by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 27th 2012 4:00am
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 17th 2012 12:18pm
from the tmi dept
What really comes through in the article -- which mostly talks about how Rogers has been supposedly working with Google to change some of the language in the bill to make it more acceptable -- is how little concern Rogers has for the public. Instead, most of the article just talks about how he's been working with tech companies to make sure they're okay with the bill. And while that's a start, it's no surprise that lots of tech companies would be okay with CISPA, because it grants them broad immunity if they happen to hand over all sorts of private info to the government.
But to then call the protests mere "turbulence" is pretty damned insulting to the actual people this will impact the most: the public, whose privacy may be violated. While we appreciate Rogers' willingness to amend the bill, it seems clear that there are still major problems with it, and Rogers does not seem to be actually listening to the privacy concerns of the public -- just the various tech companies.
In the meantime, the protests continue, and if Rogers thinks they're mere "turbulence" then it appears that not enough people are speaking out. The folks at Fight for the Future have put together an excellent page to make it easier to speak out, over at CongressTMI.org. At the very least, is it that difficult for Congress to present a real reason why this bill is needed? Bogus stories of planes falling from the sky or evil Chinese hackers really aren't cutting it. Perhaps Congress should talk to some of the experts who note that Congress doesn't understand the tech enough to regulate it properly. As privacy expert Jim Harper notes:
"Congress has no particular capacity or knowledge of how to do cybersecurity," Harper says. "It's not a choice between two different versions in the House and two different versions in the Senate. The question is still open: is Congress capable of doing any good here?"Unfortunately, in the mad dash to pass these bills (which appear to be much more about who gets to control multi-billion dollar "cybersecurity budgets" than anything else), no one in Congress seems willing to address the basic question of what problem this really solves.
by Michael Ho
Wed, Jan 18th 2012 5:00pm
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
- Several tech companies have put together StopTheWall.us to help everyone learn about the facts on SOPA. Stop the Great Firewall of America! [url]
- The EFF helps defend your digital rights online. Help them help you! [url]
- American Censorship Day is today! Spread the word and help defeat the bills on January 24th. Fight for the Future! [url]
- To discover other sites related to innovation, check out some of these StumbleUpon links. [url]
by Tim Cushing
Tue, Jan 17th 2012 3:19pm
from the not-just-US-'piracy-apologists'-anymore dept
From 9am tomorrow morning, Rock, Paper, Shotgun will be blacked out in protest against SOPA and PIPA. The site will be gone, but for a single black page explaining why we're doing this. And then Thursday morning we'll be back.
Of particular note is the fact that RPS is a UK-based site, but one that recognizes that the threat SOPA and PIPA pose to the internet as we know it expands past national boundaries, much like the internet itself, a fact that seems lost on the legislators behind it.
At RPS we genuinely believe in the astonishing wonder of the internet. An unpredictable, utterly remarkable endeavour of humanity, it has radically changed the world in the 16 or so years that it’s been a part of the average person’s life, and the many years before that when it was going unnoticed. It has challenged everything, shaken entire industries, and created hundreds of thousands of new ones...
SOPA and PIPA seek to destroy all of this, rendering the internet a system controlled by the State and large corporations. The incredible freedom will be taken away, replaced with a system controlled by those with the most money. After a year when the internet has been the foundation of radical changes throughout the world, from those able to network themselves to overthrow their oppressive regimes, to those who have made a mockery of super-injunctions, the incredible means of supporting previously unknown projects through Kickstarter and the like, to the many wonderful pieces of art that have flourished, after that year, and after the year before it, and the one before that, how can anyone sit back and not fight for this precious, precious thing...A tremendous statement from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, boiling down these bills to the underlying motive behind them: protecting favored industries. To see our representatives willing to throw in with their corporate benefactors despite worldwide protest is to see the hollow, hypocritical facade of a corrupted system disintegrate before your eyes.
No, neither Congress nor the Senate will care that RPS is down, but the hundreds of thousands of people who visit RPS every day will. And they can pass that message on. This matters.
RPS should also be commended for its outstanding coverage on SOPA/PIPA. A constantly updated page displaying for/against statements from ESA members (Entertainment Software Association) concerning SOPA has gathered some remarkable information, especially considering the ESA has chosen (much like the BSA did before distancing itself from the legislation) to put its support behind SOPA without consulting its members. Due to RPS's persistance, NVIDIA, Good Old Games, Red 5 (Firefall), Frozenbyte (Trine), Runic Games (Torchlight) and Notch (Minecraft) have all issued statements expressing their opposition to SOPA. Red 5 has gone one further by joining in the protest blackout:
Red 5 Studios is joining Reddit in protest of SOPA by going dark on January 18. We will be taking down our website, community site and Firefall beta for 24 hours on the 18th. We are extremely disappointed in this misguided legislation. We are also ashamed of the ESA for supporting a bill which is clearly not in the best interests of gamers or the game industry. This bill, and it’s sister bill, Protect IP, will shut down live streaming, shout casting, user generated content and have a chilling effect on game innovation and social media.Notch and his fellow Minecrafters are also mulling their options and planning on joining the blackout, with updates delivered via Notch's Twitter feed.Most of all, it hurts the smaller game companies, who will not have the legal resources or lobbying presence to protect themselves from unwarranted shutdown. We issue a call to all our industry peers, including developers, publishers and game press, to join us in letting the ESA know they do not represent our views on this issue, and strongly oppose SOPA and PIPA.
