Posts Tagged ‘internet’

CISPA: The Return of SOPA

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

We knew this day would come. SOPA – the Internet-destroying bill we rallied together to destroy – is back! Legislators, hell-bent on crippling digital freedoms and stifling the incredible power of social media, have drafted a bill which is even worse than the one we shot down.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) forces Internet providers and other online businesses to hand user data over to government agencies upon request, no warrant or court oversight needed.

What’s the big deal?, you may ask. They just want to stop rampant piracy, right? That’s what the pretense is, but the subtext is to give more tools for the government to quash dissent.

Just as the PATRIOT act was supposed to fight violent extremist but ended up being used for non-terror related crimes, CISPA is likely to be used for silencing critics and impeding social uprisings rather than tackling what mega-corporations deem to be illegitimate file-sharing.

This means it’s time to, once again, rally the troops. We cannot tire. We cannot relent. Corporations will never cease trying to strip us of our power, so we can never stop fighting for our rights.

Ideally, this time we will rise in such great numbers, with such a tremendous fury, that anti-Internet legislators will think twice before drafting the next cockamamie bill they try to push down our throats.

Cloud Computing… For Real!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Watch out for more drones in the sky! Only this time, instead of bombing innocents and invading privacy, new unmanned aircraft are being designed to host Internet web sites.

The Pirate Bay – the world’s largest free information enabler – announced plans to develop and release so-called Low Orbit Server Stations, which will fly above international waters to serve the world’s file-sharing community.

So, once launched, even if some corporate lobbyists manage to convince governments to execute a take-down on The Pirate Bay’s servers, their raids will prove futile, since the information they seek will be, literally, up in the air.

For now, the idea is just that, an idea. There are several technical issues to overcome, including building solar powered aircraft that can hold computing equipment and networking devices while staying airborne 24 hours a day.

Still, once completed, the implications will be awesome!

ACTA, PIPA, SOPA, C-11, and whatever other censorship nonsense the government tries to impose on us will be no match for human ingenuity. If they want to crack down on our free Internet, we will build a new one.

Picture thousands of wireless hotspots forming a meshed network, mounted on rooftops, street poles, cars, and robotic drones hovering above, to provide everyone with free access to an unrestricted Internet.

With 3D printers churning out more amazing stuff every day, and solar getting so effective and accessible, a decade or two is all it will take to deploy an indomitable mesh Internet across all of earth’s major hubs.

Hooray! One more blow to the encroaching totalitarian regime.

 

Bill C-30: Yay for Now

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Canadians can breathe a sigh of relief, albeit a temporary one. Bill C-30 – the legislation to give police unwarranted access to every Canadian’s online activity – has been shelved!

Don’t, however, take this as a reason to become complacent. The forces trying to cram C-30 down our throats will not rest, so neither can we. It is up to us to stay vigilant against the encroachment of the police state and further erosion of our freedoms.

On the bright side, at least now we know that our voices will still be heard, as long as we speak up together.

The Free Internet Act

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

SOPA has been squashedACTA might be on its final act, and Bill C-30 is now under close surveillance, but the battle for an uncensored Internet rages on.

Enter the Free Internet Act, designed to “promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation by preventing the restriction of liberty and preventing the means of censorship.”

(more…)

People Power Protecting Net Freedom

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Hundreds of thousands of people have spoken, and leaders are starting to listen. The notoriously overbearing ACTA agreement, which aims to stem the flow of file-sharing by imposing restrictions on the internet, is on the ropes as official support continues to drop.

Bulgaria and the Netherlands have joined Poland and Germany in declining to ratify ACTA. Hooray!

The struggle is by no means over. ACTA hasn’t been killed yet, and even if it does get scrapped, there will be even more insidious bills coming down the pipeline.

Still, the bright side is that democracy works. Government goes to whoever shows up, and when the numbers involved get large enough, systems cater to the will of the majority.

Corporations may bring millions of bribe dollars to the table, but as long as millions of engaged individuals get involved and speak out in unison, politicians and governments will have no choice but to side with the people.

