View Full Version : Bad News Post SOPA, What's Next?

01-26-2012, 07:32 AM

Post SOPA, What Else Is Out There?


By John Walker on January 25th, 2012 at 2:03 pm.

Post SOPA (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/tag/sopa/) might be slightly wishful thinking, because the industries that paid for the bill are not going to back down any time soon. Perhaps they’ve realised they’re at least going to need to be slightly more subtle about wanting control of the internet. (Although as long as Chris Dodd is speaking for the MPAA (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120120/14472117492/mpaa-directly-publicly-threatens-politicians-who-arent-corrupt-enough-to-stay-bought.shtml), subtlety doesn’t look like it’s going to be an option (https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/investigate-chris-dodd-and-mpaa-bribery-after-he-publicly-admited-bribing-politicans-pass/DffX0YQv).) They will be back. But there are others about, trying similar. So what’s there to worry about?

"SOPA Ireland (http://stopsopaireland.com/)"

If SOPA offered us a chance to see some real democracy taking place, as millions of Americans contacted their politicians to make their voices heard, then the situation in Ireland is quite different. Astonishingly, a bill similar to SOPA is going to be passed there without any democratic process at all. Seán Sherlock, the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, has innovated the idea to pass into law similar censorious abilities without any debate or vote in Ireland’s parliament, the Oireachtas.

An avoidance of scrutiny called a “ministerial order” is being used to put the bill into law without the pesky need to let anyone have a say about it first. It will allow the entertainment industries the right to force Irish ISPs to block sites of their choosing, if they allege they contain copyrighted material. So, yes, like SOPA it means any site that has user interaction or content becomes completely untenable. Post a link to a song download on Facebook, and Facebook should be banned by the law. RPS won’t be able to stay up in Ireland, as a single errant comment will see us gone before we’ve been given a chance to delete it. It does at least require a court order to enforce, but remains a monumentally stupid piece of legislation.

For details on whom you can contact if you live in Ireland, and would like to continue to have access to a free internet, head to the petition site (http://stopsopaireland.com/) and click on “What You Can Do”.

ACTA – Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (http://www.laquadrature.net/en/ACTA)

ACTA is a more confusing affair. Again, lobbied for by the entertainment industry around the world, it’s an agreement in the works by a number of countries around the world, in an attempt to unify copyright and IP laws, and create a treaty designed to see copyrights being further protected. And of course, in its original form, was a terrifying mess.

ACTA is changing, being redrafted, and as clearly unnecessary as any bill may be, it’s being watered down. But the secrecy and anti-democratic nature of its existence is very worrying. Before Christmas Anonymous created this video to highlight the dangers they saw at that point:


The bill remains massively problematic. That it was created behind closed doors by unelected officials, having been requested by the entertainment industry, just about nothing about it sits right. Especially since it has absolutely nothing to do with counterfeiting, which is something quite separate from unauthorised duplication, and the deliberate conflation of the two is one of the repeated tricks of these lobbiests. It was signed by the US in 2011, and Poland is planning to sign it (http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/01/22/poland-netizens-protest-governments-plan-to-sign-acta-next-week/) next week. And as the Electronic Frontier Foundation points out (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/2011-review-developments-acta), the Council of the European Union decided to sign it during a meeting about agriculture and fisheries.

It is of course designed to protect businesses that were built around the impossibility of that which is now possible (to quote myself (http://botherer.org/2012/01/18/why-people-are-still-failing-to-accept-the-true-horror-of-sopapipa/)), and thus focuses on a fear of the internet’s ability to let people share the ethereal. And the focus point at the moment is on the European Parliament, due to yay or nay the agreement this year.

