Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy November 17, 2011 - 6:48am

Don't know about you but this scares the hell out of me.

Yesterday Congress held hearings on the first American Internet censorship system. If this bill passes (and it can) the Internet and free speech will never be the same.

You can read up on and contact your representatives at the following links.

http://www.mozilla.org/sopa/?WT.mc_ID=sopa-snippet

http://www.google.com/search?q=American+Internet+censorship+system&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. November 17, 2011 - 8:08am

That scares me. I love bit torrent and all my free porn. Plus the right to say fuck online.

misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind November 17, 2011 - 9:36am

It can't possibly go through. We're too big to be stopped. The internet is like open waters. the law can follow us to an extent: don't molest babies on the internet, don't plan a murder on the internet, don't steal on the internet--but they can't censor us. That's just... that's just absurd. I think we should all OccupyInternets and protest this junk. We can use memes as our signs! 
I'm not making fun of the situation. I'm quite troubled by this, too. And it's not like they're censoring the internet for the good of all mankind or anything. The wonderful thing about the internet is it unites thousands where we'd only be tens otherwise. United, we can let congress know that their attempts at controlling the unimaginable power of the web will only backfire.

Alternatively they could create some sort of government branch to monitor the internet somehow. Only if they're no older than 40 and preferable in their mid twenties, have owned at least one tech start up, and have a familiarity with all internet memes from the past two years. 

.'s picture
. November 17, 2011 - 10:05am

If they take our porn away...riots would start in the first 48 hours.

Waterhouse's picture
Waterhouse from Columbus is reading Bullet Park, John Cheever November 17, 2011 - 10:44am

Oh it can go through, though I hope it does not. Happily, the SCOTUS tends to favor Free Speech to a huge degree, but downloading a movie or copyrighted pictures is not speech. It is theft, and it is theft I have committed as well. BUT, looking back on other 1st Amendment cases, they will most likely not look at the root cause of the law's creation and passage but rather its implications to all forms of speech and its "chilling effect." After all, if the government can define objectional speech through law, then it can control society in a way the Framers' would have found abhorrent and counter to their principles and the principles of Liberty.

I do hope it does not pass, but if it does I think we can reasonably count on the SCOTUS striking it down as overly broad and restrictive. That, however, does not mean I will not write to my representative and senators. And, boy will I write.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words November 17, 2011 - 11:21am

Michael Geist is a good source on this kind of stuff.

 

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 17, 2011 - 12:42pm

Kay Hagan gets a weekly email from me on the subject, I have all the form letter responses to prove it.

Mike Mckay's picture
Mike Mckay is reading God's Ashtray November 18, 2011 - 8:06am

If there is a god then it won't pass (hopefully) I may need to download every artists catalog and search my favorite, "performers" and save thier best, "perfomances".

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words November 18, 2011 - 8:45am

I find that calling this theft or piracy is disingenuous - call it copyright infringement or by some other name.

theft leaves someone bereft of an object - and online, both parties have copies - so no one is bereft. Companies claim that they are out money, but as has been repeatedly shown, if they reduced their prices, more people would buy their goods than opt for downloading them without paying. Not everyone, but more people.

piracy is a crime of the high seas.

/tangent

.'s picture
. November 18, 2011 - 10:06am

I seen somewhere that it was a really small percentage of a business that gets bled by torrent downloaders. If I could show a pie chart I would. My point though is that they are fine with their business model. I agree, they should lower prices but that doesn't mean there isn't a crap load of people still buying their expensive crap. I buy the occasion My Morning Jacket album. I won't pay for all the seasons of Sopranos though. I'm just going to throw my money at Netflix?! Downloading is the only way we can avoid getting bent over and get our pockets rammed by companies. We as consumers are nothing more than stealing post it notes from their office. A victimless crime in my opinion.

We better call Saul!

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 18, 2011 - 10:10am

Ahoy matey! I'll be makin' a copy of yer Sandlot DVD or ye be walkin' the plank!