File-Sharing Countermeasures are Counterproductive

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Last month saw the battle for Internet freedom reach new heights as millions of people and thousands of businesses came together to protest SOPA, the overreaching anti-file sharing bill creeping its way through US legislature.

One day after the Jan. 17th SOPA blackout protest, prominent file-hosting site MegaUpload was shut down. MegaUpload owner Kim Dotcom was extradited to the US and millions of his assets have now been seized.

So what impact did the US Government’s global exercise have on unauthorized file-sharing around the world? Close to zero, according to networking gurus Deepfield, who write “File sharing has not gone away. It did not even decrease much in North America.”

In fact, the brutish take down of Megaupload caused “file sharing to become staggeringly less efficient.” Now, instead of terabytes of North American MegaUpload traffic going to US servers, “most file sharing traffic now comes from Europe over far more expensive transatlantic links.”

By all accounts, this would seem like a failure. Yet, sadly, this kind of Internet censorship has all the makings of a lasting American policy.

Take the war on drugs, as an example. Despite dumping tens of billions of dollars annually chasing illegal substances, America has yet to create even the slightest dent in the flow of drugs.

But that hasn’t stopped them from manufacturing an entire industry around drug prohibition, with task forces and mega-jails to reap in huge profits. This, along with a propaganda machine to keep enough of the public misinformed, is all it takes to keep the whole racket ongoing.

Now, with file-sharing, the US has a new enemy to wage war on. Another target to demonize in the media, more culprits to fill of the jails, and more power handed over to any government agency promising to protect the public from this scourge.

Of course these agencies will not have any lasting impact, but that’s not the goal. Instead, the file-sharing ‘pigs’ will be allowed to grow. Then, when plump and juicy, some well-funded government goons will swoop in and slaughter the swine, leaving the door open for the next one, and the next, and the next.

It’s Prohibition 101, and without enough public uproar, they’ll have no problem running the same tired play ad nauseum. Either speak out now or get your sick bags ready, people.

Canadians Must Crush C-11

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Well-funded lobbyists representing the special interests of media giants have, for many years now, been engaged in an all out war against the Internet as we know it. The free exchange of information fostered by the Net represents a threat to their business models. Unwilling/unable to change themselves, these behemoth corporations are looking to change the Internet, even if it means destroying everything good about it.

Here in Canada the latest front in the battle against online liberty takes the form of Bill C-11, a piece of proposed legislation that has already garnered an extensive list of dissenting organizations, representing millions of Canadian voices.

The proponents of Bill C-11, much like those who pushed the outlandish SOPA bill until it was shelved due to unprecedented public uproar, largely consists of Hollywood film studios, major record labels, and other high-level mucky-mucks who earn their keep in the entertainment industry.

Several proposals in C-11 would create what is essentially a digital lock, allowing courts to order websites blocked from Canada without the need for any proof of copyright infringement or due process. In other words, they want the right to censor the Internet on a whim, and to hell with what any of you whiny citizens may want.

Clearly this bill would be a bad thing for the majority of freedom-loving Canadians. Worse still, should this bill pass, it would give the precedence for other countries to follow suit. ‘Look, the Canucks are doing it… we should too!’

If you haven’t already done so, you need to step up to the plate. Write or call your MP, your MLA, and any other politician you can think of. Plead with your friends and family to get involved. Without sufficient backlash from the Canadian people, this bill will pass. And then the next one, then the next one, until the Internet is nothing but a portal to corporate products and their corresponding commercials.

If my words aren’t enough to motivate you, then I’ll leave you with this inspiring call to action from Redditor Stormy_Fairweather:

SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, C-11, TPP, PCIP… the writing is on the wall. Those who would rule are terrified of the internet. They are doing everything they can to choke it, to control it, to bring it under their rule.

We MUST not allow it, for the future of our species, it is time to fight, it is time to overthrow our masters, it is time we stopped being domesticated and embraced the greatness within us. Every man should be his own master, and if we do not make this happen then we will all be slaves.

For Humanity!

 

Poland Protests for Internet Freedom

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

(Even the Polish Parliament is up in arms.)

