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Posts Tagged ‘Senate’

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

 

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China: US currency bill would have repercussions

Posted by Admin on October 9, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/china-us-currency-bill-repercussions-090135830.html

By SCOTT McDONALD – Associated Press | AP – Wed, Oct 5, 2011

BEIJING (AP) — China stepped up its criticism Tuesday of a proposed U.S. law to punish countries with artificially low currencies, saying there would be serious repercussions for the world’s two biggest economies if it is passed.

The criticism comes after U.S. senators voted Monday to open a week of debate on the bill that would allow the government to impose additional duties on products from countries that subsidize exports by undervaluing their currencies.

How worried China is about the proposed law can be seen by the fact that the Foreign Ministry, the Commerce Ministry and central bank all issued statements denouncing it.

But the legislation faces considerable hurdles before it becomes law. The Obama White House, while agreeing that China’s currency, the yuan, is undervalued, has been wary of unilateral sanctions against the Beijing government.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said the Senate move “seriously violated WTO rules and seriously disturbed China-U.S. trade and economic relations.”

Ma said China is reforming how it manages the yuan and that since June 2010 it had increased in value by 7 percent compared to the dollar.

He repeated Chinese comments that the exchange rate is not the cause of America’s big trade deficit with China.

Ma said in a statement that China is the fastest growing export market for the United States and trade is important to both sides.

“The Chinese side appeals to the U.S. side to abandon protectionism and not to politicize trade and economic issues, so as to create a favorable environment for the development of China-U.S. economic and trade ties,” Ma said.

Supporters of the legislation say it would create new jobs and boost the U.S. economy, but China, and some in the United States, say it could trigger a damaging trade war.

The Chinese central bank warned the proposed law would not fix the economic problems in the United States and could cause more serious problems.

If the bill passes, it “cannot resolve insufficient saving, the high trade deficit and the high unemployment rate in the U.S., and it may seriously affect the progress of China’s exchange rate reform and may lead to a trade war, which we do not want to see,” the bank said.

Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said China has taken measures to increase U.S. imports and added Beijing hopes “the U.S. side can make positive efforts in substantially relaxing restrictions on exports to China.”

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