The good news is that it no longer includes the “three strikes” rule, which would have seen ISPs required to cut people off if they were “caught” infringing the rules three times. But what remains is a treaty – one that countries will sign but not necessarily enforce – is once again ambiguous wording and far too wide reaching abilities to infringe of free use of the internet. Also, as the EFF observes, it also sets a terrifying precedent for international legislation being decided in secret, behind closed doors, and then imposed on multiple countries at once without any say from their peoples. Because, well, that’s the sort of thing nutjob conspiracy theorists claim happens. And here it’s happening. Fortunately some countries, like Brazil and Holland, have balked at the secrecy, and there’s still time for people to contact MEPs to request they raise the issue (http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/How_to_act_against_ACTA) in the European Parliament.

TPP – The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (https://www.eff.org/pages/trans-pacific-partnership-agreement)

Very similar to ACTA, the TPP is also being drafted behind closed doors without any democratic consultation. This one is between Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, and it’s looking even more restrictive than ACTA, according to the EFF. It seems to be a way to get the worst of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act overseas. However, this one is still in early days, so there’s time to kick up a fuss (http://tppwatch.org/what-can-we-do/) before anyone signs it.

Data Retention Bill (https://action.eff.org/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8175)

If you’re in the States, you might also care about this astonishing planned invasion of everyone’s privacy.

SOURCE (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/01/25/post-sopa-what-else-is-out-there/)

01-26-2012, 02:09 PM
Obama Signs Global Internet Treaty Worse Than SOPA

Months before the debate about Internet censorship raged as SOPA and PIPA dominated the concerns of web users, President Obama signed an international treaty that would allow companies in China or any other country in the world to demand ISPs remove web content in the US with no legal oversight whatsoever.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2012/01/20120125acta.pdf) was signed by Obama on October 1 2011



03-27-2012, 07:43 AM

Anti-SOPA Internet Society under fire
for hiring MPAA executive

by Declan McCullagh - March 26, 2012 2:35 PM PDT

After warning Web blacklists would end the "viability of the Internet," the Internet Society hires the Hollywood figure who defends them and accuses critics of spreading "misinformation."

The Internet Society is hardly a fan of the Stop Online Piracy Act or the Protect IP Act. The venerable non-profit, which acts as the umbrella organization for the Internet's key standards bodies, bluntly warns that the pair of copyright laws would end the "viability of the Internet." (http://www.internetsociety.org/news/internet-society-joins-opposition-stop-online-piracy-act-sopa)

Which is why ISOC's decision this month to hire a senior executive from the Motion Picture Association of America -- a lawyer who has championed the wildly controversial legislation that would blacklist Web sites that supposedly violate copyright -- is raising eyebrows.
Paul Brigner defended Web blacklist legislation as
an MPAA senior vice president. Why did the anti-SOPA
Internet Society hire him? (Credit: MPAA)
http://asset0.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/03/26/20110729112552_brigner_270x405.jpg ISOC announced last week that it had hired Paul Brigner (http://www.internetsociety.org/news/internet-society-announces-paul-brigner-regional-bureau-director-north-america), the MPAA's senior vice president and chief technology policy officer, previously of Verizon's D.C. lobby office. Brigner now heads ISOC's North America efforts, a role that includes working with the U.S. Congress and federal agencies on Internet-related laws. (See Brigner's bare-bones Web site here (http://paulbrigner.com/).)

That announcement was particularly striking because it came mere days after the ISOC Board of Trustees adopted a resolution warning of the dangers of Protect IP, SOPA (http://www.internetsociety.org/news/internet-society-board-trustees-expresses-concern-over-online-copyright-enforcement-strategies), and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20003005-38.html) (ACTA), all of which the MPAA and its overseas associates have lobbied for strenuously.

At a State of the Net discussion in Washington, D.C., in January at which he represented the MPAA, Brigner said that while Internet engineers have raised some valid concerns about SOPA and PIPA, the public debate has been fueled by "misinformation and exaggeration about some of the things that the MPAA and others were trying to accomplish in this legislation."

"Maybe now is the time to take a look at either DNS filtering or other mechanisms (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlwyrZyXGg0&t=9m30s) that can be a technological impediment to accessing these rogue sites," Brigner added. "There needs to be some indication that when you try to go these rogue sites, you shouldn't be there."

