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Seeking the advice and input of ATS members on an important issue...

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posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 02:39 AM
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Count me in boucher knows what hes doing and hes a greedy ass.




posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 04:36 AM
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Add another aye.

Congress and the Senate have been working on "Chinafying" the Internet for years (supposedly under the guise of eliminating child pornography). This is especially ironic with the number of congressmen and senators (often the "family values" Republican type) who have been involved in various sexual scandals over the years.

One of the local, small-market, right-wing radio pundits/"personalities" in my area was caught at a motel room with an underage girl and a videocamera a few years ago ala Jerry Fal[l]well.

Yipes.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 05:39 AM
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Sign me up!

'Tinterweb should be a completely free environment and only censored for the most extreme of content (child porn etc).

I'm often dubious about how effective petitions are, but I'm just thinking "Meh, can't hurt to try". If it fails, we can always use ATS, in it's dying breaths to stage a global uprising and shove the petition right up their HEELLOOOOOO!



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:16 AM
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This is one reason why many people go to private boarding. Less bigger sites and flashy advertising, less attention drawn in. I've been frequenting smaller blogs and boards lately, and I think it's going to be the next big trend for many people. JMHO



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:51 AM
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brilliant, all we have to do is send the petition in an email and it probably wont even pass the junk filters

To make sytemic change in a realist environment, one must exert power in the sphere that the entity -you are trying to change- exists. We sadly do not and so sending a petition will do no good at all.

What it will do is protect your ad revenue, and kid a few members that this is anything more than a money making enterprise.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

The free and independent Internet is at risk, from an unexpected threat positioned as protection of "online privacy," which may end up as no more than giving unfair advantage to major media corporations. U.S. Congressman Rich Boucher (southwestern Virginia) is spearheading legislation couched as privacy protection which may result in the elimination of thousands upon thousands of small independent websites, including AboveTopSecret.com.



Background Summary

Boucher, who is chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet (and who is backed by a long-list of big-media dollars) is proposing legislation that will effectively eliminate third-party ad networks as an option for small to mid-sized websites. Our contacts in the industry fear that, due to his hotly contested re-election efforts, the proposed legislation will reach the house floor before the end of the year.

The essence of his proposal is to require websites such as ATS to first ask your permission before using any third-party cookies. This would mean that sites like us could not display third-party ad networks until you opt-in with your approval. The end result would be a significant, if not complete, drop in the only source of revenue for small independent websites.

While well-intended, the efforts are based on gross paranoia about cookies and personal information. The "behavioral targeting" being used by the third part ad networks does not contain nor collects any personally-identifiable information. Instead, the collected information is used in an attempt to deliver better ads, and reduce the amount of repeat ads you see. While there have been spotty abuses of unscrupulous companies, no one can point to actual problems of privacy or personal information abuse of the ad networks... the fears are all based on worst-case speculation and "what-if" scenarios.



What It Means

Devastation of the free and independent web.

There are thousands... perhaps hundreds-of-thousands... of small independent websites who all rely on modest to significant income from third-party ad networks to pay the bills for their existence. And the ecosystem of support, from hosting companies to professional services vendors, that provide various levels of service to the huge number of independent web publishers would similarly be demolished.

This issue extends far-beyond ATS to small free websites with Google ads and/or banners from the likes of ValueClick that provide just enough income to pay for the hosting. Those free and independent voices, even those who are critical of us, could be silenced... and it's a travesty beyond imagination.



Why It Would Hurt Small Sites

The big media companies have the means to forge direct relationships with advertisers as well as manage their own ad servers... thereby bypassing the issue of "third-party" ad networks and the related concerns of cookies. The proposed legislation would heavily favor these companies as online advertisers would then have no option but to work directly with big-media websites.

On ATS, there are more than 1,200 different companies that advertise here in any given month. Eliminating the option of using a third-party ad network would require us to attempt to engage every potential advertiser directly, and deploy our own ad-serving technology. That would be a task well-beyond our means, and certainly out of the question for smaller sites.



The End Does Not Justify Means

No one will argue with the need to be concerned about the use of the data collected by online ad networks. There are just as many valid reasons for concern as there are gross misrepresentations about the potential danger of cookies from third-parties.

However, in my opinion, this issue has become inappropriately politicized and spun such that legislation posed as privacy protection is nothing more than a serious effort to shut-down the independent web in favor of the Internet efforts of big media. The wrong solution to a (mostly) imagined problem.



What Can We Do?

I have been, and continue to be directly involved with various Internet advertising groups. My efforts are focused on representing the concerns of a highly-viable and massive small business segment. From a commerce and business standpoint, this effort is important.

However, users of websites (YOU) who are concerned about the possible loss of the independent web deserve to be noticed and heard. If we (ATS) were to organize an online petition effort, would you support that?

Such a petition effort would cross the line of our stated principals of limiting advocacy within the borders of ATS, but I think this is a vitally important issue of concern to our members and the thousands of small website on which you find inspiration. As such, before we engage in any petition of Internet users, I thought it logical to bring it up to you for discussion and consideration.

