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PORTSIDE  January 2012, Week 3

PORTSIDE January 2012, Week 3

Subject:

Bits & Bytes: The Internet Blackout

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 23:22:41 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (247 lines)

1 Can Internet Protests Get Political Results? Yes, They Can
2 Protest Around the World
3 Anonymous Strikes Back After Feds Shut Down Piracy Hub
4 SOPA: Has the Internet Won?

=====
11111

Can Internet Protests Get Political Results? Yes, They Can

January 19, 2012
The Atlantic

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/01/can-internet-protests-get-political-results-yes-they-can/251648/

Yesterday saw the biggest day of online protest in the
English world in history, with thousands of websites
temporarily dark and many more displaying prominent
banners of opposition to the anti-piracy bills now in
Congress: the House's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and
the Senate's Protect IP Act (PIPA).

 * The Wikipedia protest page was viewed 162 million
   times more than five times on a normal day.  More
   than 8 million people used its tool to find their
   Congressional reps.

 * There were more than 2.4 million tweets about the
   bills

 * More than 4 million people signed Google's petition.

 * The Senate's website reportedly crashed from
   overload.

 * Seven co-sponsors of the Senate bill PIPA withdrew
   their  support

 * The House bill, SOPA, now has far more opponents than
   supporters, and was already on its deathbed before
   the  protest.

 * The loss in support for both bills has come mostly
   from  Republicans, and Democrats are risking the
   support of "an  entire generation of voters" with
   their intransigence on this issue.
.
=====
22222

Protest Around the World
Los Angeles Times

January 19, 2012
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2012/01/sopa-blackouts-inspired-protest-from-around-the-world.html

Millions of Americans responded to the historic SOPA and
PIPA blackouts implemented by thousands of websites on
Jan 18, but Americans weren't the only ones moved to
action. The whole world was watching, and the whole
world chimed in. 1.8 million people from 141 countries
around the world also signed a petition, which did
especially well in Brazil, Spain, France, Germany,
Britain, Italy, Canada and Mexico, but people in
Jamaica, Morocco and Malaysia also lent their voices.

Some bloggers in China, where Internet censorship is the
norm, had a more humorous take on the day of protest.
The Relevant Organs, an anonymous Twitter account
(presumably) pretending to be the voice of the Chinese
Communist Party leadership, quipped: "Don't understand
the hoopla over Wikipedia blackout in the U.S. today. We
blacked it out here years ago. Where are OUR hugs?"

=====
33333

Anonymous Strikes Back After Feds Shut Down Piracy Hub
Megaupload
CNN Money

By Laurie Segall @CNNMoneyTech 
January 20, 2012
http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/19/technology/megaupload_shutdown/index.htm

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In one of the U.S. government's
largest anti-piracy crackdowns ever, federal agents on
Thursday arrested the leaders of and shut down
Megaupload.com, a popular hub for illegal media
downloads. Hours later, the "Hacktivist" collective
Anonymous  knocked the U.S. Department of Justice
website and that of the U.S. Copyright Office .  It was
the largest attack ever by Anonymous.  Universal Music's
website also went down Thursday afternoon, as did the
websites of the Recording Industry Association of
America and Motion Picture Association of America.

The Anonymous attack came soon after the DOJ announced
the indictment of seven individuals connected to
Megaupload for allegedly operating an "international
organized criminal enterprise responsible for massive
worldwide online piracy of copyrighted works."  The news
came as protests erupted both online and offline against
the two bills in Congress.

=====
44444

SOPA: Has the Internet Won?

     Internet activists may have won this round in the
     battle over SOPA. But the fight ain't over yet.

by Jeb Boone

Global Post
January 19, 2012
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120118/sopa-pipa-internet-activism-censorship-wikipedia-reddit

ATLANTA - In an unprecedented outpouring of online
activism, internet juggernauts Reddit, 4chan and
Wikipedia, as well as thousands of other websites, shut
down Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act
(SOPA) and its senate equivalent, the Protect Internet
Protocol Act (PIPA), an effort that many believe will
save the soul of the internet.

