Tag Archives: SOPA

Another Government Site Down – Onguardonline.gov

Anonymous Hackers are at it again.  This time they have taken down www.OnGuardOnline.gov – The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) guardian website.  The group left a message to all US lawmakers:

“If SOPA/PIPA/ACTA passes we will wage a relentless war against the corporate internet, destroying dozens upon dozens of government and company websites. As you are reading this we are amassing our allied armies of darkness, preparing boatloads of stolen booty for our next raid. We are sitting on hundreds of rooted servers getting ready to drop all your mysql dumps and mail spools. Your passwords? Your precious bank accounts? Even your online dating details?! You ain’t even trying to step to this.”

Screenshot below:

onguardonline.gov

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Hacker group "Anonymous" to hold internet, banks, UN hostage [Video]

Tens of millions of Americans may feel the wrath of the infamous hacker group “Anonymous” as they threaten phase one of  “Operation Global Blackout” over the recent shutdown of file sharing site MegaUpload.com.

The video states that Anonymous has gained access to servers at several banks, the U.N., Microsoft’s XBoxLive, Playstation Networ, Facebook, Twitter and more. While the video makes a short mention of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, the groups’ threat is to “black out” the above mentioned servers if their demand for the unconditional restoration of MegaUpload is not met within 72 hours.

The video was uploaded on January 19th and so far the is no movement to restore MegaUpload or that the charges will be dropped. That would indicate that today, January 22nd would be the target date or soon thereafter.

*update* – Anonymous sets attack date as January 28th and the target – Facebook.

The video gaming and social media platform interruptions will be more of an inconvenience than anything, but a banking system blackout could pose real risk to American’s financial dealings. Outages could mean everything from out-of-service ATM’s, bank tellers unable to process transaction and online banking sites being offline to an inability of banks to process normal debit/checking transactions. The exact level of access and nature of the Anonymous threat is not available in the video nor elsewhere.

While the hackers claim to have access to the banking, gaming and social network servers and the personal information of those that use it, they claim that they won’t use the information.

While directed at members of Congress, the results of the black out will affect every day users of technology – and perhaps some that weren’t aware that their lives were so dependent upon it.

Twitter reactions to the threatened attack have ranged from fear to admiration:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think of the threatened attack?

[poll id=”38″]

SOPA/PIPA: “Fairness Doctrine” Tyranny Coming In The Back Door

SOPA/PIPA is another case of government control over what We the People will be allowed to see or hear on the internet. The “Fairness Doctrine” was thwarted by We the People through the outrage expressed to our elected members of Congress, ironically over the internet for the most part, so they have seemingly decided to come in the back door and “protect” us from unscrupulous vendors. That is great to a point but who is going to protect us from the government? Barack Obama and many members of both political parties consider We the People too stupid to know what is in our best interests.

Instead of going after the ISP’s and search engine companies like Google, why don’t they try a novel approach, something that has never been done in modern history? Why not enforce the laws on the books against fraud? I guess that is much too difficult of a concept for politicians to grasp.

This reminds me of gun violence. How do we solve the problem of violent crimes committed with guns? Someone with my apparent lack of intelligence would suggest we imprison the criminals with very long sentences, or just execute them when the crime calls for such punishment. What is the answer the government comes up with? Well, let’s just take guns away from those not committing crimes so we don’t have to be concerned with them killing the criminals. And when government bureaucrats violate the existing gun laws we can promote them and then use those violations as an excuse to continue on our merry gun ban crusade.

These bills aren’t about protecting We the People or legitimate businesses from criminal activity. That can be done by enforcing existing law. This is about controlling what we see, what we hear, and how citizens communicate with one another. The “Arab Spring” came about as a result of dissidents communicating over the internet through social network sites, instant messaging, and texting. The powers-that-be in our government have seen what can happen when people communicate freely and share information. Open lines of communication are a danger to despots and every dictatorship in the world controls the internet access of their subjects.

I remember Obama giving a speech at a college in which he stated that “information is dangerous”. I have always been taught that information and knowledge are invaluable tools to make our lives better. It seems that Obama and most of the members of Congress weren’t taught the same lessons in their younger years. If they manage to get this legislation through they will be able to control everything that crosses our computers.

As the “Fairness Doctrine” sought to control us and make sure we were exposed to Marxist doctrine, this legislation will be used to prevent We the People from having free access to each other and to the information we need to make decisions beneficial to our lives. We will no longer be able to thwart tyrannical legislation, or regulations dictated by bureaucrats, because we will not know about them unless the government deems them safe for public consumption.