As RPS points out, the beneficiaries of this legislation and their representatives (who often seem to forget are supposed to be our representatives) won't care. But it should, at the very least, make it clear that opposition to this bill is not limited to a few hundred noisy pirates and a handful of apologists. If this legislation continues to be pushed through, it will be crystal clear who our "representatives" actually represent and no amount of spin will be able to turn that around.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 17th 2012 11:26am
from the well,-look-at-that... dept
“This year is going to be a very crucial year for the fate of digital rights and freedoms on the internet. We strongly support the campaign against both the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. For that reason our websites will be down from 05.00 GMT for 24 hours in support of the campaign.It's been really sickening to see our usual critics (some of whom are admitted lobbyists in favor of the bills) insist that anyone against the bills is "in favor of piracy." Clearly, many people from all over the place -- including those who make their living in the "entertainment business" are against the bills. Or are we going to hear that Peter Gabriel just wants free stuff, too?
Please check out http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet/ if you want to read more/sign the petition.
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jan 17th 2012 10:32am
from the join-the-crowd dept
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Nov 21st 2011 10:12am
Protest In The Age Of YouTube... And The Long Term Consequences Of Focusing On 'Enforcement' To Deal With Moral Panics
from the and-don't-forget-the--militarization-of-the-police dept
First, it's fascinating to see how protest is changing in the age of YouTube. In the past, photographs often captured iconic moments in similar situations. Or, in some cases, merely the stories of what happened. And while there can be something powerful and moving about a still photograph, the video of these latest incidents really lets you see the details, and I find such videos to be much more powerful in showing the full extent of what's happening. It makes it that much harder to cover things up or try to explain away the actions of the police. We've talked about why the right to record police is an important right for Americans, but in situations like this, it also shows not just the value of recording what the police are doing, but also the power of bringing millions of people around the world right into the situation of what happened.
Related to that is the fact that such a large percentage of people these days now carry handheld video cameras, often in their mobile phones. That we don't just get one angle on these stories, but coverage from pretty much every perspective, is really quite an incredible experience.
The other issue worth discussing is the long term unintended consequences of regulatory and legal battles against vague bogeymen without a thought to what happens. If you want to read a really fascinating opinion piece on what happened at Davis, you should read what Bob Ostertag had to say. Ostertag, among other things, is a professor of Technocultural Studies and Music at UC Davis, and his discussion is really fascinating -- directly calling out the administration for its bogus defense of the pepper spraying (and comparing it to a similar situation that was handled quite peacefully at Columbia). He goes on to highlight other ridiculous overreactions first within the UC system (at nearby Berkeley) and then elsewhere in the country, such as the pepper spraying of an 84-year-old woman in Seattle.
One of the key points he uses to summarize all this is the following:
Last week, former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper published an essay arguing that the current epidemic of police brutality is a reflection of the militarization (his word, not mine) of our urban police forces, the result of years of the "war on drugs" and the "war on terror." Stamper was chief of police during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999, and is not a voice that can be easily dismissed.Stamper's article is also a fascinating, yet disturbing read. He points to his own failings in 1999, but also how much worse things have become. He also points to some ideas for turning things around -- creating radically different police forces, with civilian involvement.
Part of me wonders if these two issues converge. The ability of people to so widely document the abuses -- and horrify the watching public -- will hopefully lead people to seek out the sorts of "radical" solutions Stamper suggests (and, yes, I do recognize the ridiculousness of suggesting that police work closely with civilians is considered "radical"). But part of me wonders about the likelihood that things just get worse. We see this elsewhere, where "law enforcement" or the government through declaration or regulation declares "war" on something, rather than trying to understand and deal with the underlying issues. It never helps solve the problem, and oftentimes serves to make it that much worse. But oftentimes it seems like once the moral panics and the "war on..." announcements have been made, politicians and law enforcement become totally committed, unable to back down, even as their "solution" makes things worse.
It's stories like these that should make us wary of jumping on any sort of moral panic that doesn't involve a true look at the underlying causes, and how to fix them, but rather seeks solely a stricter "enforcement" solution. What we see, over and over again, is that that level of "enforcement" becomes a weapon that is used more and more regularly and more and more indiscriminately. Even as some amount of transparency hopefully counteracts some of it, people get so committed that the situation moves far away from solving problems, and just creates more and more new ones.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 20th 2010 9:53pm
from the seems-like-a-stretch dept
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Apr 29th 2009 10:58am
the pirate bay
from the legitimate-uses dept
by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 3rd 2009 3:23pm