Beyond SOPA: The Past, Present and Future of Internet Censorship

My own files are being removed..example The X files relating to the Fabian education policies..first surfaced in America…ie removing the oath sworn to their flag in schools…sexualisation of American youth…These files removed under the Cameron regime!

Beyond SOPA: The Past, Present and Future of Internet Censorship

by grtv

In recent weeks the general public has mobilized to face US legislative threats to Internet freedoms. Far from a conclusive victory, however, the death of SOPA and PIPA only highlight the latest in a series of measures that are seeking to create a legal framework for government-administered Internet censorship.

Find out more about this contentious topic in this week’s GRTV Backgrounder on Global Research TV.

TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=3827

When legislators in the US abandoned their support of SOPA and PIPA in the wake of mass popular protest earlier this month, many of those who had been mobilized by the legislation–which would have granted the US government almost total power to block access to foreign websites accused of so much as linking to copyrighted material–did not have long to enjoy their “victory.” The very next day the New Zealand police swooped in to the million-dollar estate of MegaUpload.com founder Kim Dotcom, arresting him and three others at the US government’s request for alleged racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering. The Department of Justice is now seeking the MegaUpload CEO’s extradition to the US.

Some amongst those who had been campaigning against SOPA and PIPA did not know that the US government already had the authority to shut down entire websites and in fact has exercised that authority on numerous occasions. What many are now learning is that, far from some potential future threat, internet censorship already exists in a variety of legislation that is already on the books in the United States and in nations around the world.

Although most commonly associated with China, which has implemented strict internet filters that prevent its citizens from finding politically sensitive material, various internet censorship programs have already been implemented by countries around the globe.

In 2010, Japan passed amendments to its copyright law making it illegal to download copyrighted material. The move has yet to curtail file-sharing in the country, so the Japanese government recently announced that they are going to begin putting fake copies of popular tv dramas on file-sharing websites that, when opened, remind users that it is illegal to download such material.

In July of 2010, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized the domains of 8 websites that it accused of hosting illegal copies of copyrighted material as part of an investigation dubbed Operation In Our Sites. The seizures came before any trial took place, and six of the websites did not actually host any of the copyrighted material in question, only linking to it. That November, ICE acted once again, this time seizing 82 domains. In December of 2011, over one year later, the agency returned one of the domains, Dajaz1.com, to its owner, after admitting that it had not in fact breached any laws.

In May of last year, the US Justice Department began seeking the extradition of one of the website’s operators, Richard O’Dwyer, from the UK. O’Dwyer is a British citizen who established TVShack.net in December of 2007. The DOJ is hoping to bring O’Dwyer to the US under the Extradition Act of 2003 to face charges of copyright infringement in the Southern District of New York.

Late last year, a number of nations signed a new global copyright agreement known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement or ACTA. Signatories include the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and, as of this past week, 22 member states of the European Union.

Purported to be a treaty against counterfeit goods, generic drugs and copyright, it threatens to fundamentally alter the internet as it has so far existed.

When the Polish government announced its intention to sign earlier this month, protests sprang up around the country.

While the public is only beginning to understand the implications of ACTA, which has already been signed by a number of countries, others are pointing to these types of agreements as only the thin edge of the wedge for the implementation of outright totalitarian control over the internet as a whole. Indeed, perhaps even more worrying than the existing legislation and agreements for internet censorship are the numerous proposals for even more restrictive measures that have been made time and again by political leaders in a variety of contexts.

In October of 2008, the Labor government in Australia proposed a mandatory filter for the entire Australian internet. The proposal, dubbed “Clean Feed” would ostensibly block any content deemed to break Australia’s media regulations. When a list of the websites supposed to be banned under the scheme was released in early 2009, it included the websites of numerous innocuous Australian businesses, as well as overtly political websites that had no illegal or offending material. The current government has said they would not vote for any such legislation, and the proposal would be unlikely to reach parliament until 2013.

In 2010 the UK passed the Digital Economy Act, which theoretically allows for the UK government to ban copyright violators from the Internet. In August of 2011, parts of the legislation proposing the blocking of sites believed to be linking to copyrighted material was declared to be unenforceable and were dropped from the legislation.