I am not surprised to find out that the biggest proponents of this legislation are the major television networks, and include Rupert Murdoch, owner of FOX News. Why would the owner of a “conservative” news network want to prohibit the free flow of information? Shouldn’t FOX News and its owner be in favor of freedom of the press? I guess the reality that they are losing millions of viewers because they don’t tell the truth, don’t tell the whole story on issues, and ignore any story that doesn’t fit their template has alarmed them to the point that it needs to be acted upon.

Internet news sites such as Conservative Daily News, The Drudge Report, The Post & E-mail, and social network sites pass information much faster, more efficiently, and more completely than any or all of the major media networks. With the advent of internet news the major media companies can no longer slant the news to suit their Marxist ideology, nor can the ignore news that is not to their liking or doesn’t fit their agenda.

The free flow of information is critical to any free society. Once a government controls what information citizens have access to tyranny is right around the corner. Iran, China, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela are all dictatorships that keep their citizens enslaved and in darkness by keeping them from the knowledge of how the rest of the world operates. After the uprisings in 2009 Iran clamped down on social network media to prevent dissidents from organizing more protests and other dictatorships have long been bastions of tyranny by preventing any citizen contact with the outside world, or each other.

Obama and his minions have seen what happens to dictators who allow the free flow of information to their subjects. Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Kadafi in Libya are prime examples of what happens when dictators allow their subjects to communicate without restrictions. I am curious to see what the future brings to these countries when the Muslim Brotherhood takes over and installs the tyranny of Sharia law on their people. Those who took to the streets for freedom may find themselves under the thumb of rulers just as brutal as those they overthrew in the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

Iran is a good example of an uprising that came about because of internet access and how the government acted to prevent it from happening again. Outside contact has been as restricted by Mahmoud Ahmadinijad and the mullahs as it can be and severe punishment awaits anyone caught communicating without government sanction. The very rulers who turned their backs on freedom seeking Iranians in 2009 now seek to impose the very same restrictions on their subjects, namely We the American People.

This legislation, as usual, is not a partisan attempt at subjugation. This legislation is supported by many members of Congress in both political parties, and who I suspect have no idea what is in the bills. Since they don’t have time to read anything they vote on it is incumbent on We the People to find out what is in the legislation and spread the word of warning through internet news and social network sites.

We must stand up once again to protect the freedoms bought with the blood of generations of patriots from the Revolutionary War to today. If we do not have the courage to stand for freedom, the blood of hundreds of thousands of patriots since 1776 will have been wasted and future generations will be sentenced to a life tyranny, suffering, and poverty. To this cause I pledge “my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor”; to the cause of freedom for future generations. Every American owes their utmost opposition to this legislation in honor of those who have gone before us and for the freedom of those who will follow us.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
January 19, 2012

SOPA wasn't the problem

Earlier this week, several popular web sites either blacked themselves out or displayed messages to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).  Apparently Congress got the message and the bill isn’t going to pass – which is a good thing.  But in the end, it’s not going to mean much because SOPA isn’t really the problem – it’s only a symptom.

The real problem is arrogant politicians who believe that this kind of blatSOPAant, big government power grab is good policy.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that Congress actually listened to our protests and is giving up on this bill.   SOPA will have a come back faster than Newt Gingrich attacking a debate moderator.  Next time, its supporters will just give it a different name and quietly slip it into another bill that’s guaranteed to pass.

Unfortunately, most members of Congress don’t truly care about the will of the people – they are going to do what they want regardless.  Remember 2009 when tens of thousands of people were in the street protesting the health care bill?  And no matter how many rules had to be ignored, they rammed that thing through anyway.  More recently the American people have made it crystal clear that we want the government to cut spending.  How’s that working out for us?

Sure, SOPA got defeated this week.  But if we pat ourselves on the back for the victory and think this issue is dead, Congress will pass something ten times worse as soon as we’re not looking.

Those of us who believe in liberty and limited government have to create an atmosphere in Washington D.C. that makes it very clear to every member of Congress that vaguely written bills like SOPA – which any fool can see is open to abuse – won’t be tolerated by the American people.  That means educating the public on our ideas at every opportunity and remaining active in the political process.

The Federalist Papers remind us that we the people are the final check on the power of government.  Our politicians need to know that we are constantly watching them.  They need to know that if they try to attach SOPA to another bill, we will notice and we will hold them accountable at the ballot box and shame them in the media.  The only way to actually solve this problem is to eradicate the mindset in Congress that produced SOPA in the first place.

