Irony Alert: Hollywood Howard Berman To Introduce 'Internet Freedom' Bill

from the are-you-serious? dept

Earlier this year we noted this was likely, but now it appears that Rep. Howard Berman is getting ready to introduce an “Internet Freedom Bill,” that would limit how US companies could operate in “internet-restricting countries.” Now, we’ve already pointed out that it’s odd to see politicians pushing such bills when the US itself is pushing to restrict the internet in similar ways — but it’s particularly ironic with Berman. In supporting this new legislation, Berman notes:

He’s trying to figure out “what’s the most effective thing we can do to help people in countries where the government is” seeking to restrict Internet freedom.

But, here’s the thing. Howard Berman, who literally is the Representative for (part of) Hollywood, has been a very, very, very strong proponent of restricting internet freedoms any chance he gets — as long as those restrictions are part of Hollywood’s plan to prop up its business model. Berman famously proposed letting companies hack into file sharing networks to break them a few years back. He’s also been a major proponent of turning ISPs into copyright cops, and (of course) was actively involved in the initial planning for ACTA. He’s also sought to limit the ability for people to access publicly funded research, claiming that he didn’t want the “N” in NIH to “stand for Napster.”

Perhaps before passing legislation to try to punish other countries for their internet restrictions, Berman should take a long hard look in the mirror, at his own long and detailed history of supporting internet restrictions in the US.

Separately, with the news coming out that New Zealand has just started rolling out its own internet censoring system, it will be interesting to see if Berman’s legislation includes “friendly” countries like New Zealand and Australia that push internet censorship.

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Comments on “Irony Alert: Hollywood Howard Berman To Introduce 'Internet Freedom' Bill”

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bullshit is said by people like you

freedom is as i said as much a state of mind as it is a word and is somehting one SHOULD NOT have to fight for. IT should be a sovereign right of all persons of all races and creeeds

war is terrible
freedom is peace of mind and truth of knowledge
ignorance is no excuse FOR people like you and it sad for as a wise man once said:

The sign of a civilized man is his ability to have compassion and forgiveness.

NONE of which the last 25 years of USA politics have shown.
They have lost the mason ideals which have founded there nation on freedom of thought expression and truth and justice.

NOW its freedom as long as they make a buck
no more thought unless you make a buck
truth in only what they say not what facts are
and no justice unless you can afford it.

Hollywood has been used by the USA govt in past for propoganda and lies , how did people think those doing this would go before they realized a Orwellian universe where they could try and be the masters of you all.

YA know when it started?
Ronald Reagan

Flakey says:

More Hollydud BS

Hollywood Berman was also the one that thought it should be ok for the entertainment industry to write viruses to crater your computer should you be doing unauthorized downloading.

He’s sort of like a rabid dog when it comes to IP protection of his home town base. He’s got absolutely no common sense when it comes to outrageous proposals for law if Hollydud thought it a good idea.


no i meant if you consider this

that it was the first time tha hollywood types started to really get political power, just odd that reagan came about in 84 and your thoughts dwell to orwells 1984 book

it might be said that prior to this at least the people running hte country were business men or experienced politicians looking mildy for there people , once hte berlin wall fell in 89 , corproations and hollywood no longer had ot put on an act either of there true natures
and you begin to see the erosion of true freedoms they GAVE us up till that time.

Anonymous Coward says:

To be fair, and irony aside, much of what appears to underlie the proposed legislation is directed to “political censorship”.

Of course, such legislation is largely ceremonial since there is precious little that can be done from the US to influence such actions by other countries. Unfortunately, the ceremony would have the untoward effect of placing even greater burdens on sites like Google since each would now have to keep a whole new set of data for regular reporting back to DC.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Perhaps I misunderstand, but my read is that the legislation is directed towards censorship imposed by and in foreign countries, and would place a burden (possibly significant) on those here in the US who accede to censorship demands placed on them by foreign countries.

Please correct me if my understanding is off the mark.

Wolfy says:

The names of these bills kill me… “Clean” Air Act, “No Child Left Behind”… there are others I can’t recall at the moment. The resulting laws usually have the inverse effect. The rethuglicans perfected the twisting of the language under Reagan, and have gone on to perfect the technique. Now both parties play the game. I think they should just stick to numbers. It’s less oily.

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