Revolutionizing Awareness

helping humanity, make choices, more so through awareness, than ignorance

Posts Tagged ‘PIPA’

SOPA and PIPA Postponed…But Not Cancelled

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/sopa-and-pipa-postponed-but-not-cancelled/

By  | January 20th, 2012 | Category: Latest News | 109 comments

I am not a fan of big, over-the-top statements, but it is safe to say that the future of the internet is currently being decided. Will it remain a haven of free speech or will it become another tool of governmental and corporate control? A “fight for the internet” is taking place. On January 19th, the FBI shut down the popular file sharing site Megaupload while anti-SOPA protests took to the streets and the world wide web (you might have noticed that Wikipedia’s blackout). In case you didn’t know, SOPA and PIPA give the US government unprecedented authority to shut down websites without prior notice (see the article I published about SOPA back in November for more information).

Seeing that an overwhelming majority of internet users oppose this legislation and that its potential enactment has caused nothing less than a major uproar in the internet world, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used an old trick: He postponed the vote for SOPA, which was scheduled for January 24th, to a later date, hoping that the negative publicity surrounding the vote would die down. As you know, voting for ridiculous law in a context of general indifference is the elite’s favorite way of proceeding. It is up to us to stay vigilant, to not forget about this awful piece of legislation and to make sure our voices are heard until SOPA and PIPA are thrown in the garbage – where they belong. Here’s an article about the postponing of SOPA and PIPA.

Senator Reid: PIPA Vote Postponed

The anti-SOPA Day of Protest ripples continue to spread. On Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) put the brakes on a PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) cloture vote. The vote was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24.

“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT IP Act,” said Reid in a statement Friday morning.

In a cloture vote, the Senate decides whether or not to end debate on a bill and bring it forward for a final up-or-down vote. For such a vote to be successful, three-fifths of the Senate (or 60 Senators) must vote in the positive.

Sen. Reid previously said that “we need to work on this and we’re going to — I will hope we can have a manager’s amendment when we get back here in a week or 10 days and move forward on this. It’s important that we try to do this on a fair basis and I’m going to do everything I can to get that done” during a Jan. 15 interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.

On Wednesday, major websites such as Wikipedia and Reddit went dark to protest PIPA and its sister bill in the House of Representatives, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Facebook and Google, which came out against SOPA and PIPA in a public letter written late last year, provided users with information about the bills and contact information for elected officials. Google also launched an online petition, which gathered over 7 million signatures by Thursday morning.

SOPA and PIPA made it into the CNN-Southern Republican presidential debate Thursday night, with each candidate denouncing the bills to some extent.

Supporters of the two bills consider PIPA and SOPA necessary new tools in the fight against online piracy and copyright infringement. Opponents claim they give excessive power to copyright holders and the federal government, and that they risk making the Internet slower and less secure while also stifling online freedom of speech and digital innovation.

Do you think it’s good that the Senate is taking more time to consider PIPA? Let us know in the comments below.

– Source: Mashable

 

Advertisements

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Vigilant Citizen | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on SOPA and PIPA Postponed…But Not Cancelled

MegaUpload file sharing site shut down for piracy by Feds

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/01/file-sharing-megaupload-shut-down-for-piracy-by-feds.html

January 19, 2012 |  2:39 pm

The homepage of Megaupload.com

This post has been updated. See note below.

The Department of Justice announced Thursday that it has conducted a major action to shut down MegaUpload, a popular file-sharing site widely used for free downloads of movies and television shows.

Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

After receiving indictments from a grand jury in Virginia for racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and other charges on Jan. 5, federal authorities on Thursday arrested four people and executed more than 20 search warrants in the U.S. and eight foreign countries, seizing 18 domain names and an estimated $50 million in assets, including servers run in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

MegaUpload is a “digital locker” that allows users to store files that can then be streamed or downloaded by others. Its subsidiary site MegaVideo became very popular for the unauthorized downloads of movies and TV shows. Users whose uploaded content proved particularly popular were paid for their participation.

DOCUMENT: Read the indictment against MegaUpload

In a joint statement, the Justice Department and FBI called the action “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.”

Ira Rothken, an attorney for MegaUpload, said in an interview that he only learned of the actions in a press release this morning and had not yet read the entire indictment. “Our initial impression is that the allegations are without merit and MegaUpload is going to vigorously contest them,” he said. “We have deep concerns over due process and assets being taken without the opportunity for a hearing.”

According to the indictment, the operators of MegaUpload earned more than $175 million in illegal profits and caused an estimated $500 million in harm to copyright holders.

The site is advertised as having more than 50 million daily visitors, according to federal authorities.

Four of MegaUpload’s operators have been arrested in New Zealand, while three more remain at large. The seven each face a maximum of 55 years in prison.

Not listed on the indictment is rapper Swizz Beatz — real name Kasseem Dean — who, according to a report in the New York Post, is the CEO of MegaUpload. Beatz is married to pop singer Alicia Keys.

Rothken said that Beatz had not been running the site but that recently there had been “a transition period going on.”

The news is sure to be welcome in the entertainment industry, whose leaders have faced a recent setback in their push for the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act. The proposed bills, if passed, would make it easier for U.S. courts to go after piracy sites that, unlike MegaUpload, operate entirely overseas.

