Tag Archives: Internet censorship

Segregation by Censorship

In his recent FrontPage Mag article, “Fighting Political Segregation with a Digital First Amendment,” Daniel Greenfield argues in favor of passing legislation to protect free speech specifically on the Internet.

Using an argument that even a radical liberal could love, he compares the recent silencing of alternative and conservative opinions online to racial and economic segregation.

Greenfield is careful to point out that the Constitutional First Amendment is limited to protection against abuses by government, not private enterprises.

For this reason, he writes, “…when those enterprises have more power over speech than governments, when their scale is such that they can sweep away entire categories of ideas across the world with the press of a key, a digital First Amendment is needed to maintain the relevance of the Bill of Rights in a new technological era when government censorship is outsourced to corporate partners.”

You could, of course, point out that at this stage, governments are owned by the corporate partners they serve. And you’d be right.

Death, Incorporated. The Internet is a sprawling virtual continent that out-scales every country and corporate media monopoly on the planet in terms of influence and viewership. (Greenfield supports this with multiple statistics – just read the article.)

For the various behemoths currently profiting from this limitless opportunity to claim that they are “private companies” is like the bubonic plague calling itself a cold sore. Big tech can inflict a lot of death on a lot of opinions and facts with a few clicks.

Unforeseen consequences. Imagine yourself a citizen of such an unlikely place from the viewpoint of those who drafted the Constitution. They never foresaw it, but here you are.

You establish your virtual domain and quietly busy yourself furnishing it with windows and doors that open onto unique views. You furnish your domain with as many books and news sources as you can find on the subjects of your choosing and go to work drafting your own articles and essays, inviting comments from the outside world.

And suddenly, you have visitors: Messrs. Madison and Hamilton knock on your door with the intention of hearing what you have to say about something as arcane to them as the Internet: Crisis actors.

“What manner of masque or, to wit, black comedy are such actors engaged in?” asks Madison. Hamilton stands there with a puzzled expression.

Before you can answer, your windpipe is blocked by a sudden gust of ones and zeroes and you and your domain are sucked into the virtual back of the bus — to a dark outer dimension.

And you see at last what the Lords of the Internet intended for you all along: Disconnection. Isolation. Silence.

But as you blow away, you can see Madison and Hamilton down there shaking their capacious heads, wondering what the devil that was all about.

“It must be the return of ignorance and barbarism,” says Hamilton. “Witchcraft,” says Madison.

I agree with them, as I agree with Greenfield: What we need is a digital First Amendment to retain the relevance of the Bill of Rights.

Without it, everyone* will eventually be silenced.

~C.

*Even NPR, according to this article.

H/T: A Sweet Dose of Reality; Anne Berg

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Google shut down birther website

UPDATE (Feb. 12, 2014):

Please see “Why Google shut down birther website” for an explanation of the shut down.

UPDATE (Feb. 9, 3:20 pm):

9 hours after I first published this post, I received an email from BirtherReport.com’s owner, saying Google has restored his website. However, both my Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers are still blocking my access to the site with a “Malware Ahead” warning.


Some of you may have noticed that you cannot access the premier website on Obama’s suspect birth eligibility to be president of the United States of America — BirtherReport.com (formerly called Obama Release Your Records).

Two days ago, I received an email appeal for donation to help the site’s owner move BirtherReport.com to another server because the present server tried to shut it down. Yesterday, my Chrome browser blocked access to BirtherReport.com with a message claiming that the site had malware.

FOTM reader NaturallyBoredCitizen was in email communication with the site’s owner who said Google unilaterally had shut down his site because BirtherReport.com is “targeting an individual” — by which I assume Google means Barry Soetoro Soebarkah Stephen Dunham Barack Hussein Obama.

So I contacted the site’s owner. Here is his message, which he posted on BirtherReport.com but is read by noone because browsers are blocking our access to the site.

~Eowyn

Obama hacking

Confirmed Hack: BR/ORYR Blog Safe

But Still Down; Will Still Be Moving ASAP

BirtherReport | ObamaReleaseYourRecords

Sunday, February 9, 2014, 2:49 AM PST…

I don’t even know where to start. First off I want to Thank everyone in the background that helped out in one way or another. And Thanks to the many people that offered me immediate posting privileges at their respective blogs. You guys[bloggers] are the unsung heroes in this battle to get the truth out about Obama. One thing we all know certain about Obama is that he with help of the American news media defrauded the American people.

On to some of the technical issues….

