US Joins China In Censoring Internet – OpEd

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By John Robles

The Senate passed an act recently called the Protect IP Act but then, just as quickly, a Senator from Oregon, Ron Wyden, put the bill on hold because as he said, it would “muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth.”

The latest piece of internet blacklist legislation, known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives, was introduced by the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) who claims it is for the purpose of shutting down foreign sites that post intellectual property created by U.S. firms, goes even further than the Protect IP Act.

The act would allow the US Justice Department powers to punish and shut down websites, both in the U.S. and anywhere in the world and go after companies that provide support for them, either technically or through payment systems

The US and the West have long criticized China for stifling dissent and for censorship but now they are not only joining China but they are taking censorship even further and attempting to censor the whole world.

The international implications of SOPA are worrying for as experts claim: it appears that the US is taking control of the entire world. The definitions written in the bill are so broad that any US user who uses a website overseas immediately gives the US the power to potentially take action against it and enable them to force ISPs to DNS-block any foreign site.

On a global scale it grants the U.S. Government far-reaching powers to go after Web sites which it claims are hosting copyrighted content. According to Public Knowledge a group which promotes a free internet “SOPA is significantly worse than its Senate cousin” because even sites that are not directly responsible for their content can be held liable and shut down, including sites such as search engines.

Not long ago the U.S. admitted that it was in a state of information warfare and that it was losing the war. So what do you do if you are losing the information war? You muzzle the messenger.

SOPA is not being rushed through to protect against copyright theft, the US is scared, the Arab Spring has become the Western Fall and the U.S. is going all out against those who dare to question the official US Government line, something that the internet inconveniently allows as the people use the internet more and more to find out the truth.

Record numbers of people are turning away from the mainstream U.S. controlled media and getting information from independent news sources online that are reporting on events.

You now hear people in the everyday situations mentioning things that only a few years ago were unknown outside of “conspiracy” circles. For example the collapse of building 7 on 9-11, the fact that the Republicans and Democrats are essentially the same political party, as are Labour and the Tories all choreographed for our consumption to maintain the pretence of democracy. Most people now know they have a government controlled by bankers and that NATO is attempting to dominate the world, we also know in advance that the West wants to invade Iran and take control of the Arctic by force.

The SOPA Act has been met with wide criticism and the list of those opposing it is long and sounds like a who’s who of the tech community. For starters Mozilla blacked out its name on its home page in protest, as did the social news site Reddit. The website Tumblr published a page against the act, and internet giants like AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Zynga criticized Sopa by taking out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times.

At present, if Facebook, You Tube or other leading websites are found to be illegally hosting copyrighted material they are told to take it down. However the SOPA Act takes things to the next level and would allow the U.S. Government to block the website entirely.

Imagine if one day, for example, you could not access Google because it had been blocked for linking to an illegal mp3 file. In a blog post Google said SOPA “…would threaten innovation, jobs, and free expression”

In a collective statement put out by internet giants they say that the SOPA Act “…would encourage censorship, kill jobs and give US authorities unrivalled powers over the world’s websites.” “We support the bills’ stated goals – providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting. Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding US internet and technology companies to new and uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites,” the firms wrote in a public statement.

On Tuesday, ten members of Congress signed a letter expressing concern over the bill, including nine Democrats and one Republican, Rep Ron Paul from Texas.

They write that the SOPA Act is “overly broad and would cause serious and long term damage to the technology industry, one of the few bright spots in our economy.” The representatives say that passing the act would cause, “…an explosion of innovation-killing lawsuits and litigation.”

Opponents say the bills could basically destroy the internet and destroy innovation by “using the same domain blacklisting technologies pioneered by China and Iran”.

An open letter has also been sent to Congress and was co-signed by AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo! and Zynga, all of whom rarely agree on anything else, which says a lot.

The freedom of speech and expression and the uncontrolled dissemination of information online is a serious problem for Western political elites and the truth-spreading-culprits are many: 9-11 truth sites, intelligence sites, anti-war sites and foreign mass media sites like this one and many others, sites such as the aforementioned and many more, along with bloggers of every shape and form are out there on the net, exposing things, getting at the truth.

These truth seekers are in the millions and are exposing things like, torture, war crimes, political assassinations, media manipulation, government lies and corruption, who controls politicians, the fraudulent nature of the money system, police brutality (and uncensored video evidence to show it), eugenics, cover ups and the blacker intelligence operations. And they are spreading all of this information across the globe in seconds.

For the U.S. the truth has become an inconvenience and a dangerous threat to its power.

VOR

VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the first radio station to broadcast internationally. On the air since October 29th 1929, VOR has been shaping Russia’s image worldwide and introducing Russia to the world and highlighting its opinions on global events

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