The Party of Open: Open Government, Open Culture, Open Innovation & People First

Monthly archive: May 2011

The Surveillance State Expands, Will You Help Stop It?

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As AP and other news sources have written, the Democratic and Republican party leadership worked to extend the expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act with as little debate as possible. They did this at a time when the Federal government is secretly interpreting the PATRIOT Act in ways that broaden the act in ways the Congress did not intend. Indeed only eight Senators voted for more discussion of the extension of the expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act. Senator Kerry voted for it and Senator Brown did not vote, though he later voted for it. Also, this morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the pro-censorship PROTECT IP Act. Its supporters will attempt to advance it to the full Senate and then on to the House of Representatives. We have to fight this bill that will poison the internet as we know it, unless we want to: allow the Attorney General of the US, without due process, to censor a website by blocking search engines from linking to it, forcing the site’s internet service provider to take it down, forcing payment processors and online advertising network providers from doing business with censored sites; allow copyright holders to use many of the same due-process free tools that the Attorney General of the US has; encourage service providers to voluntary censor websites that they deem to be infringing on copyright laws; Thankfully, Senator Ron Wyden has put a hold on the bill giving us more time to fight it. We ask you to: 1.  contact your Representative and Senator and urge them to oppose the PROTECT IP Act. You can email them or call them at the numbers listed below: 1st Congressional District – John Olver – (202) 225-5335 / (413) 532-7010 2nd Congressional District – Richard Neal – (202) 225-5601 … Read more

published under Censorship, Copyright, Freedom of Speech, Privacy, Transparency | 2 Comments

Posted Play-jurisms Talk Slides

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I am really looking forward to presenting my talk at the Play-jurisms conference this Saturday. I stayed up late to finish the slides for the talk, and perhaps it shows for good or ill.  I did end up changing the title, but I felt the new title better matched the spirit of the conference. You can view the slides as a pdf if you want, or you can attend the talk today, Saturday at 4:30pm and see how it all comes out.  It will be at the Democracy Center, 45 Mt. Auburn St. in Cambridge (near Harvard Square). All events are FREE and the whole conference runs Saturday and Sunday.  If you want, you can RSVP for our talk at http://twvt.us/MPPJ11 The direct slide link is https://masspirates.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/PlayJurismsTalk.pdf

published under Copyright, Organizing, Out And About | 1 Comment

Patriot Act renewal up for a vote

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… and this time it’s worse! The House Judiciary Committee approved renewing three awful provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act: Extend through Dec 31st, 2017 Section 215 powers which let the government secretly grab information about you without a court order; Extend through Dec 31st, 2017 roving wiretaps which let the government spy on people without even telling courts who they’re spying on; Make permanent the “lone wolf” provision which lets strip the rights of American citizens and treat them under the lower legal standards reserved for enemy governments. The PATRIOT Act has increased the government’s ability to spy on us without adding the oversight needed to make sure the FBI and other agencies are not abusing these powers.  This bill will come before the full House soon and now is the time to contact our Representatives and Senators and tell them that they should stand up for the privacy of all Americans and against government surveillance.   Representatives Keating, Lynch and Tsongas were not with us and it vital that we contact them as well as a our Senators and tell them to defend our liberties! You can email them or call them at the numbers listed below: 1st Congressional District – John Olver – (202) 225-5335 / (413) 532-7010 2nd Congressional District – Richard Neal – (202) 225-5601 / (413) 785-0325 3rd Congressional District – James McGovern – (202) 225-6101 / (508) 831-7356 4th Congressional District – Barney Frank – (202) 225-5931 5th Congressional District – Niki Tsongas – (202) 225-3411 / (978) 459-0101 6th Congressional District – Jonathan Tierney – (202) 225-8020 / (781) 595-7375 7th Congressional District – Ed Markey – (202) 225-2836 / (508) 875-2900 8th Congressional District – Michael Capuano – (202) 225-5111 / (617) 621-6208 9th Congressional District – Stephen Lynch – (202) 225-8273 / … Read more

published under Organizing, Out And About, Privacy, Transparency | 1 Comment

COICA is dead, PROTECT IP Act rises in its place

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The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) bill is dead it seems. However, the entertainment industry and their lackeys supporters in Congress have introduced the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PROTECT IP Act for short.  It isn’t out on Thomas yet so we do not know who is sponsoring it, but Don’t Censor the Net obtained and released a copy of it for everyone to read in all its pro-censorship glory. UPDATE: Senator Leahy has posted the sponsors’ final version of the bill. Techdirt and Torrentfreak have good write ups on what we know about it, but here is a summary of the odiousness of this bill: the Attorney General of the US can obtain a court order to censor an infringing website without due process.  It can then serve the court order on specified U.S. based third-parties to censor the website or stop doing business with the website.  Third-parties include search engines, payment processors, online advertising network providers, and internet service providers.  Third-parties would now be held liable if they do not censor the specified website.  Websites could be held liable for simply linking to an infringing website; additionally, the act would extend most of the tools the Attorney General has to  private copyright holders. They could obtain a court order against a website without due process.  The copyright holders could then serve the court order on specified U.S. payment processors and online advertising network providers to force them to stop doing business with the website; court orders would not be limited to the specified domain, but would include all domains linked to the website that were created after the court order was issued; service providers which voluntary censor websites that they deem to be infringing would … Read more

published under Censorship, Copyright, Freedom of Speech, Organizing | 2 Comments

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