Late Saturday I received an email from one of the ad servers that was (now removed) running here:

This message is regarding the recent malware notifications that some of our publishers may have experienced.  Just before noon today, our engineers discovered that one of our ad serving locations had been hacked.
Since this attack was discovered, our engineering team worked diligently until 3:45pm EST to ensure that the appropriate action was taken to secure our ad server.  Unfortunately during that time, this attack effected 7.8% of our publishers’ domains.  If you are one of these publishers, you can have Google remove the notification by following these steps:  … – snip – 

Not quite sure yet why notification was not sent out sooner. Still gathering info. Some of the sample pages listed:

https://www.birtherreport.com/2013/12/true-colors-see-congressman-who.html?m=1

https://www.birtherreport.com/2014/02/audio-sheriff-joe-arpaio-opens-2nd.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BirtherReportObamaReleaseYourRecords+(Birther+Report%3A+Obama+Release+Your+Records)

Before receiving the email from the ad server company I was pretty sure this was a deliberate attempt to shut down the blog. Now I’m not quite sure what to think. I do know that on Oct. 1, 2013 this blog was severely hacked to the point the template had to be replaced and on the very same day Google AdSense sent notification that it was disabling the ads running for violating TOS listing, targeting an individual or group, as their reason, even though sites like Americans Against The Tea Party [www.aattp.org] can run Google AdSense with no problem.

On one hand I thank Google and on the other I shame them. It is sad that such a great resource would let political ideology take over. That said; Google is a private company and they’re free to do as they wish. Just as I am.

This blog will be moved to a privately owned server [without TOS BS] as soon as possible. It is something that should have been done long ago but lacked the knowledge and resources. More at a later date….

Please bookmark/save:

www.BirtherReport.com and www.ObamaReleaseYourRecords.com

P.S., Thank you to the dedicated BR/ORYR readers. You guys are the best. Ignore the noise.

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We Won! SOPA is dead


Yesterday, for 12 hours from 8a to 8p EST, Fellowship of the Minds shut down, joining some 7,000 websites in protest against the Internet censorship bill SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).
Wikipedia went dark for 24 hours. 4.5 million people signed the petition protesting SOPA.

And we won!

18 U.S. Senators, including SOPA’s co-sponsor, have publicly withdrawn support for the two controversial anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA. The bills have powerful corporate backing but critics say they would allow U.S. Congress to implement draconian laws to police the internet in the name of combating piracy.
Read more here.
~Eowyn
 

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The Dirty 19: Senators Who Voted to Censor Internet


Want to know who are the enemies of liberty in Congress? Here’s a list of 19 Senators who just voted to censor the Internet.
On November 18, 2010, the lame duck Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to move forward with censoring the Internet via the COICA bill, S. 3804, although the bill is a clear violation of the First Amendment.
Here’s what the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization based in the United States, says about S. 3804:

The “Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act” (COICA) is an Internet censorship bill which is rapidly making its way through the Senate. Although it is ostensibly focused on copyright infringement, an enormous amount of noninfringing content, including political and other speech, could disappear off the Web if it passes.
The main mechanism of the bill is to interfere with the Internet’s domain name system (DNS), which translates names like “www.eff.org” or “www.nytimes.com” into the IP addresses that computers use to communicate. The bill creates a blacklist of censored domains; the Attorney General can ask a court to place any website on the blacklist if infringement is “central” to the purpose of the site.
If this bill passes, the list of targets could conceivably include hosting websites such as Dropbox, MediaFire and Rapidshare; MP3 blogs and mashup/remix music sites like SoundCloud, MashupTown and Hype Machine ; and sites that discuss and make the controversial political and intellectual case for piracy, like pirate-party.us, p2pnet, InfoAnarchy, Slyck and ZeroPaid . Indeed, had this bill been passed five or ten years ago, YouTube might not exist today. In other words, the collateral damage from this legislation would be enormous. (Why would all these sites be targets?)
There are already laws and procedures in place for taking down sites that violate the law. This act would allow the Attorney General to censor sites even when no court has found they have infringed copyright or any other law.

Although countless experts have said S. 3814 would be ineffective, unconstitutional, bad for innovation and the tech economy, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved of the bill anyway. Hypocrites that they are, many of the same senators who voted in favor of net censorship have been speaking out against internet censorship in other countries. 
Here are the Dirty 19 (12 Demonrats, 7 RINOs):

  1. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Maryland)
  2. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma)
  3. Chris Coons (D-Delaware)
  4. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
  5. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)
  6. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin)
  7. Dianne Feinstein (D-California)
  8. Al Franken (D-Minnesota)
  9. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)
  10. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
  11. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)
  12. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
  13. Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin)
  14. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona)
  15. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vermont)
  16. Chuck Schumer (D-New York)
  17. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)
  18. Arlen Specter (D-Pennsylvania)
  19. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)

[Source: Aletho News]
H/t beloved fellow Joseph Fasciani.
~Eowyn

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