Millions of users on social media sites like Facebook
and Twitter spent the day raising awareness about the
bills and letting their representatives know they stand
in opposition to legislation they say would result in
unjust censorship. This culmination in online fury began
months ago on Reddit and 4chan, among a handful of other
sites, when users first vowed to stop the "death of the
internet." Activists affiliated with Anonymous, the
much-talked about hacker collective, began launching
operations against Congressmen who supported SOPA, while
Redditors spammed the fax machines and inboxes of
senators and representatives, and still others even took
to the streets.

After months of coding, posting, hacking and calling,
these internet activists finally made their mark on the
White House and now, as lawmakers one by one begin
withdrawing support for the bill as it currently stands,
it seems the internet may have won.

The White House announced on Jan. 14, on its blog of all
places, that President Barack Obama had reservations
about the bill and the risk it posed to lawful activity
on the internet. The announcement came days after Reddit
claimed a victory over Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican from
Wisconsin, who in part due to pressure from Reddit
dropped his support for SOPA.

Lamar Smith, the sponsor of the bill, too began backing
away from the legislation, saying he would remove a
provision from the bill that would allow corporations
who find copyrighted content on other websites to shut
them down. Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont
and the main proponent of PIPA, the Senate version, also
admitted the legislation needed revisions.

But is the fight really over? Congress, which maintains
that a law is still needed to protect copyrighted
material from being pirated on the internet, will resume
debate over the legislation in February and many
internet activists say they still feel threatened.

Their concern is shared by the Electronic Frontiers
Foundation, a digital rights group. While lawmakers have
said they would remove the piece of the legislation that
would allow internet service providers to block certain
domains to their customers, which is called DNS
blacklisting and is essentially what China does to
censor the internet there, Electronic Frontiers says the
bills still contain provisions that could be harmful to
internet freedom. "We are glad to see Sen. Leahy is
recognizing, at last, some of the serious problems with
this legislation. But a half- hearted promise to
investigate the consequence of some of the provisions
(which should have happened before this bill was even
proposed) falls far short of what is needed," said
Corynne McSheery, an intellectual property attorney for
the Electronic Frontiers Foundation in a statement on
geek.com. "This bill, and its House counterpart, cannot
be fixed - they must be killed."

Activists still fear that SOPA and PIPA give too much
power to individual corporations and to the Department
of Justice, enabling them to file suit against entire
websites, like Youtube and Wikipedia, for a single act
of "intellectual property theft," even if the content is
user-generated. In what has been dubbed Operation
Hiroshima, the hacker collective Anonymous is continuing
its fight against SOPA and PIPA, employing a perhaps
more dubious strategy. Anonymous is now pressuring media
moguls into making public statements against online
censorship and anti-piracy legislation. To begin with,
the group has posted personal information about Time
Warner executive Jeffery L. Bewkes as well as Summer
Redstone, head of Viacom and CBS, among others.

Using pastebin.com, the group has posted documents
detailing contact for these moguls in the hope that
like-minded "hacktivists" will use the information.
Whether hundreds of pizzas are sent to their homes or
their email accounts are accessed, the heat is now being
turned up on not only lawmakers but businessmen and
businesses as well. After Wednesday's blackout, however,
which included Wikipedia, leaving students and
professionals around the world scrambling to find the
encyclopedic information they needed, the issue of SOPA
and PIPA entered the mainstream, a reality from which
the legislation might not be able to recover.

Facebook was awash with posts decrying all forms of
censorship on Wednesday and the internet activists who
started it all said they are wary of statements made by
politicians in an election year and intend to continue
the fight until SOPA and PIPA become nothing more than a
buried entry in a series of online archives. "Each step
the bills take forward is only fuel that counter
reaction more. Unless SOPA / PIPA are taken off the
table we are only going to grow and push back harder,"
said EquanimousMind, one of the many Reddit users behind
Operation Pull Ryan and among those that are continuing
the struggle against SOPA and PIPA.

___________________________________________

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