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Apr 292012
Internet Law

by Krypton Radio Staff Writer Jennifer Sawyer

April 29, 2012 – The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 also known as H.R. 3253 have gained a lot of controversy over the last year and no doubt with good cause. Under section 1104 and subsection (7) the bill is quoted as saying,

“(7) PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUAL INFORMATION- The Federal Government may, consistent with the need to protect Federal systems and critical information infrastructure from cyber security threats and to mitigate such threats, undertake reasonable efforts to limit the impact on privacy and civil liberties of the sharing of cyber threat information with the Federal Government pursuant to this subsection.  The most recent Amendment to the act passed the House of Representatives on April 26, 2012.

Internet LawThe final tally of votes was 206 Republicans in favor, and 28 opposed. Of the Democrats, 42 were in favor of and 140 were opposed. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and author of CISPA, is quoted as saying, “Stand for America! Support this bill!” and claims the bill would not endanger the privacy of America in any way.  The bill would allow for the ease of sharing information between the U.S government and technology and telecommunications companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and AT&T for the prevention of cyber-attacks to Americans on American soil; so why the great debate? Many people feel that the bill would give the government free reign and authority over the personal information of its citizens. Is the government really looking to be nosey about who we have coffee with or is it an attempt to protect citizens from the scrupulous actions of terrorists and hackers?

The bigger question may in fact be can we as Americans afford not to have an added layer of security over internet privacy? The CISPA act does not say that it will grant authorities the power to use our own personal information against us but rather in the event that terroristic or harmful information present itself it can and will be channeled to the proper security authorities for further investigation without the red tape, legal hassle of previous privacy laws. As Americans we can either choose to chalk it up to another business practice designed to further the strength of America over the information highway or we can choose to continue to chronically complain about someone else’s views in an effort to make ourselves feel better.

Whichever side of the fence you are on, rest assured the internet is here to stay. It is fast and it is changing and above all it is grey. It is through such bills as CISPA that the once blurred facets of the internet can emerge into a black and white path.

You can view the text of the bill in its entirety at thomas.loc.gov.

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Feb 062012
Internet Law
By Samantha Lowell
SOPA and PIPA could effectively destroy the Internet as it exists today, along with entire economies built on it around the world.

SOPA and PIPA could effectively destroy the Internet as it exists today, along with entire economies built on it. ACTA is even worse, and could enable the creation of police states around the world.

Internet activists and civil rights groups worldwide are alarmed at the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), one of the harshest crackdowns on internet piracy, which was signed by 22 nations in 2011 and awaits ratification by the European Union Parliament. Negotiated and signed in secret, ACTA was signed on October 1 2011 by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. On January 29, 2012, the European Union and 22 of its member states signed as well, bringing the total number of signatories to 31. If ACTA is ratified by six member states, the convention will become law; however, lack of ratification by the EU would effectively kill the measure.

If ratified, ACTA would criminalize sharing of copyrighted material on an unprecedented scale, and even certain signatories have begun to criticize several provisions of the treaty as being excessively broad in their scope and extreme in enforcement provisions. ACTA, as written, would criminalize such acts as sharing a newspaper article or uploading a video of a party where copyrighted music is played. Violators of any breach would be subject to criminal charges. The ACTA committee would have carte blanche to change its own rules and sanctions with no legal oversight.

Legal scholars and privacy rights advocates object that ACTA would not only allow legal authorities to monitor personal online communications in secrecy and requiring ISPs to closely monitor suspected trademark violators, without court recourse, but that those falsely or erroneously accused would be without legal recourse.

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Jan 252012
Internet Law
SOPA and PIPA could effectively destroy the Internet as it exists today, along with entire economies built on it around the world.

SOPA and PIPA could effectively destroy the Internet as it exists today, along with entire economies built on it around the world.

A message for our readers, received from Donny Shaw of fightforthefuture.org:

Now that Congress has had time to process last week’s internet blackout, a consensus has emerged: SOPA and PIPA are toxic for politicians, and going anywhere near them could cost them their re-election.

Freedom is winning.

Together, we’ve done something amazing– never have so many people stood up to defend a free and open internet.  Here’s a San Francisco Chronicle article about how it all came together: The Largest Online Protest in History Started Here.

And here’s Carl Franzen at Talking Points Memo:

“Behind the scenes, Hill staffers from both sides of the aisle confirmed to TPM that the entire piracy debate had become so ‘toxic’ that virtually no lawmakers were likely to be ready to re-engage it anytime soon.”

Experienced Congress-watchers are telling us they’ve never seen anything like this.

Internet users, tech companies, and non-profits joined together to defend fundamental rights on the internet. To a lot of elites in Congress and the corporate world, the internet is just something that lazy teenagers use to spam people with pictures of photoshopped unicorns. The blackout showed that the peer-to-peer internet is about empowerment, and that when we work together we can defeat the corrupt politics of Washington D.C.

The New York Times and Talking Points Memo have both published good articles on how the web blackout was organized.

For months, four senators were the only force blocking passage of PIPA/SOPA. They even promised to filibuster the bill back when most politicians were against them. We need to make sure we support and vote for leaders like them who are willing to going to go out on a limb and oppose SOPA before it was popular to do so. It’s great that we pressured all those other shlubs into opposing web censorship, but these guys deserve the real cred and our support: Click here to donate (scroll down).

What’s next?  The Fight is not over, already new threats to web freedom are starting to emerge (particularly in Europe) and we’re getting ready.  Stay tuned, and for more updates, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you again for standing up for a free and open internet!

- Donny and Fight for the Future

Fight for the Future is a non-profit helping to organize the historic strike against the web censorship bills SOPA and PIPA on our site sopastrike.com – go there for a list of websites that are striking and more information.