But as it stands today, our politicians are completely out of control.  They repeatedly try to enact policies that they already know the American people don’t support – say killing puppies – by putting them in bills that have fluffy, sweet sounding names like the Happiness Act.  Then, when informed citizens speak out against killing puppies, members of Congress go on tv and say, “Why don’t they support the Happiness Act?  Are they against happiness?!?”  This strategy is completely disingenuous and clearly aimed at manipulating a public that they don’t think is paying attention.

And so it is with SOPA.  When we come out and oppose the idea that this bill would allow the government to shut down our web sites on little more than an accusation, its supporters say,  “What?  You oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act?  Why do you support piracy?”  We don’t support piracy and we are all for protecting property rights.  What we oppose is tyranny.

Bills like SOPA and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which are obscenely vague and weaken the protection that citizens have against out of control government are becoming more and more common in recent years.  The NDAA allows the government to detain someone indefinitely simply on the suspicion that they might be a terrorist and with SOPA a web site can be shut down without a trial.  Remember those backward days of ideas like innocent until proven guilty, trial by jury, and being able to face your accuser?  Good times.

So why are these types of bills becoming more common now?  In the Federalist Papers, one theme that’s impossible to miss is the importance of understanding that human nature is flawed.  Everyone is born with certain instincts – for example young children don’t have to be taught to lie or to hit, it’s part of their nature.  We need to understand that nature if we are going to create a government that can remain limited and protect our freedom.

SOPA and NDAA are obviously situations where self-interest is playing a role.  It is human nature to be self-interested – or to take care of yourself before you take care of others.  That’s why it is so critical that we have a citizen government where the politicians have to live under every law they pass.  Since no sane person would ever vote to take away his own freedom – if  members of Congress always had to apply the law to themselves, they could never take away our freedoms without taking away their own.

But over time a political class has developed in this country where people go to Washington D.C. and end up staying for decades.  Add that to the fact that we’ve allowed Congress to set up an entirely different set of rules for themselves than for the average citizen and the stage is set for the dysfunctional, destructive government we’re seeing today.

Look at it this way – do you think members of Congress are losing sleep at night worrying about Social Security?  No way.  What about unemployment?  Nope.  They’ve got lucrative Congressional pensions that will take great care of them.  Is Congress really worried about health care?  Not really.  They have high quality government insurance to rely on.  They aren’t personally interested in any of those issues.

Of course any member of Congress will give you a line about how much he wants to solve all of those problems.  But don’t doubt for a second that all three of these issues would suddenly become emergencies if our politicians thought they were going to be the ones feeling the effect of a broken Social Security system.  Or if they were the ones who would be unemployed.  Or the ones getting the third rate health care that regular folks will get with Obamacare.

SOPA and NDAA are no different.  The politicians who support those bills are able to toss aside our concerns about the potential for abuse because they know they will never be personally affected by it.  Members of Congress know that even if we are right about NDAA they will never be detained indefinitely; and their web sites will never be the ones that are shut down under SOPA.

So if they can grab more power for themselves but it ends up costing you a little freedom, well, then that’s the way it has to be.

The defeat of SOPA is an important – but still very small victory.  We must remain vigilant in combatting the mindset that believes that government is the solution to our problems and constantly consider the effects of human nature on everything our government does or thinks of doing.  If we don’t learn those lessons, then defeating SOPA will be nothing more than a speed bump on the road to destroying our freedom.

Mitchell & Ray – January 19th

When: Thursday, January 19th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where:Streaming Internet Radio

What: Join independent political commentators Michelle Ray and Rich Mitchell as they discuss the issues impacting Americans.

 

Tonight: Tonight: SOPA / PIPA blackouts, Perry drops out, and what happen to the Conservatives?

Guests: Tom Dougherty & Tj Thompson

Show Recording: [mp3player width=300 height=75 config=fmp_jw_widget_config.xml file=http://media2.conservativedailynews.com/shows/mitchell-and-ray/show_1-19-12.mp3]

and .. the non-flash, iGadget-friendly version:

Stupid News, Iowa, New Hampshire, Libertarian ideology & Ron Paul

SOPA Could Make Sites Like This a Thing of the Past

The Stop Online Piracy Act is a gift to Hollywood but a bane to freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Without judicial review, the government can seize the domain name of a site such as CDN if they think (wrong or right) that some intellectual property could be at-risk. Since news sites quote public figures, take pictures and use sound bites from influential people, the danger is real that an unfavorable quote or image might bring about the seizure of our domain – and we’d have no remedy in the courts to get it back.

