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U.S. Lawmakers Consider China-Like Internet Rules

November 17, 2011 by  

U.S. Lawmakers Consider China-Like Internet Rules

Bills in both the House and the Senate designed to protect intellectual property online may actually represent a move toward Chinese-style internet censorship in the United States.

The Protect IP Act, in the Senate, and its House counterpart, the Stop Online Piracy Act, are both being backed by well-financed lobbies for the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Motion Picture Association of America, the American Federation of Musicians, the Directors Guild of America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Screen Actors Guild. These organizations all argue that legislation is needed to curtail Internet piracy of copyrighted creative works including major motion pictures and music. 

Rebecca MacKinnon, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and a founder of Global Voices Online, sees the legislation differently, as she explains in a recent editorial in The New York Times: “ The potential for abuse of power through digital networks — upon which we as citizens now depend for nearly everything, including our politics — is one of the most insidious threats to democracy in the Internet age. We live in a time of tremendous political polarization. Public trust in both government and corporations is low, and deservedly so. This is no time for politicians and industry lobbyists in Washington to be devising new Internet censorship mechanisms, adding new opportunities for abuse of corporate and government power over online speech.”

Some features of the legislation would ultimately make companies liable for user copyright infringements taking place on their websites thereby creating a system that, much like Chinese corporate “self-discipline,” gives website operators incentive to be very strict about the information they allow to be published on their venues.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • wandamurline

    The government needs to get out of the private sector, lock, stock and barrell and do the job that the constitution has given them authority to do and that is minimal. If we disbanded the unconstitutional departments within the government, we could balance the budget without the super committee.



    • JC & the boys

      AMEN, there are enough laws on the books now to arrest every citizen in the country. NO MORE of these punitive and vindictive laws to take away more freedom. More laws—– more lawyers and judges.

      • Bob from SoCal

        You are right, this is just another law on the slippery slope that will enable the government to curtail free speech. But of course only the free speech not approved of by the next proper think committee that will be the next step in the process.

  • Robert Smith

    Violating a copywrite is STEALING. It’s that simple. If someone helps stealing aren’t they guilty too?


    • Jay

      So, you advocate a thieving, criminal government, to be in charge of protecting intellectual property? That would be like allowing a drug cartel to self-regulate, or the mafia to preside over its own court-case. Oops, i forgot, our government is the mafia, and a drug cartel, and presides over our lives! In case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t about protecting intellectual property. This is about control, and the confiscation of our freedom, and privacy.

      • http://naver samurai

        Very true Jay, but we know the Robert will not understand the points you have made. Keep up the good fight, fellow patriot! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • CP

    Mr. Smith, if you drive your bus down through a city where a bank robbery has just occurred, and the bank robbers get on your bus and pay their fare before you are aware there is a problem, does that make you as guilty of robbing the bank as the men who were actually there? That is the assumption this new law is making, that if someone using your service violates a law, you as service provider violated that same law, even if unknowingly. Are you aware that using several combinations of words can legitimately be said to be violating someone’s copy rights, including singing happy birthday at your kid’s birthday party. Back up and take a good look at what will be accomplished here. You will have your internet provider reading everything you send or receive, you will have every social network you belong to double and triple checking all your messages and posts,and all these people will be mandated reporters of any suspected copyright violations as well as any suspicious speech or writings you publish or research. Take a GOOD look at what is being proposed before you decide if it is good or bad.

    • Bob from SoCal

      Definitely bad, Very Bad!

    • Joe H.

      Now you KNOW that driver was an accomplice!!! Why, you are aiding and abetting just by arguing for him!!! sound about like the future if things don’t make an abrupt change???

    • http://naver samurai

      Well said, but Robert doesn’t have the capacity to understand. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Raggs

    Is it a coincidence that this is coming out prior to the 2012 elections?
    It sure smells to me like that oblama, pelosi and reid are behind this in order to control internet chat and online news.

  • alexa

    Every one needs to pick up the phone to call his/her legislative representatives! Make noise!

  • s c

    A long time ago, I decided (basically as a joke) that it would be fitting if a politician literally had to give up a bit of flesh before he/she left Washington to go somewhere and retire. After all these years of watching government get worse and worse – with so-called ‘political elites’ leading the charge – it’s obvious to me that my self-made joke is too close to the truth.
    We deserve to get a “return” on what amounts to a BAD investment. Our politicians need to be sterilized to ‘save’ the planet. It’s not right for filth to spread. It’s bad for the health of those who were screwed-over for generations.
    And, it will make wannabes pause before they decide to make us feel that WE work for THEM. Fair is fair is fair. So, who’s first, you pretender elites?

    • Bob from SoCal

      Some political spaying and neutering does seem to be in order here.

      • Joe H.

        I was just gonna say that!! Seems like it would at least keep the younger ones from reproducing!!! We got ENOUGH brainless ones like them NOW!!

  • Brad

    This is just another extension to the fedral communication alert system. They want control of these communication wires and space to have the dictator on the squak boxes all over the country when they want you to hear and see nothing but the ruler. Do you think Obama is just vacationing over in the EU? They are planning out one rule order and a one world currency. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!

  • 45caliber

    I saw an article by one of the music artists a few years ago. She stated that she was very much in favor of putting all her stuff on the internet. Whenever a new song she put out was on internet, her sales went up. The problem was that the studios didn’t want that done because it gave the artists too much control of their own lives. She said the same thing was true of movies. The studios lock them into iron tight contracts that prevent them from making any money on their own … and they don’t get much from the studios. Her only real money came from concerts she put on – and even then she had to buy her own CDs at full market price to resell at the concert. The studio wouldn’t even give her a discount on her own stuff – although they would give the discounts to any store that sold it.

  • Jay

    It appears that the powers that be, do not want anyone occupying anywhere, including, occupying internet sites! Btw, our government is the biggest intellectual property thief on the planet. It will steal anything, and everything, including; oil, mineral resources, peoples lives, peoples wealth, peoples privacy, peoples freedoms, a countries sovereignty, your grandma’s savings, your children for their evil wars, your lemon trees, your vitamins, did i mention your hard-earned moneys? Seriously, do we really want our crooked government to be in charge of up-holding the law?

  • CanCan

    Hmm, well, considering that this country is forever being referred to as a “democracy” by the MSM, and not a Constitutional Republic, one cannot be too surprised at such legislation coming to the forefront.

  • s c

    Viewed from another angle, what our non-leaders IMPLY but don’t have the stones to say is the idea that by having ‘China-like internet rules,’ we’ll have a government that’s ‘just,’ ruled by true elites, and besides, WE JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR US.
    In other words, ANYBODY who supports this human waste sludge might as well be put in front of a firing squad for a quick pose and BLAM. Who the hell do these brainless, soul-less monsters think they ARE?
    So, who’s worse, people? Is it the SOBs who are in elected office, or is it the braindead, utopian, America-haters who SUPPORT those SOBs and bastardettes?


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