In March of 2009, Senator Jay Rockefeller opined during a subcommittee hearing that the internet is proving to be such a threat to America’s national security that it would have been better if it had never existed.

In June of 2010, Senator Joe Lieberman stated that he believed the US needed the same ability to shut down the internet as China currently has.

While these proposals are sometimes couched in business-friendly rhetoric about protecting intellectual property, sometimes as a national security question about defending cyber infrastructure from foreign enemies and sometimes as attempts to protect children or stop the spread of child pornography, the proponents of internet censorship are becoming increasingly honest about their real worry: the free spread of ideas amongst a public that is allowed to choose for themselves what information to believe and what to discard.

Last year, Bill Clinton advocated the idea that the US government create an agency for “fact-checking” websites on the internet.

Earlier this month, Evgeny Morozov of Stanford, who previously served as a Fellow of George Soros’ Open Society Institute, wrote an article calling on Google and other search engines to use banners to warn users about websites that are deemed to be pseudoscientific or conspiratorial. Perhaps realizing that the proposal sounds drastic, Morozov concludes:

“such a move might trigger conspiracy theories of its own—e.g. is Google shilling for Big Pharma or for Al Gore?—but this is a risk worth taking as long as it can help thwart the growth of fringe movements.”

Here we see the real danger of the internet for those who seek to control the spread of information. The internet, like every other medium that has come before it, changes not just the way in which people create, distribute and receive information, but the information itself. Just as the printing press led to the widespread publication of the Bible in the vernacular and ultimately to the Reformation which forever transformed the power structure in European society, so too has the internet allowed the public to receive, correlate and distribute information that challenges official government narratives in a way that threatens to transform the power structure of our society. And as the traditional media has begun to bleed away the remains of its increasingly dissatisfied customer base, self-immolated on the fantastic failure to challenge the status quo on issues like Saddam’s WMD or the growing apparatus of the police state or the never-ending bailouts of the too-big-to-fails, a new, independent media has arisen to take its place, empowered by technologies that allow for the instantaneous and nearly costless transmission of ideas to the farthest corners of the globe.

When situated in this context, the recent struggle over the SOPA and PIPA bills are seen for what they are: one battle in a much larger war for internet freedom, and ultimately, the cognitive liberty of the American public. But it is possible to win the battle and yet lose the war, as the millions of MegaUpload users who just had all of their files seized by the FBI found out the hard way. The only hope is that the movement that has arisen to face this, the greatest threat to the rise of this new era of mental independence, does not wane in the wake of the SOPA and PIPA “victory,” but instead rises to meet the even greater internet clampdown that awaits. After all, all the authorities are waiting for is for the public to fall back asleep.

2012 / 01 / 29
Bob Marshall says:
Yesterday, i received an e-mail from Amazon informing me that i owe my home state, S.C.; state taxes because of a law stating anything i bought through their site, if it was to used used in S.C. was subject to being taxed by the state. They stated that S.C. has had this law in effect since 1953. I wonder how many more states are doing this? Since my state has always been one of the poorest and least educated i am not suprized. I do wonder where our tax money goes since it isn’t apparently for education.

http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2012/01/beyond-sopa-past-present-and-future-internet-censorship

June 2010 Banker deslikes the INTERNET.

Death Of The Internet
by grtv
Rockefeller: Internet is “Number One National Hazard”

According to the great-grandson John D. Rockefeller, nephew of banker David Rockefeller, and former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller the internet represents a serious threat to national security. Rockefeller is not alone in this assessment. His belief that the internet is the “number one national hazard” to national security is shared by the former Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Obama’s current director Admiral Dennis C. Blair.

“It really almost makes you ask the question would it have been better if we had never invented the internet,” Rockefeller mused during the confirmation hearing of Gary Locke (see video), Obama’s choice for Commerce Secretary. He then cites a dubious figure of three million cyber “attacks” launched against the Department of Defense every day. “Everybody is attacked, anybody can do it. People say, well it’s China and Russia, but there could be some kid in Latvia doing the same thing.”

Jay Rockefeller’s comments reveal an astounding degree of ignorance – or if not ignorance, outright propaganda. Since the September 11, 2001, attacks the government has cranked up the fear quotient in regard to cyber attacks and so-called cyber terrorism, a virtually non-existent threat except in the minds security experts and politicians. In the years since the attacks, not one real instance of real cyberterrorism has been recorded.