Some sites are totally blacking themselves out in protest, but I believe that less effective than talking about the problem, conceiving effective counters and fighting. Ostriches put their heads in the sand, not warriors.

CDN is giving up two of the highest revenue generating ad spots on the site to mention SOPA and request that visitors contact their members of congress. Heck, do a search on it here, many have written about it.

We won’t go quietly into this good night, but we will give up some of our revenue for a good fight. Will you at least give up the time necessary to make a phone call or write an email to your members of Congress to let them know that you are are not happy that they are entertaining a free speech killing bill like SOPA?

Hey, let's just blindly trust that Obama will do the right thing

What happened to our healthy distrust of government?

The most basic principle of liberty is that it is impossible to create or maintain a government that protects freedom without understanding human nature.  Despite that, the political class in this country wants us to completely ignore everything we know about the flaws of human nature when it comes to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

For example, it’s in our nature to take advantage of each other and do bad things.  Think of how toddlers play – they don’t have to be taught to steal.  It’s just natural for them to go over to other children and take what they want.  They have to be taught not to steal.

Most of us learn to control those kinds of instincts, but not all of us do.  Because of that, if you give the government an opportunity to grab more power, sooner or later it is going to do it.  To protect against these flaws in human nature, we must write our laws with the assumption that the government is run by bad people who will try to abuse those laws.  That way, when someone comes along who does have bad intentions there are already safeguards in place.

Despite all of this, those in the political establishment have chosen to label anyone who raises a concern over NDAA or SOPA as paranoid conspiracy theorists.  It’s as if they are so preoccupied with sounding “rational” that they’ve lost all common sense.

Side note: Who is the political class or political establishment?  It’s the group of people who arrogantly argue for the status quo as the only reasonable option.  The mainstream media and leadership of both political parties are made up almost entirely of establishment types.

Identifying people with this mindset is simple.  It’s like the old theory on the crazy people in your family.  Everyone has at least one crazy person in their family.  You’re thinking of them right now… and if no one immediately comes to mind, look in the mirror.

If you read my mention of the political establishment, chuckled smugly and said, “What political establishment?”, well…

Is it really that hard to imagine – given all that we’ve seen throughout our history – a crisis happening that allows politicians to point to NDAA to say, “Gosh, we really don’t want to detain American citizens… but we have to for security purposes.”  Never let a good crisis go to waste, right?

Or with SOPA, access to a web site can be blocked simply on the accusation that it is enabling copyright infringement.  Not after it has been proven.  Or after the owner of the site has the opportunity to face his accuser.  The site can be blocked simply based on an accusation.

Is it that hard to imagine that a politician who is dealing with a particularly critical web site during campaign season might find a way to “accuse” that site of enabling copyright infringement in order to get it blocked?

Are these scenarios likely?  No.  But they are certainly plausible.  And that‘s enough to prove that these bills need to be rewritten.

Can there really any question that there are politicians will take every opportunity we give them to abuse their powers at a time when the president is desperately trying to bastardize the term “recess” in an attempt to get around the separation of powers?

This is the same president who recently announced that he was scouring through law books looking for every opportunity he has to circumvent Congress and do what he wants.  So it’s not “paranoid” or “conspiratorial” to believe that politicians will look for loopholes or poorly worded laws that they can exploit for their own benefit.

These two incidents of presidential over-reach ought to serve glaring examples of exactly why we need to be cautious about any power that is granted to government.

Our self-proclaimed intellectual betters in the political class seemed to have forgotten two very important lessons:

1. Politicians who intend to take away your freedom rarely come out and announce it beforehand.  If they did, they would run into a lot of resistance – which would make it tougher for them to achieve their goal.  That’s why they tend to disguise oppressive measures in laws that seem benign on the surface.

Sure, proponents of these bills might claim that they address very worthwhile problems, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be suspicious of them.  It’s always wise to question what the government is doing – especially when it is being given more power.

2. Dangerous legislation is often passed by politicians who have the best of intentions.  Today’s members of Congress may be 100% sincere in their belief that the NDAA and SOPA will be good for the country.  But the fact that this group of politicians plans to use them honorably doesn’t stop the next administration – or the one after that – from exploiting the sloppy way in which these bills were written.

