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The fifth anniversary of the SOPA-PIPA protest internet blackout.
Five years ago, on Jan. 18, 2012, the internet went dark. Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia, Reddit, and more than 100,000 other websites all participated in an internet blackout on an unprecedented scale to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

And those calls, emails, and petitions were dramatically effective: Almost overnight, many of the bills’ initial supporters withdrew their support, including several original co-sponsors of the legislation

Then, on Jan. 20, the New York Times reported that the bills were dead in the water. SOPA’s backers have since made repeat attempts to achieve the bill’s aims by other means, but after 2012’s massive mobilization, Congress has not been eager to take up similar legislation.
10 weeks ago by thotw
The Sopa blackout protest makes history | Amy Goodman | Technology | The Guardian
Sopa would allow copyright holders to complain to the US attorney general about a foreign website they allege is "committing or facilitating the commission of criminal violations" of copyright law. This relates mostly to pirated movies and music. Sopa would allow the movie industry, through the courts and the US attorney general, to send a slew of demands that internet service providers (ISPs) and search engine companies shut down access to those alleged violators, and even to prevent linking to those sites, thus making them "unfindable"

EFF's McSherry said, "No one asked the internet – well, the internet is speaking now. People are really rising up and saying: 'Don't interfere with basic Internet infrastructure. We won't stand for it.'"
10 weeks ago by thotw
Protest, Cyberspace-Style, for New Law - The New York Times
Deep inside the complex legislation is a provision that its supporters say will keep pornographers and pedophiles from preying on children who use personal computers. But opponents say the provision, known as the Communications Decency Act, goes too far by placing unconstitutional restrictions on speech over the global computer network known as the Internet, including an apparent ban on discussions of abortion issues on public computer networks.

The act makes it a crime to transmit or allow indecent material to be transmitted over public computer networks to which minors have access.

Representative Henry J. Hyde of Illinois, a Republican and longtime abortion opponent, inserted language into the bill that would effectively extend into the electronic age a 123-year-old legal prohibition, the Comstock Act of 1873, against disseminating abortion information. In comments on the House floor, Mr. Hyde denied that his intent was to halt discussions of abortion on the Internet or on-line services.

plaintiffs in the suit liken more to newspapers and bookstores than to broadcast media. They maintain that the "indecency" and "patently offensive" definitions are overly broad and vague
10 weeks ago by thotw
Why Wikipedia went down at midnight -
CNN: This is new, right, for Wikipedia to be taking a political action?
Wales: It's quite new. The only thing that's similar to it is that the Italian Wikipedia did do something similar that was the inspiration a few months back, against a law that was proposed by the Berlusconi government.

The issue here is that this law is very badly written, very broadly overreaching and, in at least the Senate version, would include the creation of a DNS (domain name system) blocking regime that's technically identical to the one that's used by China.

One of the provisions in the Senate version, which is still out there, is that under certain circumstances Internet providers would be required to block access to sites, by removing them from the DNS entry list. So if you type in the domain of a site that's been accused of being devoted to infringement of copyright you wouldn't get an answer of whether that site exists. That's exactly what China does. They do blocking at the DNS level.

It will be the English Wikipedia that is on strike, so to speak. Other language communities have done their own process of voting and polling. In general, I can say the Germans decided not to shut down their site but they are posting a banner in support ... Each language community makes their determination as to what they'd like to do.
10 weeks ago by thotw
Town Criers for the Net | WIRED
Safdar spends the remainder of his waking hours as half of the two-man crew behind Voters Telecommunications Watch, or VTW, a Net-based, grassroots political-action project that has kicked up some of the most visible dust surrounding the Communications Decency Act

Paint the Web Black campaign. Fanned by an eleventh-hour VTW email blitz, the campaign urged Web authors to turn their pages black the moment President Clinton signed the telecom bill into law on February 8.
10 weeks ago by thotw
On The Eve of SOPA's Blackout, Remembering The Last Time The Web Went Dark - Motherboard
the CDA sought to discourage the flow of pornographic and other "indecent" materials on the internet. Naturally, that had a lot of really bad implications for 1st Amendment rights, and the bill wound up inspiring the first major online protests in history.

Set into motion by a last-minute email blitz from the Voters Telecommunications Watch,

And while Smolan's editors worked feverishly to construct a colorful series of Web pages out of the flood of photos pouring in to "Mission Control" in San Francisco, hundreds of Internet protesters turned their Web sites black.
10 weeks ago by thotw
Remembering the Great Web Blackout | WIRED
Within days, sites ranging from Netscape to Steve's Own Home Page, and from the site of Senator Patrick Leahy to that of The Church of Zen Fatalism had agreed to present their pages in white text on a black background. Netscape's site included the tag: "Netscape supports open standards, including the First Amendment."

Congress passed the CDA on 1 February 1996. On 12 June, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia struck it down as being unconstitutional. Most people expect the Supreme Court to uphold the appeals court ruling this spring, but Winer warns that we shouldn't take it for granted. "We haven't won it yet," he says. "This will be the big test."
10 weeks ago by thotw
Stopped they must be; on this all depends. – Upvoted
There are powerful forces trying to censor the Internet, and a few months ago many people thought this legislation would surely pass. However, there’s a new hope that we can defeat this dangerous legislation.

You have made a difference in this fight; and as we near the next stage, and after much thought, talking with experts, and hearing the overwhelming voices from the reddit community, we have decided that we will be blacking out reddit on January 18th from 8am–8pm EST (1300–0100 UTC).

We’re as addicted to reddit as the rest of you. Many of you stand with us against PIPA/SOPA, but we know support for a blackout isn’t unanimous. We’re not taking this action lightly. We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to reddit and the Internet as we know it.