“Cyberattacks on critical components of the national infrastructure are not uncommon, but they have not been conducted by terrorists and have not sought to inflict the kind of damage that would qualify as cyberterrorism,” writes Gabriel Weimann, author of Terror on the Internet. “Nuclear weapons and other sensitive military systems, as well as the computer systems of the CIA and FBI, are ‘air-gapped,’ making them inaccessible to outside hackers. Systems in the private sector tend to be less well protected, but they are far from defenseless, and nightmarish tales of their vulnerability tend to be largely apocryphal.”

“Psychological, political, and economic forces have combined to promote the fear of cyberterrorism,” Weimann continues. “From a psychological perspective, two of the greatest fears of modern time are combined in the term ‘cyberterrorism.’ The fear of random, violent victimization blends well with the distrust and outright fear of computer technology.”

“The sky is not falling, and cyber-weapons seem to be of limited value in attacking national power or intimidating citizens,” notes James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Such a threat is overblown, Lewis explains. He notes that “a brief review suggests that while many computer networks remain very vulnerable to attack, few critical infrastructures are equally vulnerable.” In other words, Rockefeller’s example of a kid in Latvia with a laptop posing a serious “hazard” to national security is little more than sensationalistic propaganda.

So-called cyber terrorists are far less of a threat than government. China and Australia have recently imposed draconian censorship on internet freedom. Brazil, Denmark, Canada, Finland, Ireland , Italy, Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries also impose nominal censorship on internet freedom. Urgent calls to restrict the medium in various ways through legislation and government action have increased over the last few years (for more detail, see Internet Censorship: A Comparative Study).

However, the real threat to internet freedom is currently posed by IT and ISP corporations, not the government.

As Alex Jones explained last June, large corporate ISPs are now in the process of imposing bandwidth caps and routing traffic over their networks and blocking certain targeted websites. For instance, in 2005 AOL Time-Warner was caught blocking access to all of Jones’ flagship websites across the entire United States. Other instances of outright censorship include the UK ISP Tiscali blocking subscribers from reaching material on the 7/7 London bombings and Google’s continued and habitual censorship of 9/11 material and Alex Jones’ films on the ever-popular YouTube. There are many other instances as well.

http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2010/06/death-internet

FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING HAS DONE FAR MORE DAMAGE- UNINVENT THAT SCAM!

Death Of The Internet: Unprecedented Censorship Bill Passes in UK

by Steve Watson

Global Research, April 11, 2010
Infowars.net – 2010-04-08

A draconian Internet censorship bill that has been long looming on the horizon finally passed the house of commons in the UK yesterday, legislating for government powers to restrict and filter any website that is deemed to be undesirable for public consumption.

The “Digital Economy Bill” was rushed through parliament in a late night session last night after a third reading.

In the wake of the announcement of a general election on May 6, the government has taken advantage of what is known as the “wash-up process”, allowing the legislative process to be speeded up between an election being called and Parliament being dissolved.

Only a pitiful handful of MPs (pictured below) were present to debate the bill, which was fully supported by the “opposition” Conservative party, and passed by 189 votes to 47 keeping the majority of its original clauses intact.

The bill will now go back to the House of Lords, where it originated, for a final formal approval.

The government removed a proposal in clause 18 of the bill, which openly stated that it could block any website, however it was replaced with an amendment to clause 8 of the bill which essentially legislates for the same powers.

The new clause allows the unelected secretary of state for business, currently Lord Mandelson, to order the blocking of “a location on the internet which the court is satisfied has been, is being or is likely to be used for or in connection with an activity that infringes copyright”.

Opposing MPs argued that the clause was too broad and open ended, arguing that the phrase “likely to be used” could be used to block websites without them ever having been used for “activity that infringes copyright”. Other MPs argued that under the bill, whistleblower websites, such as Wikileaks, could be targeted.

The legislation will also allow the Home Secretary to place “a technical obligation on internet service providers” to block whichever sites it wishes.

Under clause 11 of the proposed legislation “technical obligation” is defined as follows:

A “technical obligation”, in relation to an internet service provider, is an obligation for the provider to take a technical measure against particular subscribers to its service.