.'s picture
. November 18, 2011 - 10:13am

And Porky's and Breakfast Club AAARRRGGG. Congress is just mad that they can't stop Wikileaks so they are spanking us and putting us in time out.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch November 18, 2011 - 10:14am

Even if I won't make too many friends saying this, I do think there has to be a way to find predators more easily, and maybe terrorist plots (which, when stopped, many times are stopped because of online activity that signals them). For those two things, at least, I don't have a problem with infringing on certain individuals' freedom of speech.

.'s picture
. November 18, 2011 - 10:23am

Your entitled to your opinion. But what if I said you weren't? And then I banned you from the site (I can't obviously) wouldn't that be infringing on your freedom of speech? Terrorist plotting and kiddie porn isn't free speech nor in the first amendment. I do believe that this issue blankets over freedom of speech and it's wrong to violate the first amendment. I get what your saying but if someone is researching how to make home made bombs, that is his/her right to do so. What if Chuck Palahniuk got arrested for researching bombs. He never would have wrote Fight Club...and then where would we be? Probably not posting on this site.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 18, 2011 - 10:25am

+0 cool points.

Terrorism isn't caused by freedom, it's caused by foreign policy mistakes.

Parents, watch your children.

Waterhouse's picture
Waterhouse from Columbus is reading Bullet Park, John Cheever November 18, 2011 - 11:55am

Terrorism is caused soley by terrorists, as they make the choice to act that way. Someone punches me in the nose, I can punch them back, walk away, call a cop,  even wait and burn their house down at night. The choice is mine, and response my own. Thus the responsibility for my actions sits on me, not the provoker.

@postpomo- yeah, I used to argue that point too, but I find it disingenuous myself. You may leave them a copy of the naughty pictures, or album or movie, but you have deprived them of the due payment their copyright entitles them to- hence, it is theft.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch November 18, 2011 - 12:03pm

Why, though, do we have to fear that one form of censorship would lead to all forms of censorship? There already is censorship - Facebook takes down problematic content that is reported by users, for example. I see some room for gray areas here--such as areas where it's hard to tell if a person has an intent to act in a violent way, or is just expressing things such as hate or recipes for bombs. It's a fine line when you try to assess what crying "fire!" in a theater means.

Just as a side note, if I were to write a character who makes bombs, I'd leave out some key steps or ingredients, personally. Free speech does not mean that a person has no responsibility whatsoever for how his or her words are used. I hold Marx (somewhat) responsible for Stalin.

Before thinking the US is turning into China, I'd ask the question, what exactly would this bill help censor?

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 18, 2011 - 12:24pm

Waterhouse, I agree, but policies to curb internet freedom are unlikely to reduce the number of terrorists or prevent them from finding ways to plan and communicate.

There was going to be a lot more about disagreements somewhere here, but I wrote that post up. It was very long, so long that the word Israel had shown up. I think that the point I was trying to get at is that reducing the number of terrorists is a two-fold process, on the one hand, jailing and engaging existing terrorists, and adopting policies designed to reduce their capacity to recruit more members by lowering our profile as a "great satan". I'm going to leave it at that.

And, in any event, Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.

Waterhouse's picture
Waterhouse from Columbus is reading Bullet Park, John Cheever November 18, 2011 - 12:23pm

Oh, I am not saying this bill would curb terrorism, I just felt differently on what was ultimately responsible for terrorism. I absolutely agree this is a bad bill and I would go further and say that it is not unlikely to reduce, but that it will *do nothing* to reduce terrorists or prevent them from finding ways to plan and communicate.

It is not unlike gun laws- they only effect law abiding citizens. Criminals will always find a gun if they want one.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch November 18, 2011 - 12:38pm

It's this issue that makes me uncomfortable: not trying to work on prevention at all, just leaving it up to "bad guys" to to "bad things"? I'm not saying in any way that prevention means putting a plug on an internet site and that miraculously resolves the issue. Nkwilczy, I absolutely agree that giving less reason for people who-knows-where (or here) to hate the US may be the first strategy to try to use. But I am so bothered when something happens and then a gazillion people know "what should have been done" - including in cases of natural disasters, oil spills etc, except people don't work on preventing the next such disaster. I have a problem with law enforcement not intervening for example in domestic abuses unless something horrible happens - but nothing is done to prevent something many see coming.

