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POLITICS: Controlling the Net: New Laws and Legislation

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posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 05:03 PM
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A month ago, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration ruled that dot.us domain names can no longer be registered anonomously using proxy services. There was no warning and no public discussion. Now, the U.S. Commerce Department has issued orders to domain companies, telling them they will lose their .us business if they don't comply. In the House, Lamar Smith (R-Texas) wants Bush to sign the Internet and Intellectual Property bill S167/HR357 before the Supreme Court decides the big Grokster case. In the courts, a lawsuit involving Apple and the Electronic Frontier Foundation could have "wide-ranging implications for the future - and even the definition - of online journalism."

 



www.wired.com
The U.S. Commerce Department has ordered companies that administer internet addresses to stop allowing customers to register .us domain names anonymously using proxy services. ...The move does not affect owners of .com and .net domains. But it means website owners with .us domains will no longer be able to shield their name and contact information from public eyes.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center said the move violates First Amendment rights to anonymous free speech. And the representative of one of the largest domain-registration companies is concerned that customers who have been victims of stalkers won't be able to protect their privacy without changing their web address to a domain that offers anonymity.

Wired News has learned that the edict came a month ago from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Commerce Department agency that advises the president on telecommunications and information policy. The agency ruled with no warning and without any discussion with the companies accredited to sell and register .us domains. The domain companies were told they would lose their right to sell .us domains - the official, top-level domain for the United States - if they didn't comply.

.............

The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property passed S167/HR357, known as the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005, with little debate. The full Senate passed its identical bill on a voice vote on Feb. 1. ...The legislation would essentially affirm the legality of software such as ClearPlay, which automatically edits supposedly objectionable scenes out of popular movie titles.

Some Hollywood directors and studios have complained that such filtering violates their copyright by altering their works without permission. S167/HR357, however, would sanction the practice. ...Proponents see the bill as empowering parents to protect children from an onslaught of objectionable movie content.

(Lamar Smith (R-Texas)) said the goal is to get the bill to the White House for signing before the Supreme Court decides the big Grokster case.

Censor Services Push Forward

............

Lawyers for Apple Computer and a trio of Mac enthusiast Web sites met in court here Friday in a case that could have wide-ranging implications for the future - and even the definition - of online journalism.

Lawyers for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing several of the Apple-themed Web sites, say allowing Apple to force the sites to divulge their sources, or forcing the sites' e-mail providers to give up records of their e-mails, would be deeply destructive to journalists' ability to cover business.

Judge delays decision on Apple trade secrets case




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



On the surface, the Commerce Department ruling and Internet and Intellectual Property bill S167/HR357 seem like harmless good ideas. But scratch the surface and it looks like the net is tightening on the Net.

More and more routinely, this administration is creating all-new, often unnecessary legislation and usurping law enforcement powers from established agencies to camouflage secondary objectives.

The results of the Apple lawsuit will be important too. If Apple can use the courts to force sites to divulge their sources, or force the sites' e-mail providers to give up records of their e-mails, the writing will be writ large upon the wall. Jumping in on the action, US ally Australia just froze Kazaa's assets.

No doubt it will take a while to figure out how all these laws work together, and what the full implications will be. Meantime, any bets where it all will lead?


Domain Owners Lose Privacy
Feds Catching Up With Proxies
Coming Crackdown on Blogging
Kazaa Assets Frozen in Australia
ATS: Kiss Your Internet Goodbye!




posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 07:36 PM
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On the surface letting parents have software that automatically filters out objectionable material doesn't sound so bad. However who decides what is objectionable? I do not want movies or films I watch to be edited. I do not want my rights infringed on because some parents were in favor of this new law and didn't object. What if the current administration or whoever becomes the current administration decided that all objectionable material be automatically edited from our news as well? If the Bush regime is in power, then anything objectionable might be news contrary to their goals. If Kerry had won or the democrats or say Ms. Clinton was president, then anything objectionable might be bad news about her. I don't like the slippery slope we may be falling down.



posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 07:39 PM
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no more kazaa or limewire and torrents???

this sucks!!!





posted on Mar, 6 2005 @ 07:41 PM
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At least none originating in the USA
Or australia

[edit on 6-3-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Mar, 7 2005 @ 04:41 AM
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People call you paranoid if you object to such changes in legislation. Journalists being forced to disclose their sources on pain of incarceration, removal of rights to anonymity, automated censorship, the list goes on. The tree root that breaks through a concrete wall is no less violent because it does it a millimeter at a time. All of these laws are being set up for a single day when suddenly the tapestries will fall and we will see the enemy hiding behind it. How big and thick does the web have to become before the flies realize that the spider is stalking them? It seems that people would let the government install cameras in their own homes just as long as the powers that be promised never to use them.

The thing that keeps people from acting and from speaking out, as has always been the case in the lead up to institution of fascist governments, is the old adage of "it doesn't affect me".