A “technical measure” is a measure that — (a) limits the speed or other capacity of the service provided to a subscriber; (b) prevents a subscriber from using the service to gain access to particular material, or limits such use; (c) suspends the service provided to a subscriber; or (d) limits the service provided to a subscriber in another way.

In other words, the government will have the power to force ISPs to downgrade and even block your internet access to certain websites or altogether if it wishes.

The legislation is part of an amplified effort by the government to seize more power over the internet and those who use it.

For months now unelected “Secretary of State” Lord Mandelson has overseen government efforts to challenge the independence of the of UK’s internet infrastructure.

The Digital Economy Bill will also see users’ broadband access cut off indefinitely, in addition to a fine of up to £50,000 without evidence or trial, if they download copyrighted music and films. The plan has been identified as “potentially illegal” by experts.

The legislation would impose a duty on ISPs to effectively spy on all their customers by keeping records of the websites they have visited and the material they have downloaded. ISPs who refuse to cooperate could be fined £250,000.

As Journalist and copyright law expert Cory Doctrow has noted, the bill also gives the Secretary of State the power to make up as many new penalties and enforcement systems as he likes, without Parliamentary oversight or debate.

This could include the authority to appoint private militias, who will have the power to kick you off the internet, spy on your use of the network, demand the removal of files in addition to the blocking of websites.

Mandelson and his successors will have the power to invent any penalty, including jail time, for any digital transgression he deems Britons to be guilty of.

Despite being named the Digital Economy Bill, the legislation contains nothing that will actually stimulate the economy and is largely based on shifting control over the internet into government hands, allowing unaccountable bureaucrats to arbitrarily hide information from the public should they wish to do so.

Mandelson began the onslaught on the free internet in the UK after spending a luxury two weekholiday at Nat Rothschild’s Corfu mansion with multi-millionaire record company executive David Geffen.

Over 20,000 members of the public have written to their MPs in the last week to lobby against the bill being rushed through, however, their concerns have fallen on deaf ears and the government has been allowed to deal a devastating blow to the last real vestige of free speech in this country.

The Wider Agenda Of Internet Control

The Digital Economy Bill is intrinsically linked to long term plans by the UK government to carry out an unprecedented extension of state powers by claiming the authority to monitor all emails, phone calls and internet activity nationwide.

IN 2008, the government announced its intention to create a massive central database, gathering details on every text sent, e-mail sent, phone call made and website visited by everyone in the UK.

The programme, known as the “Interception Modernisation Programme”, would allow spy chiefs at GCHQ, the government’s secret eavesdropping agency, the centre for Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) activities (pictured above), to effectively place a “live tap” on every electronic communication in Britain in the name of preventing terrorism.

Following outcry over the announcement, the government suggested that it was scaling down the plans, with then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith stating that there were “absolutely no plans for a single central store” of communications data.

However, as the “climbdown” was celebrated by civil liberties advocates and the plan was “replaced” by new laws requiring ISPs to store details of emails and internet telephony for just 12 months, fresh details emerged indicating the government was implementing a big brother spy system that far outstrips the original public announcement.

The London Times published leaked details of a secret mass internet surveillance project known as “Mastering the Internet” (MTI).

Costing hundreds of millions in public funds, the system is already being implemented by GCHQ with the aid of American defence giant Lockheed Martin and British IT firm Detica, which has close ties to the intelligence agencies.

A group of over 300 internet service providers and telecommunications firms has attempted to fight back over the radical plans, describing the proposals as an unwarranted invasion of people’s privacy.

Currently, any interception of a communication in Britain must be authorised by a warrant signed by the home secretary or a minister of equivalent rank. Only individuals who are the subject of police or security service investigations may be subject to surveillance.

If the GCHQ’s MTI project is completed, black-box probes would be placed at critical traffic junctions with internet service providers and telephone companies, allowing eavesdroppers to instantly monitor the communications of every person in the country without the need for a warrant.

Even if you believe GCHQ’s denial that it has any plans to create a huge monitoring system, the current law under the RIPA (the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) allows hundreds of government agencies access to the records of every internet provider in the country.

In publicly announced proposals to extend these powers, firms will be asked to collect and store even more vast amounts of data, including from social networking sites such as Facebook.

If the plans go ahead, every internet user will be given a unique ID code and all their data will be stored in one place. Government agencies such as the police and security services will have access to the data should they request it with respect to criminal or terrorist investigations.