Crime can be lowered to some extent through prevention - mostly I would say by addressing the social problems that tend to help crime proliferate, but crossing our arms and saying let the bad guys do their thing, then we'll punish them appropriately, that's just irresponsible from the part of a society. Is censorship a solution? Not by itself, not applied universally, but I can't say that if something horrible transpires online, nothing should be done. Even something like a kid talking about suicide online and nobody taking it seriously - I am bothered by that. After the fact, of course many people know exactly what should have been done.

But I shouldn't talk about the bill itself if I don't know enough about what it involves.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. November 18, 2011 - 1:50pm

The end of the human race will stop terrorism, human beings are inherantly violent.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch November 18, 2011 - 4:12pm

Just in case I'm getting very unpopular with the points I made, I want to add this: my favorite cartoon characters are Bugs Bunny and Stewie from Family Guy. How many cool points do I get back?

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin November 19, 2011 - 7:31am

I never deducted cool points, you're fine in my book, opinions are just opinions.

And waterhouse, while I appreciate the essentially libertarian origin of "when guns are illegal only criminals will have guns," the truth is that in strict gun control societies like the UK and Japan they tend to end up having to use knives (stabbing injuries are up, but otoh there is statistically less violent crime).

I mean, I totally support the right of a US citizen to own a rifle, or a handgun, if they have the right permits. But when you talk about gun control in the US it's usually something like "we should have a waiting period" or "we should do background checks before selling this rocket propelled grenade to the guy with Charlie Manson eyes," and since in the context of my country I am not worried about them ever actually taking away all guns, I wholeheartedly support then trying to reduce the number of fully automatic options available to, well, the guy with the Manson eyes.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words December 3, 2011 - 7:12pm

@Waterhouse - sorry missed your reply - I don't know why you think my reasoning is disingenuous - I'm not saying that downloading copywritten material without paying isn't a crime. I'm saying that the deprivation isn't of the thing itself as in theft (like if I steal your car, you can't use it. If I steal your money, you can't use it). If I download something illegally, you can still use it. so can whoever I got it from. the deprivation is in an expectation of compensation. Different than theft, but still illegal. They are different in my opinion.

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy December 3, 2011 - 10:12pm

While most of the fucking sheep are asleep or worrying about who is winning Dancing With The Stars the government is busy taking away more of our rights. The National Defense Authorization Act passed the Senate 93 to 7. I feel like I'm gonna have a stroke.

Never did I imagine a day when my own government would be the biggest threat to my freedom. They (senators) have become an enemy to The Constitution.

 

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 3, 2011 - 10:36pm

Yes, but at least we have the veto. Thank God for Obama.

;)

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy December 3, 2011 - 10:46pm

We'll see if he does use the veto. Even though he said he would - I'm somehow doubting it.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 3, 2011 - 11:19pm

As long as the definition of "terrorist" isn't broadened, how would this be any different from what's already happening? Aren't they already holding suspected terrorists indefinitely?  

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy December 4, 2011 - 12:09am

Not American citizens. This would allow them hold American citizens indefinitely and without trial. That is strictly forbidden by The Constitution.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like December 4, 2011 - 10:23am

Ah. But only American citizens who are suspected to be engaged in terrorism, right?

I guess the argument might be, "When a citizen engages in warfare against his own country, he forgoes the protection afforded him by the constitution." 

(Yes, but shouldn't it be proven that he did engage in war?)

I'm all for due process. And I don't want to see this sort of thing applied to striking workers, peaceful protesters, etc.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 4, 2011 - 11:07am

Free bradley manning! He's already locked up and he's not a terrorist, he's a veteran and a patriot!

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy December 4, 2011 - 12:14pm

Free bradley manning!

Somehow I knew this thread was going to devolve.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 4, 2011 - 12:24pm

What? You don't want freethinking and patriotic Americans to be needlessly incarcerated and neither do I.