Critics who believe the bills are heavy-handed and don’t adequately protect civil liberties conducted a U.S. Internet “blackout.” As many as 10,000 websites went black Wednesday, among them Wikipedia, Craigslist and Reddit. The protest helped to pressure lawmakers to oppose SOPA and PIPA.

The Obama administration announced its opposition to the bills in their current forms Saturday.

[Update, 2:55 p.m.: The websites of the Justice department and Universal Music Group, which had been involved in litigation with MegaUpload, were down on Thursday. The sites were attacked by members of the hacker group Anonymous in response to the actions against MegaUpload, according to a report on CNET News.]

RELATED:

Photos: Sites that went dark to protest SOPA

SOPA, PIPA backlash could hurt Obama in Hollywood

Hollywood unions blast Google and urge Senate support for PIPA

Ben Fritz

Photo: The homepage of Megaupload.com. Photo: Associated Press

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Press Releases | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on MegaUpload file sharing site shut down for piracy by Feds

SOPA or How to Use Copyright as an Excuse to Censor the Internet

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/sopa-or-how-to-use-copyright-as-an-excuse-to-censor-the-internet/

By  | November 17th, 2011 | Category: Latest News | 47 comments

A screenshot from tumblr protesting against SOPA

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is a proposed bill that has the potential of ending freedom of speech on the internet. While it appears to be about piracy and “protecting copyrights”, the bill gives the power to corporations to complain to law enforcement to have websites shut down. To many, this is a step too and goes way beyond fighting illegal downloads. Here’s an article fromCNN Money about internet companies (many of which have close ties to the government) opposing this bill.

Tech giants say SOPA piracy bill is ‘draconian’

A proposed new bill intended to combat online piracy has sparked a giant backlash from big tech companies, including Google and Facebook, who say the proposals are far too strict and rife with unintended consequences.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was introduced in the House of Representatives in late October, aims to crack down on copyright and trademark issues. Its targets include “rogue” foreign sites like torrent hub The Pirate Bay.

Protecting content is a worthy goal, but here’s the flip side: Opponents say SOPA — and a similar bill called the Protect IP Act that is making its way through the Senate — effectively promotes censorship.

If SOPA passes, copyright holders would be able to complain to law enforcement officials and get websites shut down. The law would also force intermediaries like search engines and payment processors to withhold their services from targeted websites.

That would be quite a change from the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which mandates that companies “act in good faith” to remove content that infringes on copyrights and other intellectual property laws.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt called the bill “draconian” during a speech in Boston on Tuesday.

Google and other tech behemoths — AOL, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga — also lodged a formal complaint on Tuesday in the form of a letter sent to key Senate and House lawmakers.

“We support the bills’ stated goals,” the letter reads. “Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities [and] mandates that would require monitoring of web sites.”

The companies are asking Congress to “consider more targeted ways to combat foreign ‘rogue’ websites.”

SOPA’s critics — some of the Internet’s most heavily trafficked sites — launched an awareness campaign on Wednesday. Hundreds of sites adopted black “STOP CENSORSHIP” logos, including BoingBoing, Reddit and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

One site tried to annoy consumers into action. Blogging site Tumblr blacked outwords in its content feeds, and a message at the top of users’ dashboards read: “Stop The Law That Will Censor The Internet!”

“Congress is holding hearings today and will soon pass a bill empowering corporations to censor the Internet unless you tell them no,” Tumblr wrote in a post Wednesday, calling the bills “well-intentioned but deeply flawed.”

Meanwhile, SOPA has drawn support from groups including the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, which say that online piracy leads to job loss.

Proponents of the bill dismiss accusations of censorship.

The legislation would “[prevent] those who engage in criminal behavior from reaching directly into the U.S. market,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, who introduced the bill, said in a statement Wednesday. “We cannot continue a system that allows criminals to disregard our laws.”

– Source: CNN Money

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Vigilant Citizen | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on SOPA or How to Use Copyright as an Excuse to Censor the Internet

WTF is SOPA ? aka The US Government Trying to Ruin the Internet (video)

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

By  | December 29th, 2011 | Category: Latest News | 91 comments

http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/wtf-is-sopa-aka-the-us-government-trying-to-ruin-the-internet-video/

If you’re on this page right now, it is probably because you enjoy obtaining insights and information from sources that are not mainstream. Be aware that this could radically change if SOPA, an awful piece of legislation making internet censorship EXTREMELY easy, goes through. While it is said that the goal of SOPA is to fight internet piracy, the powers it bestows to governments and elite corporations go way beyond copyright issues. Entire websites could potentially get shut down without notice and without a legitimate court order, even if they do not explicitly host pirated content. Think I’m going too far? Well, it has already happened a few times already and SOPA would simply make it completely legal, legitimate and a lot easier.

Here’s an informative video on SOPA by Cynical Brit a channel that usually deals with gaming. Yes, the issue is that important and affects the entire world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhwuXNv8fJM&feature=player_embedded

Posted in Conspiracy Archives, Vigilant Citizen | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on WTF is SOPA ? aka The US Government Trying to Ruin the Internet (video)