This is clearly the next step in an incremental program to implement an already exposed full scale big brother spy system designed to completely obliterate privacy, a fundamental right under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Death Of The Internet In Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.

Similar efforts to place restrictions on the internet are unfolding in Australia where the government is implementing a mandatory and wide-ranging internet filter modeled on that of the Communist Chinese government.

Australian communication minister Stephen Conroy said the government would be the final arbiter on what sites would be blacklisted under “refused classification.”

The official justification for the filter is to block child pornography, however, as the watchdog group Electronic Frontiers Australia has pointed out, the law will also allow the government to block any website it desires while the pornographers can relatively easily skirt around the filters.

Earlier this year, the Wikileaks website published a leaked secret list of sites slated to be blocked by Australia’s state-sponsored parental filter.

The list revealed that blacklisted sites included “online poker sites, YouTube links, regular gay and straight porn sites, Wikipedia entries, euthanasia sites, websites of fringe religions such as satanic sites, fetish sites, Christian sites, the website of a tour operator and even a Queensland dentist.”

The filter will even block web-based games deemed unsuitable for anyone over the age of fifteen, according to the Australian government.

In neighbouring New Zealand, the government has quietly implemented an internet filter and is urging the leading ISPs in the country to adopt the measure, in a move that would give the authorities the power to restrict whichever websites they see fit.

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) reportedly turned on the internet filter on February 1st without making any announcement, prompting critics to charge that the measure had been activated in stealth.

It was no coincidence that around the same time the government’s Internet filter went live, Infowars began receiving notification from readers in New Zealand that their access to Alex Jones’ flagship websites Infowars.com and Prisonplanet.com had been suddenly blocked.

The broad attack on the free internet is not only restricted to the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

The European Union, Finland, Denmark, Germany and other countries in Europe have all proposed blocking or limiting access to the internet and using filters like those used in Iran, Syria, China, and other repressive regimes.

In 2008 in the U.S., The Motion Picture Association of America asked president Obama to introduce laws that would allow the federal government to effectively spy on the entire Internet, establishing a system where being accused of copyright infringement would result in loss of your Internet connection.

In 2009 the Cybersecurity Act was introduced, proposing to allow the federal government to tap into any digital aspect of every citizen’s information without a warrant. Banking, business and medical records would be wide open to inspection, as well as personal instant message and e mail communications.

The legislation, introduced by Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) in April, gives the president the ability to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any “critical” information network “in the interest of national security.” The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president, according to a Mother Jones report.

During a hearing on the bill, Senator John Rockefeller betrayed the true intent behind the legislation when he stated, “Would it have been better if we’d have never invented the Internet,” while fearmongering about cyber attacks on the U.S. government and how the country could be shut down.

Watch the clip below.

VIDEO ABOVE…

The Obama White House has also sought a private contractor to “crawl and archive” datasuch as comments, tag lines, e-mail, audio and video from any place online where the White House “maintains a presence” – for a period of up to eight years.

Obama has also proposed scaling back a long-standing ban on tracking how people use government Internet sites with “cookies” and other technologies.

Recent disclosures under the Freedom Of Information Act also reveal that the federal government has several contracts with social media outlets such as Youtube (Google), Facebook, Myspace and Flickr (Yahoo) that waive rules on monitoring users and permit companies to track visitors to government web sites for advertising purposes.

The U.S. military also has some $30 Billion invested in it’s own mastering the internet projects.

We have extensively covered efforts to scrap the internet as we know it and move toward a greatly restricted “internet 2″ system. All of the above represents stepping stones toward the realisation of that agenda.

The free internet is under attack the world over, only by exposing the true intentions of our governments to restrict the flow of data can we defeat such efforts and preserve what is left of the last vestige of independent information.

Steve Watson is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Steve Watson

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18597

BY THE TIME YOU NOTICE THE BARS- THE DOORS HAVE BEEN SLAMMED SHUT!

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One response to “Beyond SOPA: The Past, Present and Future of Internet Censorship

  1. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18597

    MINISTERS HAVE FORGOTTEN THEIR POSITION- SERVANTS OF THE PEOPLE!

    RE-EDUCATION….PROGRAMME REQUIRED!

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