It is for these reasons that – during the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 – William Grayson warned us that:

“Power ought to have such checks and limitations as to prevent bad men from abusing it.  It ought to be granted on the supposition that men will be bad; for it may eventually be so.”

Unfortunately, NDAA and SOPA have been written with the completely opposite mindset.  They seem to assume that politicians will always be good and never try to take advantage of the openings these bills provide for oppressive, political enforcement.

The need to understand human nature didn’t end when the Constitution was finished.  We need to keep it at the front of our minds as we create legislation today as well.  It’s only when we understand the flaws of human nature that we are able to create laws that will protect our freedom in the long run.

Granted, writing laws that take human nature into account and aren’t open to abuse takes a lot of time and effort.  But maybe members of Congress could find the time to do that if they focused on crafting a few good laws each session instead of trying to ram as many 2,000 page monstrosities down our throat as possible.

As it stands, NDAA and SOPA are sloppily written and leave open the possibility for abuse.  In a situation where the penalty for sloppiness is the potential destruction of our freedom, I expect a whole heck of a lot more clarity that what we’ve gotten with these bills.  If the political establishment wants to interpret that concern over the flippant attitude Congress has take toward our liberty, well, that explains a lot about why our country is in the shape it is right now.

SOPA /PIPA – What They Are and Consequences

What are SOPA/PIPA?

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA or HR 3261), and its sister bill in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA or S 968), attempt to deal with online sites that traffic in illegally copied content (piracy), but at cost of remaking the architecture of the Internet itself. That’s a very high price to pay, especially since neither bill will actually stop, or even slow, piracy. Specifically, SOPA, section 102, and PIPA, section 3, call for:

  • Have internet service providers to alter their DNS servers from resolving the domain names of websites in foreign countries that host illegal copies of videos, songs, and photos
  • Have search engines, like Google, modify search results to exclude foreign websites that host illegally copied material
  • Have payment providers, like PayPal, to shut down the payment accounts of foreign websites that host illegally copied material
  • Have ad services, like Google’s AdSense, to refuse any ads or payment from foreign sites that host illegally copied content

These rules would not apply to domains that end in .com, .net, and .org.

SOPA, in section 104, provides legal immunity to ISPs that block websites that host illegally copied material. That’s an opportunity for a major conflict of interest for a huge ISPs like Comcast, which owns NBC. There would be nothing stopping Comcast from blocking a foreign video service site that competes with NBC if Comcast could claim that it had a “reasonable belief” that the foreign video service site was “dedicated to the theft of US property.” Because US copyright holders can’t drag a foreign web site into US courts to get them to stop stealing and distributing their work, SOPA allows them to go after the ISPs, ad networks, and payment processors that are in the US. It is a law born of revenge: music and movie studios can’t punish the real pirates, so they are attacking the Internet instead.

Security

We turn our attention to how SOPA/PIPA will affect Internet security, or Domain Name Server Security Extension (DNSSEC). The idea of DNSSEC is to promote end-to-end encryption of domain names, meaning there’s no break in the chain between, say, ebay.com and its customer. Requiring Internet providers to redirect domain names of sites that allegedly pirate copyrighted material to, say, the FBI’s servers isn’t compatible with DNSSEC. Rep. Dan Lungren, who heads the Homeland Security subcommittee on cybersecurity, has said that an “unintended consequence” of SOPA would be to “undercut” the effort his panel has been making to promote DNSSEC. The Sandia National Laboratories, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, says it is “unlikely to be effective” and will “negatively impact U.S. and global cybersecurity and Internet functionality.” And Stewart Baker, the former policy chief at the Department of Homeland Security, warned that SOPA “runs directly counter” to the House’s own cybersecurity efforts.

Legislative Actions

During a debate in the House Judiciary committee in December, 2011, it was clear that SOPA supporters have a majority on the committee. They’re expected to approve it when Congress returns in 2012. Because the House’s floor schedule is under the control of the majority party, the decision on when/if a full House vote will occur is in the hands of House Speaker John Boehner. Regarding PIPA, the Senate Judiciary committee has approved it and it’s waiting for a floor vote that has been scheduled for January 24, 2012.

Intellectual Property Protection

While there is no doubt that intellectual property should be protected, SOPA/PIPA is, as written, dangerous because of what they could do. It allows copyright holders to pursue websites that only link to pirated material. That is an idea that might be used by giant media companies to eliminate competition.

But that’s just my opinion.

Access to other articles like this one can be found at RWNO, my personal web site.