Upwards of 20,000 freedom fighters have taken to the streets across Poland, outraged over their government’s decision to sign the liberty-crushing treaty known as ACTA.

Many other nations, including Japan, United States and – gasp!!! – Canada, already signed the agreement back in September. Talk about flying under the radar. Of course, when passing such anti-people, pro-corporation legislation, it’s best not to inform those who are getting screwed over, lest they make a stink about it.

But it’s not too late yet. While the initial treaty has been signed, it still needs to be ratified within each country’s own legal system.

Here in Canada, for example, Bill C-11 is working it’s way into the law books. This bill would include blocking of websites and, more chilling, allow the revocation of Internet access by anyone deemed to be in violation of copyright infringement. To learn more, check out Professor Michael Geist’s comparison of this bill with the typical anti-piracy arguments put forth by media giant Viacom.

What’s really at stake here has less to do with piracy, since clever coders will ALWAYS find ways to circumvent censorship, and more to do with Internet freedom in general. The net has opened up an entirely new avenue for humankind to unite, share information, and rally behind important issues, enabling a power shift the likes of which has never been seen before.

And there in lies the real threat to the powers that be: if earth’s people actually take control over the planet, it would mean the hundred$ of billion$ currently being pillaged off humankind’s labor will end up being distributed in a far more equitable manner.

This would be bad for the oligarchs, but awesome for the rest of us, which is why it is so very important that draconian laws like ACTA and C-11 get violently crushed under the boots of millions of engaged citizens from around the world.

Stop ACTA – It’s like SOPA on Steroids

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Something extraordinary happened this week: droves of freedom fighters coordinated an online protest which successfully stalled the notoriously flawed censorship bills, SOPA and PIPA. It was a glorious victory for the people, exemplifying what can happen when millions of us work together.

But this is no time to get complacent. A greater threat has been looming. An international treaty – in development for a few years now – has the potential to go beyond simply crushing Internet freedom.

The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – ACTA – is the product of background, closed door negotiations by appointed (not democratically elected) representatives. Whose interests do these people represent? Why, the biggest corporations on earth, of course.

Here’s some information to get you up to speed about this growing danger to the future of a free human race:

Redditor justicia311 also shares a concise analysis of the latest version of ACTA and what it could mean for our world. Scary stuff!

If and when ACTA gets shot down, there will still be more liberty-stripping bills coming down the pipe. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and this holds true for the digital realm as well.

Democracy in Action! – GoDaddy Drops SOPA Support

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

With American lawmakers in the final stages of passing the Internet-destroying SOPA bill, the call to action has never been louder.

Just two days ago, unable to sit idly by, a clever Redditor named selfprodigy posted a message calling for a boycott of hosting/registration service GoDaddy for supporting SOPA. The post quickly rose to the top spot of the popular media sharing site, meaning the game was on.

Thousands of people promptly picked up the down-with-GoDaddy banner. Within 24 hours, GoDaddy was bombarded with emails and angry forum posts from clients and activists alike. Undeterred, a patronizing GoDaddy reiterated their support for SOPA, essentially begging the Internet community to come and kick their ass – which the Internet soon obliged.

The anti-GoDaddy fervor reached a boiling point in a matter of hours. Many major clients, including information behemoth Wikipedia, pledged to abandon GoDaddy if their stance were not reversed.

Facing such an overwhelming response, GoDaddy finally capitulated to the public, announcing they will be dropping their support for SOPA. A victory for the masses!

Given such a resounding success, activists have set their sights on other pro-SOPA businesses. A crowdsourced list is being hashed out right now, containing names and contact info of hundreds of other companies still supporting the draconian SOPA bill.

What a remarkable phenomenon we are witnessing – real democracy in action. Regular people, united behind the same cause, are mobilizing and taking immediate action to hit big business where it hurts the most – in the pocketbooks.

This Internet-enabled activism is something we will be seeing more of, and is one reason why I am such an optimist. Amazing things are going to happen to our world in a very short period of time as the world’s people come together to snuff out injustices wherever they lie.