Author Topic: Soetoro Admin Already Pressuring ISPs to Censor Websites  (Read 4619 times)

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Offline Optimus

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Soetoro Admin Already Pressuring ISPs to Censor Websites
« on: October 06, 2010, 10:06:42 am »
Obama Administration Pressures ISPs To Censor Websites

Department of Justice would have power to shut down “unlawful content,” which according to their own definition includes political free speech


Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Obama Administration IP Czar Victoria Espinel has been holding meetings with ISPs, registrars, payment processors and others in a bid to get them to block access to websites “dedicated to infringing activities”. However, as we have documented, the government deems such infringement to include political opinions which are antagonistic toward the state, leaving the door open for state censorship of free speech on the world wide web.

Espinel, the White House’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, aims to create a special relationship between the government and Internet companies in order to “harmonize the efforts of law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels and strengthen cooperation with the private sector.”

“While the meeting is carefully focused on stopping websites that sell gray market pharmaceuticals, if registrars start agreeing to censoring websites at the behest of the government, it’s as if we’re halfway to a COICA-style censorship regime already. ICANN, who manages the internet domain name system was asked to attend the meeting, but felt that it “was not appropriate to attend” such a meeting,” reports Datamation.

The meeting was convened to grease the skids for government control of the Internet as part of a back up plan in case the increasingly unpopular Cybersecurity and COICA bills fall by the wayside.

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act would, “Establish a path for the Department of Justice to take action against websites dedicated to peddling unlawful content, including leaning on Internet providers, registrars, payment processors and other Internet players to deny services to the offending sites.”

However, as we have documented, material that the DoJ considers “unlawful” and even a potential red flag for terrorism includes Tea Party literature posted on public bulletin boards, as well as copies of the “Obama Joker” poster.

According to a recent memo released by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, a component of the DoJ, “extremist literature” includes “political or religious displays,” or anything related to “abortion”. The memo also warns against “radical bookstores”.

If the Department of Justice considers such material to be a red flag for terrorism, what will they consider to be “unlawful” on the Internet, and is it wise to empower them with the tools to effectively silence political free speech based on their own definitions of what constitutes “extremist” content?

In addition, Espinel’s effort to harmonize action between ISPs and law enforcement takes on a new dimension when we consider the fact that federal and state authorities are considering the implementation of technology that scans Internet posts and emails for content deemed to display “resentment toward government,” and then passes the information to the relevant authorities for terrorist surveillance measures.

We got a taste of which websites might be targeted under such a system back in March when, coinciding with the Obama administration’s release of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, a government plan to “secure” (or control) the nation’s public and private sector computer networks, Democrats attempted to claim that the independent news website The Drudge Report was serving malware, an incident Senator Jim Inhofe described as a deliberate ploy “to discourage people from using Drudge”.

Digital rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge have expressed concern over how the COICA bill offers only a “nebulous definition of what constitutes an infringing site,” opening the door for the government to shut down their political adversaries on the flimsiest of pretexts.

The Obama administration seems determined to attain a stranglehold grip on the world wide web by whatever means possible. The true motivation behind doing so was revealed when Senator Joe Lieberman, a key supporter of cybersecurity legislation that would hand Obama the power to shut down portions of the Internet for months with no congressional oversight, told CNN’s Candy Crowley that the ultimate intention was was to mimic the Communist Chinese system of Internet policing.

“Right now China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in case of war and we need to have that here too,” Lieberman told Crowley.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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Offline Optimus

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Re: Soetoro Admin Already Pressuring ISPs to Censor Websites
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2010, 10:59:54 am »
US government exploring more Internet censorship options
http://www.myce.com/news/us-government-exploring-more-internet-censorship-options-34872/

If the recent news  of the proposed Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) bill wasn’t enough to make you feel like the Internet is on its way to being excessively censored, some new information emerging this week could change your mind.

While COICA would create a government-mandated “blacklist” of domains accused of copyright infringement, a new initiative is underway by the US government that would enable the same type of censorship even without a law to enforce it.



Barack Obama’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, has been meeting with Internet registrars, ISPs, payment processors, and others connected to the online industry in an attempt to convince them to voluntarily censor websites per the government’s request.

“We are now actively calling on the private sector to do more in this area,” Espinel said this week at an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation event. “In order to have a functioning Internet, there are many different types of entities and functionalities that you need to make that work. So we are calling on all of those to work cooperatively with the rights holders.”

In addition to pushing the industry to shut down websites at the whim of the government, at least one high-ranking American believes that the President should have control to shut down the internet. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden publicly stated this week that the threat of cyber warfare is severe enough to warrant such measures.

“My personal view is that it is probably wise to legislate some authority to the President, to take emergency measures for limited periods of time, with clear reporting to Congress, when he feels as if he has to take these measures,” Hayden stated in an interview where he compared the internet to a new “frontier” for which we must develop protective measures.

While I think it’s great that the government would like to protect citizens from counterfeit pharmaceuticals and internet-based terror attacks, the forms of censorship that are being proposed here seem quite extreme. The ideas of allowing politicians to decide to deny a web domain to someone without legal documentation or turn off the internet altogether in the event of a perceived threat are both scary propositions to me. At what point do people decide that enough is enough and start to fight to retain online freedoms?
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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