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SOPA: Inform and Arm Yourself

11/30/2011

The United States government still seems determined to adopt censorship measures comparable to China’s. That doesn’t mean it will happen without a fight, though.

Senator Ron Wyden intends to block SOPA and PIPA–the legislation that will enable the abovementioned censorship–with a filibuster, and he has pledged to read into the Congressional record the name of every American who signs the petition against these oppressive bills.

If you aren’t yet clear on what SOPA is or what it will do, here’s an infographic from AmericanCensorship.org that I found extremely helpful:

Not all governments endorse these practices. The European Court of Justice recently ruled that it’s illegal for any EU nation to block entire websites accused of copyright infringement. The Court views such sweeping censorship as both an invasion of privacy and a blow to free speech.

Meanwhile, a new activist coalition called Global Chokepoints has formed, its mission to keep the public informed about government and corporate censorship arising from copyright enforcement.

And finally, a new browser plugin has been released: The PirateBay Dancing, which anonymizes your connection to websites that have been blocked by your ISP. It serves as a useful complement to MAFIAAFire, a plugin that allows you to reach the blocked sites in the first place.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. John Erickson permalink
    12/01/2011 8:10 PM

    I could also see this being used to block sites in “unfriendly” countries. I don’t go to North Korean sites, thank you, but what happens when Argentina pisses off the US government, whereupon I lose connection to the Buenos Aires Herald, a site that often gets stories online BEFORE the US sites do. Or if I want to check out some history from a Russian site, or want to check out the new cars coming out of China?
    Thanks for the “anonymiser” (?) link. I think I might have to install that, if it works with Firefox! :D

    • 12/02/2011 1:35 AM

      It definitely works with Firefox–Mozilla is pretty pro-privacy and anti-censorship. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security told them to drop the MAFIAAFire plugin, and Mozilla refused.

      I hadn’t thought of the US censoring sites from unfriendly sites, too–sheltering its poor citizens from those dangerous rogue opinions. I really hope this isn’t the beginning of the story of the Internet gradually getting locked down.

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