Of course, unless you were just worried that they might arrest Americans who agree with you. Then I suppose that I don't understand. I don't want them to arrest Americans who disagree with me. I love me my first amendment.

Are you familiar with the Pentagon Papers? There is legal precedent for his actions.

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy December 4, 2011 - 12:39pm

As far as I'm concerned, what Manning did was treason. Yes, I think he should be tried by his peers. No, he is absolutely not a Patriot.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 4, 2011 - 1:03pm

I understand that you disagree and I respect it. However, according to New York Times vs United States of 1971 it is not treason. There is, as I mentioned, legal precedent.

I mean, if you want Americans to get locked up for what they believe and how they express it then fine, I'm not saying you should be incarcerated for it. I'm just trying to figure out what motivates you to oppose the National Defense Authorization Act. Look at the difference between the Occupation and the Tea Party, they aren't trying to arrest your type, only mine.

At least I can take solace in my amusement at the fact that you agree with Obama on something and refuse to admit it.

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy December 4, 2011 - 1:40pm

I disagree with American citizens being incarcerated without a trial. I think Manning should be tried.

You mention legal precedent - that's an entirely different topic that can be discussed. When progressives starting introducing case law and began ignoring the constitution, the entire justice system set up by our forefathers became fucked. Legal precedents as used in a court of law are bullshit. Just because it has been done somewhere, by somebody in the past doesn't make it right.

Where have you seen me trying to refuse to admit that I agree with Obama?. That's an assumption you've made based on some of my statements. I agree with him on a few things. Not very many. I don't trust a damn thing he says. He's proven himself to be a liar over and over again. (as do most politicians)

Look at the difference between the Occupation and the Tea Party, they aren't trying to arrest your type, only mine.

This would be laughable if it wasn't so ludicrous. So now it's yours and mine?

Let's see. The difference - Mine (just because you say so) haven't blocked bridges and prevented traffic. Mine haven't raped and physically assaulted my own kind at our own events. Mine haven't threatened to kill anyone for reporting they were raped at one of our events. Mine haven't taken a shit in the streets or on police cars. Mine haven't thrown bricks through windows. Mine haven't terrorized children on their way to school. Mine haven't pushed policemen off their motorcycles. Mine haven't sharpened bamboo spears in preparation for a confrontation with the police. Mine don't demand free food from restaurants and if they don't get it threaten to kill the proprietor. Mine haven't lost their permit for public masturbation. Mine haven't stole and pillaged from their own. Mine haven't tried to steal a police officers gun or thrown garbage at the police. Mine haven't vandalized or spray painted graffiti on cars and buildings. Mine haven't threatened the use of Molotov cocktails. Mine haven't left thousands of dollars in damage and trash for cities to clean up.

Shall I go on?

What have mine done? Demonstrated peacefully, cleaned up ourselves and left.

And you really wonder why yours are being arrested?

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 4, 2011 - 1:48pm

clearly emotions are getting heated here. That wasn't my intention. I disagree with a great many things you've said, but I am not here to get into petty bullshit. I apologize if I have pigeon-holed you or tried to infer upon you beliefs that you don't hold, I admit that I have done so and should not have. Blessings upon you.

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy December 4, 2011 - 2:04pm

No worries. I am not heated nor am I mad or upset. One of the problems with internet or texting is that there are no human indicators like body language and tone of voice. All is good. I have these same debates with my closest friends.

I have strong beliefs and a lot of them seem inconsistent with one another. Take for instance my political views vs my social views.  Read my story BUG and then consider my political standing. You wouldn't think the two ideals could exist in the same person. But they do. I will be the first to admit that I do come across as an ass some times. A lot of times. Most of the time.

I do realize I am the anomaly on here.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 4, 2011 - 2:06pm

I understand. I've just spent a lot of time on various internet forums and it has engendered in me a certain paranoia re: arguments on the internet, and whenever I feel like I'm getting anywhere near one of those I bail before things get too involved.

I can also sympathize with coming off as an ass. I have a similar problem. No offense taken.