Is this something we should do? If you think it is, I will bring to bear all that I know to ensure your opinions are noticed in an independent effort (not directly related to ATS) all users of the web could embrace.






Background information...

The Government's Plan To Kill Independent Web Sites

House Bill Takes Aim At Web Privacy

A Call to Legislate Internet Privacy

Boucher, Perriello in cross hairs as GOP eyes 2010

Lawmakers, Inching Toward A Privacy Bill, Question 'Data-Mining Reapers'

Optin g out of data collection could drive down value of online ads, panel said

Consumer Privacy: Who Cares? Companies Will Soon Find Out














It seems to me that our rights on the internet are going to be eroded, so they can blindly lead us to slaughter by destroying our access to sites which give us the full picture.

On several accounts I was ahead of the game, when news finally broke over certain topics. While my husband was shocked; I told him that I knew about it months earlier on this site. I think they are trying to gag us and that they want to obtain information about those of us, who use the free independent web service.

I will sign any petition to stop them from destroying our rights.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 
Well, I would join such a petition, but as a non-american, I'm not sure what my doing so would achieve. That said, I have previously been involved in email campaigns to harass 2 US governors over the treatment of particular American Citizens which certainly got their attention. It has to be said that these emails, though entirely civil, were nonetheless powerfully worded.
I think something similar from American voters, citing the flaws in Boucher's arguments & documenting whatever connections to big media that can be substantiated, sent to sitting Congress Persons & Senators would probably have more impact than just a petition.
Thanks for bringing it up SO.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I will support this to the max.... looks like it's one step in the direction that "THEY" want.... stop the small websites or in some cases big websites from functioning due to lack of funds from ad-companies and then "THEY" have stopped our freedom to chat and blog on those sites!!

Having said this i ignore 90% of ads but i see yours & our problem

FLAGGED

[edit on 27-11-2009 by TruthxIsxInxThexMist]



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 09:40 AM
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I add my voice to a free and independent internet. Tell the government, Hands off !



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 09:57 AM
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Anything to get rid of parasitic advertisers, the wasting of online space and relying on content in the form of advertising.

Count me OUT.

Advertising is for cr*p that can't sell itself.

ATS has functioned fine in the past before it was invaded by those interested primarily in profit and not conspiracies.

Sucks eh?



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


bill...i'm with you on any petition you want to set up to keep the online community as free as possible. i have a feeling all of us here knew this would eventually happen. the wealthy, through the politicians, are trying to start the rolling of that proverbial rock down the slippery slope.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by nerbot
ATS has functioned fine in the past before it was invaded by those interested primarily in profit and not conspiracies.

Actually... you couldn't be more wrong.

Back in 2002 and 2003, ATS went dark several times... for weeks at a time. The primary reason is that our traffic levels exceeded that of our current hosting agreement, and Simon was unable to afford a higher-tier hosting contract that would allow more bandwidth.

At one critical point, the entire site was in danger of going away for good because of the increasing expenses -- and that was with PayPal donations coming from some members. Had we not taken the risk (and personal investment) of improving core site technology and features so as to attract advertising, there would now be no AboveTopSecret.com.

And even then, some months after the improvements and investments in higher-volume dedicated servers, we were still running deep in the red, with an ever-increasing financial hole every month. Quite literally the day after I had the "we may need to pull the plug" conversation with Simon, we were approved for Google AdSense ads... and the rest his history.


If not for advertising, ATS was very far from "fine," and about to be shuttered.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 10:22 AM
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Count me in. The Powers-That-Be know that the internet will be their end, and they are increasingly desperate to contain the pesky contagination known as free, independent thought.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by Cedik
brilliant, all we have to do is send the petition in an email and it probably wont even pass the junk filters

To make sytemic change in a realist environment, one must exert power in the sphere that the entity -you are trying to change- exists. We sadly do not and so sending a petition will do no good at all.

What it will do is protect your ad revenue, and kid a few members that this is anything more than a money making enterprise.


with all due respect to your opinion, which i partially agree with, let's face it, someone has to make money in order to pay the bills. you paid for your computer , your online account, and someone made a profit off of those. S.O. could easily gather signatures and then print out a petition and simply mail it through the postal service.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 10:54 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Any news when the new dedicated site will be up?



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 11:06 AM
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I will support any effort and sign your petition to keep ATS. Other posters have already listed all the reasons.

Mahree



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 11:40 AM
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Count me in. I will support a petition.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by VonDoomen
"They may take our lives, but they will never take... our FREEEEEDOM"

Obviously, count me in!


Not mine, the Internet does not worth a single human life, and when it comes to third part cookies of ads I have to agree... they suck and it's something that went completely out of control.

You guys are seeing this from the other extreme side of the spectrum. I'm not too informed about the law in question but if well structured it could very change the way ads are dealt in the internet for the better.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 12:33 PM
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So another congress man becomes a money slave to big business.

I'm in, it's about time these elected idiots realised that they are there to represent the people and not just the interest in those who can give the biggest brief case of money.



posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Any news when the new dedicated site will be up?


The introduction is up and running...

Keep Our Web Free .org


I'm working on the petition and the means for which we can send direct emails and faxes to your congressional representatives.



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