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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: censorship, copyright, howard berman, internet freedom, internet restrictions


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Any Mouse, 12 Mar 2010 @ 6:32pm

    Re: @2 TRUE FREEDOM

    Wow. 1984? Are you sure? I could have sworn that Hollywood was making propaganda during WWII, if not earlier.

    Then again, you just like spouting BS and FUD. You could at least learn basic spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Sponsored Promotion
Public Money, Public Code - Sign The Open Letter at publiccode.eu
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.