"When the Nazis came for the communists, I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak out because I was a not a Catholic.
When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out because I was a not a Jew.
Then when they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me."



posted on Mar, 7 2005 @ 04:46 AM
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So just go to kinkos and register a domain name there. Or the public library. I don't think they're going to do background checks now, but I know they will in the future. So get as many domains as you can now and buy them for 10 years instead of one.

Don't let them find you!



posted on Mar, 7 2005 @ 10:38 AM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace

The thing that keeps people from acting and from speaking out, as has always been the case in the lead up to institution of fascist governments, is the old adage of "it doesn't affect me".


"When the Nazis came for the communists, I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak out because I was a not a Catholic.
When they came for the Jews, I did not speak out because I was a not a Jew.

Then when they came for me, there was no one left to speak for me."







Thanks for putting that up.

And it's true. People say, "Well if you don't do anything wrong, if you follow the law, if you keep your head down, if you follow orders, if you don't draw attention to yourself, if you don't speak out..."

Then it all ends in the same place. No one is left to speak for you when your turn comes.



...Technologically, the net is hard to control - but very easy to monitor. And the laws being put in place support censorship and monitoring. The next step is more "Patriot Act" interventions - and silencing dissent at each "source," one by one.



EDIT: How immune is ATS to the coming rules and constraints? How many here would stand up and speak out for our right to discuss, disagree, speak out and dissent? Who here will defend our right to an open forum?



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[edit on 7-3-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Mar, 7 2005 @ 11:30 AM
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I remember there was a thread on ATS (and a buzz on the Net) a while ago about someone who had (jokingly) said that they wished someone would kill a certain President in their blog (can you guess which President?). The person in question ended up having a visit and serious questioning from the Sercret Service. There was a big split between those who thought this was a ridiculous over-reaction and those who maintained that the SS were simply following procedure. Apparently it is also SOP that if you sent a letter or email to the Whitehouse with more than three (!!!) exlamation marks on the end of any sentence you were immediately slated for investigation.

I'm all for procedure and protecting our leaders from crackpots, censorship where reasonable, and transparency of dealings. A line definitely must be drawn. But the problem is when that line is moved, and in who decides where it will be moved. Today it's a crime to threaten the President/Prime Minister. Tomorrow it's a crime to say something bad about him/her. The day after it's a crime to support the opposition. And so forth.

Sorry if I've made this into a rant about freedom of speech and anonymity, but it just seems to me that these things are being chipped away at right under our noses as we sit back and comment on the masonry work. Thankfully I am Australian and, as usual, the Howard government is a couple of steps behind its master, the Bush government, but the seeds are being placed. My thoughts go out to my American brothers and sisters, some of which are in China with me and vow not to return if they can avoid it. Let's hope we're all just being too paranoid, eh?



posted on Mar, 8 2005 @ 09:21 AM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace

Sorry if I've made this into a rant about freedom of speech and anonymity, but it just seems to me that these things are being chipped away at right under our noses as we sit back and comment on the masonry work.





Bush is giving a speech today about how US Internet security has been compromised by terrorist spies. Right.


...Expect more freedoms to be sacrificed. Am off to listen.


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posted on Mar, 8 2005 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow

Bush is giving a speech today about how US Internet security has been compromised by terrorist spies. Right.





Bush did not once mention terrorist spies or breaches in US internet security in his speech this morning. The first reports may have been wrong or maybe - free speech works and Bush backed off.

Speak up and speak out, whatever you have to say. Free speech is the foundation of democracy.


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posted on Mar, 8 2005 @ 12:48 PM
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The Apple case is interesting because these guys scooped Steve Jobs on his new little computer he was releasing and he got his panties in a wad so he wants to sue them and find out where the leak is, inside Apple. It's one thing when they force an ISP to divulge the names of people who post illegal data, but to allow a company to dig into a person's info just because he beat their marketing department to the punch? Ludicrous.

Funny how the Internet was designed to survive nuclear war but it can be easily dismembered by the administrators who run our country. In the end, if they do kill the Internet, they will only succeed in taking a valuable tool away from the USA while the rest of the world is waking up to the sublime nature of TCP/IP and putting it into full effect.



posted on Mar, 8 2005 @ 09:09 PM
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Originally posted by smallpeeps
The Apple case is interesting because these guys scooped Steve Jobs on his new little computer he was releasing and he got his panties in a wad so he wants to sue them and find out where the leak is, inside Apple. It's one thing when they force an ISP to divulge the names of people who post illegal data, but to allow a company to dig into a person's info just because he beat their marketing department to the punch? Ludicrous.





Good info smallpeeps. Thanks.






if they do kill the Internet, they will only succeed in taking a valuable tool away from the USA while the rest of the world is waking up to the sublime nature of TCP/IP and putting it into full effect.





These are the kind of people who think humanity needs to be managed and "harnessed." They're afraind to let us keep our tools - we might dig ourselves out from under.



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