress, Nov 16th, 2011 @ 8:02pm

    Hm, Prohibition? 18th Amendment? 21st Amendment? Ring a bell?

    I see that these congressmen fell asleep in history class when talking about the 1920s in school, huh. Go let them pass this fuckin' bill and watch as they fried when Occupy Wall Street take a turn for violence- in fact, if I'm old enough, I might even join those guys.

    History will repeat itself if idiots don't learn from their mistakes.

     

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

  58.  
    icon
    Butcherer79 (profile), Nov 17th, 2011 @ 12:50am

    Re:

    The first amendment doesn't mention the word censor unfortunately, so it would have to be argued that this is a breach of free speech and I believe they're already lining up the 'only free speech limited is that of illegal activity' stance, hopefully it can argued successfully against.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    that-dude-with-an-opinion, Nov 17th, 2011 @ 11:06am

    This Bill WILL not pass. I mean honestly, allot of people are getting their panties in a bunch over something that we ALL know will not happen.

     

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


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