Troublemakers that they are, Reddit got the ball rolling on the blackout.
10 weeks ago by thotw
Protests against SOPA and PIPA - Wikipedia
On November 16, 2011, a first hearing by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee was marked by online protests involving blackened website banners, popularly described as "American Censorship Day".

Popular websites that moved domains included imgur,[28] the Wikimedia Foundation,[29] and Cheezburger — which stated it would remove over 1,000 domains from Go Daddy if they continued their support of SOPA.[30]

On December 10, 2011, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales drew attention to concerns over SOPA, which he described as a "much worse law" than the DDL intercettazioni (Wiretapping Bill)[43] in Italy some months earlier, which was being fast-tracked through the United States Congress under a "misleading title".

blackout similar to that held successfully in October 2011 by Italian Wikipedia editors over the proposed media censorship law in that country:[44]

Following initial informal discussions which resulted in a positive response, a formal consultation titled "SOPA Initiative" was opened by the community to consider specific proposals and preferred options. These included matters such as location (United States only or worldwide), and whether content should be disabled completely or still accessible after a click-through page. Eventually, the discussion led to a decision strongly in favor of a 24-hour global blackout of the site on January 18, disabling normal reading and editing functions, affirmed in a vote of approximately 1,800 editors

On January 17, 2012, Jimmy Wales affirmed the results of the community's decision and that the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the English Wikipedia website, would support the community's decision. He called for a "public uprising" against the proposed legislation, which critics fear would threaten free speech.

According to protest organizer Fight for the Future, more than 115,000 websites participated in the protest, including Google and Wikipedia.[

Time reported that before the day had ended, "the political dominoes began to fall ... then trickle turned into flood".[98] It named ten senators who had announced their switch to opposing the bills and stated that "nearly twice that many House members" had done so.[98]
10 weeks ago by thotw
It is crazy to me that is not all over the with live / onsite coverage - especi…
blackout  ATLAirport  from twitter_favs
december 2017 by jongos
Ethiopia has blocked social media sites as new Oromo protests hit the country
Ethiopia has again blocked access to the internet in the wake of violent protests in the Oromo region and throughout the East African country, Abdi Latif Dahir reports for Quartz. "In Chelenko town in Oromia region, media reports noted the killing of 16 people aged between 15 and 60 years, including family members who were harvesting sorghum on a farm. The family was reportedly not aware of the initial demonstrations in a nearby village, where locals blamed the killing of a prominent member of the community by the controversial Somali special forces known as the Liyu. This was followed by heightened ethnic tension in campuses, where students were allegedly killed at the hands of security forces.

As such, from Dec. 12, internet users in Ethiopia started mentioning that they couldn’t access several social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Moses Karanja, a doctoral candidate at University of Toronto and researcher at the Citizen Lab, said network scans on the state-owned operator Ethio Telecom confirmed that the websites were inaccessible. The government has a monopoly over the provision of mobile and internet services, and users couldn’t access these sites without using virtual private networks."
otf  ethiopia  access  shutdown  social  blackout  africa 
december 2017 by dmcdev
The Internet Society and NetBlocks Team up to #KeepItOn
Brookings estimated that in 2016, internet shutdowns cost countries a combined roughly $2.4 billion USD. Such estimates are rough, though, and are not calculated regularly. In this context, the Internet Society and NetBlocks have teamed up to develop a new tool to measure the economic hit a country takes when it decides to shut down the internet. "The Cost of Shutdowns Tool (COST) will be a data-driven online tool that will enable anyone – including journalists, researchers, advocates, policy makers, businesses, and many others – to quickly and easily estimate the economic cost of Internet disruptions. The tool will cover shutdowns affecting social media, key content platforms and full Internet blackouts. Development of this online and mobile platform has started, and we expect an early functioning platform to be available by summer 2018." - Internet Society
otf  shutdown  blackout  access 
november 2017 by dmcdev
How Pakistan blocked news outlets, social media sites, and IM apps amidst protests - @OpenObservatory
OONI analyzes how the Pakistani government blocked access to several social media and news outlets last week amid violent Islamist protests in the capital of Islamabad. Demonstrators were demanding the resignation of Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid after he failed to include reference to the Prophet Muhammad in a revised edition of the country's electoral oath - an error protesters deemed 'blasphemous.' OONI data "confirm[s] the DNS-based blocking of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram...[and] the DNS blocking of 14 news websites, as well as the censorship of applications including Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp’s web interface. All of these censorship events were temporarily implemented last weekend, and are no longer in place."
otf  pakistan  social  censorship  access  blackout  southasia  protest 
november 2017 by dmcdev
The Migration of Political Internet Shutdowns
Five years ago, Egypt ordered its country's internet service providers to cut off all international access to the internet. This blackout was soon mimicked in Bahrain, Libya, and Syria, part of the backlash to the pro-democracy protests that became known as the Arab Spring. Looking back, David Belson of Oracle Dyn reflects on how global "internet resiliency" has fared since then. "Has connection diversity increased, and does that lead to a potential decrease in vulnerability to Internet shutdown?" he asks. "[T]he most interesting observation was the ‘migration’ of politically-motivated nationwide Internet disruptions. The outages that occurred during the Arab Spring time frame were largely concentrated in North Africa and the Middle East, shifting over the last several years into sub-Saharan Africa. This shift has not gone unnoticed, with online publication Quartz also highlighting the growing trend of African governments blocking the Internet to silence dissent, and the United Nations taking note as well. In addition, as these shutdowns are now a more regular occurrence, both in Africa and in other areas around the world, it is also worth looking at the financial impact that they have on affected countries."
otf  shutdown  access  blackout 
november 2017 by dmcdev

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