Brigner's blog posts at the MPAA Web site have drawn derision from the reliably anti-SOPA forces at TechDirt. After Brigner argued last year that rogue Web sites can host malware (http://blog.mpaa.org/BlogOS/post/2011/07/01/Rogue-Sites-Host-More-than-Stolen-Movies-.aspx), TechDirt responded by dubbing it "stupid," an "uninformed fear that folks like the MPAA play upon (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110705/02254014970/mpaa-forget-national-security-this-is-about-internet-security.shtml)," and warned that the MPAA was inventing a "new holy terror brought down upon us by the likes of zombie bin Laden."

"It seems puzzling that ISOC would make this particular selection for such an important position, given Mr. Brigner's public condemnation of Net neutrality while at Verizon, and his own postings in strong support of Protect IP while at the MPAA," says Lauren Weinstein (http://lauren.vortex.com/) of People For Internet Responsibility (http://www.pfir.org/), which has opposed SOPA and favors Net neutrality regulations.

In another post on the MPAA's blog last summer, Brigner wrote that not passing the legislation would cause the Internet to "decay into a lawless Wild West." (http://blog.mpaa.org/BlogOS/post/2011/07/14/Tech-Community-Can-Help-Address-Rogue-Sites.aspx) A third pointed to an paper that, Brigner wrote, "debunks claims Protect IP will break the Internet (http://blog.mpaa.org/BlogOS/post/2011/06/24/Internet-Engineer-George-Ou-Debunks-Claims-PROTECT-IP-Will-Break-the-Internet.aspx)."

That's not what the public decided, of course. Protect IP and SOPA were yanked from the House and Senate calendars after January's historic online protest (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57360754-281/wikipedia-google-blackout-sites-to-protest-sopa/) -- which included Wikipedia going dark for a day, alerts appearing on the home page of Google.com and Amazon.com, and so on.

For its part, ISOC chief operating officer Walda Roseman (http://www.internetsociety.org/who-we-are/people/ms-walda-roseman) sent CNET a statement downplaying the time Brigner spent at the MPAA: We can assure you that the Internet Society remains committed to its positions on DNS blocking and draft legislation such as SOPA and PIPA. Our position is publicly well known and remains unchanged. We would not have made this appointment if we had not been certain that Paul is ready to fully support the principles and positions of the Internet Society. Paul is onboard and already working to drive those and other Internet Society positions forward. His knowledge of technology and his insights into the issues related to Internet content will be invaluable in this area. We are aware of some concern and even criticism around this appointment stemming from Paul's short tenure at MPAA. Paul has a full body of work and a career marked by open communication and bridge building across disparate parties. We observed these skills in Paul first-hand during his short time at the MPAA, where he opened a constructive dialogue between the content and Internet communities.
Translation: Brigner is a hired gun, but now he's our hired gun. Pay no attention to what he was saying before; he's on our side. For now.

SOPA and Protect IP would allow the Justice Department to obtain an order to be served on search engines, Internet service providers, and other companies, forcing them to make a suspected piratical Web site effectively vanish. A letter (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57342914-281/silicon-valley-execs-blast-sopa-in-open-letter/) signed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, among others, warns that SOPA will "give the U.S. government the power to censor the Web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran."

The MPAA, which blasted (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-57360499-52/mpaa-blasts-dangerous-anti-sopa-blackouts-as-stunts/) the anti-SOPA blackouts as mere "stunts," and its allies haven't given up lobbying for similar legislation. "We must take action to stop" online piracy and counterfeiting, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said after the protests (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57363243-281/protect-ip-sopa-supporters-vow-not-to-give-up-fight/), and MPAA chief Chris Dodd warned at the time: "As a consequence of failing to act, there will continue to be a safe haven for foreign thieves."

SOURCE (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57404804-281/anti-sopa-internet-society-under-fire-for-hiring-mpaa-executive/)