The fascists in both political parties have lost control of their messaging. The wealth of freely exchanged information on the Internet has divested them of their primary means of propaganda: the corporate media. They are working very hard to regain control.
That’s what’s behind two bills in Congress: the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate. Congress, of course, couches the bills as efforts to stop online piracy or to protect consumers from so-called rogue foreign pharmacies. It’s also what was behind last year’s failed efforts to pass an Internet kill switch bill.
According to an article in The Hill: “The bill would empower the Justice Department and copyright holders to demand that search engines, Internet providers and payment processors cut ties with websites ‘dedicated’ to copyright infringement.”
Laurence Tribe, a Constitutional law expert at Harvard Law School, sent a memo to Congress last week describing how the SOPA violates the 1st Amendment because it suppresses speech without a judicial hearing and the bill’s definition of a rogue website is unConstitutionally vague. He says that an entire website containing tens of thousands of pages could be targeted if only a single page were accused of infringement.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the bill would break the Internet.
“By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet,” Schmidt told The Hill, calling it a form of censorship. He compared the proposal to the Web censorship practiced by repressive foreign governments like China and doubled down on that comparison when speaking with reporters after his remarks at the Economic Club of Washington.
The bill would create problems for sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that allow user-generated content by being repositories for videos, photos and other materials. It would also lead to the potential to shut down sites like Personal Liberty Digest™, which allows the posting of links to other sites.
It’s no coincidence that this bill could target social media and information-sharing sites. It was social media, after all, that was used to encourage and organize the protests in the Mideast that became known as Arab Spring. China is notorious for shutting down the Internet in certain areas when protests begin. U.S. lawmakers have made it clear they see China as their model. And information-sharing sites like YouTube and Personal Liberty are the means used by many people to educate the masses on the growing tyranny in America and around the globe.
Last year, Senator Joe Lieberman told CNN’s Candy Crowley, “Right now China — the government — can disconnect parts of its Internet in a case of war. We need to have the ability to do that, too.” And Senator Jay Rockefeller is on a YouTube video saying he wished the Internet had never been invented and people still communicated with paper and pencil.
Last week, former Senator and now Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Chris Dodd told Variety, “When the Chinese told Google that they had to block sites or they couldn’t do [business] in their country, they managed to figure out how to block sites.” He also likened Google to the getaway car driver in a bank robbery.
In fact, Dodd is a real robber, having benefited from the banking scandal to the tune of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and favorable loans while supposedly overseeing the banking industry as it collapsed in a heap that has destroyed much of middle-class America.