Consumers Flex Muscles, Force Go Daddy To Reverse 'Stop Online Piracy Act' Stance

On Friday, after consumers announced they were taking their business elsewhere and dropped 21,000 domains, domain name registrar GoDaddy.com pulled its support from the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Go Daddy announced they would take a second look at SOPA after extremely negative feedback received regarding the legislation.

A boycott was threatened on Thursday with PC World reporting:

“Reddit user selfprodigy said he was pulling 51 domain names from GoDaddy because of the registrar’s support of SOPA. The same day, Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezburger family of humor websites said said his company would move its 1,000-plus domains off Go Daddy unless it dropped its support for the bill, known as SOPA. On Friday, Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales also threatened to move from Go Daddy. “Their position on SOPA is unacceptable to us,” Wales said in a tweet.

“It’s clear to us the bill’s not ready in its current form,” Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman said in a statement on Friday. “Looking at this over the last 20 hours, we’re not seeing consensus in the Internet community, we’re hearing the feedback from our customers.” Adelman said a huge reason GoDaddy switched its position was because of feedback from customers.

What The "Stop Online Piracy Act" Could Mean For Conservatives

The “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA), introduced last month by House Judiciary committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), is a bill aimed at stopping online piracy. It is similar to the bill passed in the Senate known as “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act”. Known is short as (Protect IP). SOPA is receiving heavy support from Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, Netflix, and many others in the film and music industry

However, Critics of SOPA say if far surpasses the authority given to law enforcement than Protect IP does. Web Giants Facebook, Google, Ebay, and AOL ran full page ads in many newspapers urging lawmakers to reconsider the bill. Microsoft and Verizon have also began to express concerns about SOPA. Despite the controversy and criticism, the bill has considerable bipartisan support.

The most catching part of SOPA, is that it allows the Department of Justice, run by Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder mind you, to pursue court orders for websites “outside” of US jurisdiction accused of enabling or hosting pirated content on their website. Lets think about that. Accused, not discovered to, or found guilty of, but accused. Once a court order is obtained, the Attorney General could then direct a US web based companies to suspend business with the company or face the possibility of federal prosecution. The AG would also have the ability to direct search engines from blocking the IP in a search. The bill would also make it a felony to stream unauthorized copyrighted content.

One can not help but think with the upcoming election year, the current administration would be foaming at the mouth to get this passed. And do you really think that it will stay confined to websites outside of US jurisdiction? Can’t you see it now? All the liberals will be scouring the Internet, with the music and movie industry’s best interest at heart no doubt, looking at every conservative blog and website they can find regardless of importance with sole purpose of locating “pirated” content. It could be something as small as a picture of an American flag or video found on YouTube. The Justice Department will request the court order to shut that blog down with the individual facing the potential of fines and restitution. Not a bad way to break the spirit. Lets not forget about all the new litigation that will ensue.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. SOPA is a good intention that has the potential to go bad real fast. Every conservative writer and blogger needs to contact their Congressman and tell them No to SOPA.

PROTECT IP Act: One Ugly Piece Of Legislation

The proposed “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011″, or “PROTECT IP Act” (further shortened to “PIPA”), is about to be brought before the Senate for a vote. This bill, if passed, would grant the federal government greater powers to “combat online piracy”.

Among these powers, it would allow the Department of Justice to obtain a court order to block access to websites based on a mere accusation of copyright infringement. I don’t need to tell users of the internet how often ‘minor’ infringement of copyright (misuse of a photograph, for instance) occur on the ‘net. Mistakes with no ill intent happen all the time.

Congress attempted this last year with the “Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act” (“COICA”), and thankfully failed to pass it.

Stated another way: Congress, through this bill as well as the House’s “Stop Online Privacy Act” (“SOPA”), want to give the same government which is hounding Gibson Guitar over an accusation of ill-gotten wood the authority to hound websites over misused photographs or video clips.

We on the right must especially resist this legislation. President Obama has already declared war on FOX News. He clearly intends to stifle critics in whatever way he can. Much of the success of the Tea Party movement has been attributable to online “new media” offering a counterpunch to established Pro-Obama media. Giving Obama and Eric Holder the ability to make a simple accusation of copyright infringement, get a court order, and shut down conservative new media sites (and potentially bankrupt the owners with legal bills) is unacceptable, especially in an election year!

Thankfully, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is leading a filibuster attempt over this bill. Any of us on the right, who mistrust government’s motives, need to call and write our Senators and urge them to assist him.