Congress Condemns Belarus For Doing A Bunch Of Things It Wants To Do

from the seriously? dept

Recently, the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning Belarus for various human rights violations. It lists out all the various rights violations, and some of them are certainly pretty bad, and I have no doubt that the government of Belarus is doing some highly questionable things. Yet, there's one section of the resolution that seems especially interesting, given certain actions in Congress lately:
The Government of Belarus has restricted freedom of expression on the Internet by requiring Internet Service Providers to maintain data on Internet users and the sites they view and to provide such data to officials upon request, and by creating a government body with the authority to require Internet Service Providers to block Web sites.
Fascinating. Because, Congress here in the US is currently debating two bills that seem to do exactly that as well. There's the data retention bill (disguised as an anti-child porn bill) and there's the PROTECT IP Act, which would give the government power to require ISPs to effectively block web sites. It's as if Congress doesn't even realize what it's doing and what it's saying.

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  • icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 10:50am

    We're Different!

    In the US, we violate rights to protect them!

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

  • identicon
    ScytheNoire, 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:18am

    America, Land of the Free?

    America is no longer Land of the Free, but instead Land of Hypocrisy.

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

    • icon
      gorehound (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:29am

      Re: America, Land of the Free?

      Bullshit !!! no longer land of free.
      only way to get our country back is to make sure to vote indie or vote for other parties than reps or dems.
      we must fight to get our freedom back.
      the present government is nothing but a hollow shadow of what it should be.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymouse, 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:18am

    Pot, meet kettle.

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

  • identicon
    Irving, 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:29am

    U.S. - Lords of Creation

    This is why the world is getting very tired of the U.S.

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

    • icon
      Mike42 (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:32am

      Re: U.S. - Lords of Creation

      Prove it. Seems like they're still kissing our asses.
      They may be laughing behind our back, but until they do it to our face, no one will care.

      Damn. Too cynical in my old age.

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:59am

        Re: Re: U.S. - Lords of Creation

        Oh yes, they are kissing your asses. You'd be astonished at what ppl do when money is involved. I'd bet some of those money hungry gigolo already lost their anal virginity to some1 that offered them more power and money.

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

      • icon
        Sean T Henry (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:21pm

        Re: Re: U.S. - Lords of Creation

        "Seems like they're still kissing our asses. They may be laughing behind our back"...

        So they are laughing as they are kissing our asses.

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

      • icon
        CommonSense (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 1:48pm

        Re: Re: U.S. - Lords of Creation

        If you think they're still kissing our asses, you must watch too much American media, and not enough world news (not the ABC brand either...)

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

      • icon
        Jan Bilek (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 2:17pm

        Re: Re: U.S. - Lords of Creation

        Kissing your asses? Oh no. Now we are kissing China's ass. I am not saying I am happy about it... American ass used to be better one to be kissed by the rest of the world. It's a shame that your country has changed so much since 9/11 2001, it used to be such a great county.

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

      • icon
        Marcel de Jong (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 3:25pm

        Re: Re: U.S. - Lords of Creation

        The politicians love the US, the rest of the people either don't give a hoot, or have grown tired with US' politicians.

        Don't confuse the politicians with the people.

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

    • identicon
      Stuart, 11 Jul 2011 @ 2:16pm

      Re: U.S. - Lords of Creation

      The world is tired of the US because it is starting to do the very things that a huge part of the world is already doing?

      Are you having a bad mental day?

      People who need to hate to feel better about themselves are very easily spotted.

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

      • icon
        Chargone (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 8:11pm

        Re: Re: U.S. - Lords of Creation

        that first instance of 'the world' refers to people in general. the second refers only to governments.

        read it that way and it makes sense as well as being true.

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

  • identicon
    RD, 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:33am

    Do as I say, not as I do (or say)

    Of course they dont see the cognitive dissonance here, they are willfully blinding themselves to it. Remember, the rule is the USA can do whatever it wants to whomever it wants, but when the EXACT SAME thing done TO the USA, well thats t'rrism son, and you can expect the full weight of the US Govt and military to come down on you like the wrath of God. See also Wikileaks, those who dont live in the USA and do things that are lawful in their own country (Canada, UK) but arent in the US, and anything China does.

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:06pm

      Re: Do as I say, not as I do (or say)

      UK is an US state.

      Still, classic "do as I tell you but not as I do" case. However, the full weight of US Army is taking its toll in the US economy ;)

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:10pm

        Re: Re: Do as I say, not as I do (or say)

        However, the full weight of US Army is taking its toll in the US economy ;)

        Military action is the crack cocaine of the American public. They're hooked, and they'll spend their way into financial ruin on it.

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

        • icon
          el_segfaulto (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Do as I say, not as I do (or say)

          Just one more airstrike man! Just one more! Then I swear I'll be off it for good.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:45pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Do as I say, not as I do (or say)

            Just one more airstrike man! Just one more! Then I swear I'll be off it for good.

            That's pretty close to it.

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

  • icon
    Pickle Monger (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:37am

    It's as if Congress doesn't even realize what it's doing and what it's saying.

    It's because they really don't.

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

  • identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:44am

    A requirement to even get into Congress is to master doublethink.

    "It's as if Congress doesn't even realize what it's doing and what it's saying."

    This is not a /flaw/ to Congress, but its main /feature/.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2011 @ 11:53am

    I think the key difference is the "upon request" part--presumably in the US the government would need a warrant to obtain the newly retained data.

    As for the censorship part, I'd imagine Congress would argue that although it's creating infrastructure that could be used for the same sort of censorship in the US, the difference lies in the content of the sites to be blocked, and the courts in the US will prevent us from falling down that "slippery slope" (thanks to the First Amendment).

    Of course, given how frequently almost everyone engages in using copyrighted content without permission and how expensive going to court is, I'm personally quite afraid of this "slippery slope"; there's also, of course, the fact that US encouragement of copyright enforcement can give foreign governments a convenient excuse for their own censorship.

    I can see though how members of Congress could reasonably believe their positions on Belarus and PROTECT IP are consistent.

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

  • icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:07pm

    This is another one of those, "Do as I say, not as I do" situations. Our government and it's members do this all the time. Rep. Craig ring any bells?

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

  • icon
    LegitTroll (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:35pm

    -We need to draft new internet protections for the many content industries which are being destroyed by online piracy. We shall call it Protect IP Act and it will allow us the power to simply remove these rogue websites from the internet.

    --What about due process?

    -That could take forever to fianlly get through the courts, and who knows how many illegal aliens will steal US jobs while they do it. We must act now.

    --What about websites which are based in other nations?

    -The interent has no borders. Its just 1s and 0s moving through a series of pipes. There are several rules regarding what falls under this Protect IP Act, and how action is to be taken.

    --I have read the Act which I received from your office, and your rules read more like vague generalizations which could be construed to mean a lot more than just these "rouge" website as you call them. You could easily twist some of this language to be used against someone who is doing nothing more than criticizing someone or something. This sounds a lot like the laws of the oppressive regimes which we have lambasted through resolutions and interviews. Most recently Belarus. What makes us different than them if we move forward with this?

    -.........That is all I have to say on the matter. If you have further inquiries please forward them to my office and my staff will be happy to answer them for you. Good day.

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

  • identicon
    HothMonster, 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:36pm

    Congress sounds like my father use to.
    "Do what we say, not what we do."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:45pm

    The US has very little creditability remaining when pushing for human rights with other countries. Each time they claim something with the internet violates human rights, the other countries now pretty much have an excuse as they point to the US doing the same things and say, "That's what we're doing".

    The US is very quickly becoming a police state in it's own right. The 301 is a laughing joke among other counties. The major ISPs have just agreed to forward notices on infringements without having any necessary proof such is happening. No matter what good face is put on it, the end result of ignoring such warnings is removing you from the net or at best very limited internet. Other countries can now just claim they are looking for their own copyright infringers without having to prove they are actually doing it. Could be political or persecution but will still work out to be the same.

    This country could do with a serious dose of reality checks on what human rights are. The UN claims the internet is a human right.

    We have the FBI running around doing unchecked surveillance allowing them to put GPS on vehicles, blank check by the courts when they bother to get permission to do so, and watching where cell phones are while monitoring to know where that individual is. All hall marks of the police state.

    Homeland Security is just short of 'the fatherland' or 'motherland', take your pick.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:47pm

    So the government of Belarus is going to force ISP's to block access to piracy websites? Please. You people are dopier than I imagined.

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

  • identicon
    Derek, 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:50pm

    It's not that Congress doesn't realize what it's doing and saying, it's that Congress realizes that most voters aren't paying attention.

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

  • icon
    Thomas (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 12:53pm

    Congress...

    is so full of it, complaining about civil rights in a foreign country while at the same time allowing the FBI, CIA, TSA, Homeland Security, and all of the other spooks to do whatever they want, regardless of whether or not it is even constitutional.


    Pot. Kettle. Black.

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

  • icon
    The eejit (profile), 11 Jul 2011 @ 1:12pm

    You get the government you deserve, not the one you vote for.

    Sadly, it appears that the US deserves its governing by morons. I blame mass media.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jul 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Anyone know the bill number?

    For the data retention bill?

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

  • identicon
    trish, 11 Jul 2011 @ 2:55pm

    USA

    If it's done in belarus, it's done in the Ex-USSR. Bad. If it's done in the USA, it's done to a background of floating stars and stripes and angels' song.

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

  • identicon
    anonymous, 11 Jul 2011 @ 6:48pm

    oh, congress know exactly wht it is doing. it just has this opinion that it can do the very things here that it condemns other countries for doing. hypocracy/double standards at it's best! coupled with stupidity and megalomania!

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

  • icon
    rxrightsadvocate (profile), 12 Jul 2011 @ 12:54pm

    bitter irony

    This is incredibly ironic. Congress needs to start taking notice of the immense opposition to the PROTECT IP Act that has been voiced by lawyers, venture capitalists and various coalitions across the country. One of the major flaws in this bill is that its overarching language fails to distinguish between rogue online pharmacies that do not require valid prescriptions and trusted, safe pharmacies that always do. This bill would take away Americans’ access to safe, affordable prescription medications online--even from trusted, legitimate Canadian and other international pharmacies.

    RxRights is a national coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting and protecting American consumer access to sources of safe, affordable prescription drugs. We're encouraging consumers to send letters to the President and Congress urging them to protect our right to safe and affordable medicine by opposing the PROTECT IP Act. For more information or to voice your concern, visit www.RxRights.org.

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


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