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All posts tagged "SOPA"

  • Upcoming UN summit could change web freedom forever

    An upcoming UN summit on international telecommunications could see wholesale changes in a global treaty that would diminish the internet's role in economic growth and restrict the free flow of information. That's if a group of dozens of countries reportedly engaged in secret meetings ahead of the summit have their way. The US delegation attending the World Conference on International Telecommunications to be held in Dubai in December has vowed to block...

  • What is CISPA and why should we care? [Infographic]

    It seems like the US government is just spending its time drawing up laws that cause online controversy. There was the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), and now there is another **PA floating around in the form of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). CISPA is essentially trying to guard against cyberthreats by encouraging the sharing of information, but some critics argue its definitions are too vague. Some say that it could turn companies like Facebook and Google into "government spies" as they could be offered immunity if they hand over their...

  • America’s new cybersecurity bill faces opposition from the top

    Lawmakers in the US incurred the wrath of the web when they tried to push the SOPA and PIPA bills. Now they could find themselves facing even stronger opposition as they try to push through the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (better known as CISPA). The lawmakers claim that CISPA is designed to help private businesses and government share information more easily. Its critics, however, believe that it would effectively mean...

  • Microsoft Messenger blocks Pirate Bay links

    In the war between online pirates and content producers, it’s pretty obvious which side of the fence Microsoft stands on. The Redmond-based software-giant has started blocking all links to The Pirate Bay in Microsoft Messenger. According to The Verge, anyone who attempts to send through a link to the renowned file-sharing site is met with a reply saying: "the link you tried to send was blocked because it was reported as unsafe." The...

  • Reddit users draft legislation to protect internet freedom

    A group of Reddit users has banded together to write its own legislation aimed at protecting freedom on the web. The group, which has gathered around the sub reddit r/fia, is drafting a piece of legislation it calls the Free Internet Act (FIA). The people behind FIA claim they want to “promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation by preventing the restriction of liberty and preventing the means of censorship”. According to the...

  • If SOPA was an aircraft carrier, ACTA and TPP are nuclear submarines

    SOPA is on ice for now -- some say dead -- but we need to remain vigilant. It’s difficult however, when governments create new laws that threaten internet freedom of speech and privacy, in secret under the guise of trade agreements. There’s a lot of discussion around the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). While some hail it as the next SOPA, others see it as less insidious. Much of the anti ACTA histrionics are actually ripple effects from the interpretation of earlier drafts of the agreement, but there are definitely key issues to be concerned about. What is ACTA? ACTA is an international...

  • SOPA author withdraws controversial anti-piracy bill

    Lamar Smith, the author of America's proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), has withdrawn the controversial bill. According to Reuters, the Texas congressman decided to pull the bill in the wake of mass online protests from people in the US and abroad. Smith's decision comes shortly after US Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said, "in light of recent events" he would postpone a critical vote that had been scheduled for January 24. Smith said that similar legislation would not be considered "until there is wider agreement on a solution." "I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns...

  • Wikipedia says it’s not done protesting SOPA

    Wikipedia may be back to full working order, but the massive online encyclopaedia says it isn’t done fighting the Stop Online Piracy Act(SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). The Wikimedia foundation, which is the organisation behind Wikipedia and a variety of other Wiki projects, thanked the 162-million or so people who saw its message asking them “imagine a world without free knowledge”. The free online encyclopaedia went on to catalogue some of...

  • #FactsWithoutWikipedia climbs the Twitter trends amidst SOPA protest

    Wikipedia’s decision to black its site out in protest against SOPA has generally been greeted with enthusiastic support from around the web. The truth is, whether or not you admit it, some of us are feeling a little lost without the world’s most popular tool for settling bar fights and deep intellectual rants -- "the Sun is a star", for instance. That’s why we showed you how to get around the blackout....

  • White House adds voice to SOPA opposition

    The controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), currently making its way through the US House of Representatives, has received another massive blow -- this time from above. In an official statement made on behalf of the Obama administration, three senior officials including Aneesh Chopra, the administration's Chief Technology Officer, have made it clear that any legislation coming across the president’s desk "must not threaten an open and innovative internet". The trio stressed, however,...

  • International websites banned in Belarus

    Residents of Belarus, an eastern European country, are now forbidden from accessing foreign websites. Any citizen who breaks the new law is liable to face a fine of up to US$125. All entrepreneurs and companies in Belarus will now have to register as part of the compliance for the new law. If the company or private individual offers commercial services, only local email, hosting and payment providers can be used. This vaguely...

  • What America’s piracy act means for business and innovation [Infographic]

    America’s proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), if passed, has massive ramifications. Any website deemed to be hosting copyrighted material stands the chance of having access to its domain name blocked. That means a whole slew of mashups, fan tributes and unauthorised remixes would disappear from the internet forever. Sites that depend on online advertising could also have their revenue completely cut off, as the act would empower the Attorney General to ban...

  • SOPA: Why YouTube fans need to be worried about America’s piracy bill

    Americans are currently up in arms over the Stop Online Piracy Act, making its way through the United States’ government. And if you’re not in the US and think SOPA is something that's happening far away and won't affect you, think again. If passed into law, our lives online will be very different. In short, SOPA is attracting attention due to its broad nature. As the internet is so vast, there’s no knowing where the line is. If passed, the act will give the United States Attorney General the ability to close down websites which infringe copyrights, as...

  • SOPA, a law unto itself

    Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA was introduced by the US House of representatives as a positive means of combating piracy but, noble as its intent may be, it could fundamentally change how we use the internet. The new bill effectively hands over the user's freedom of expression to the entertainment industry. If an IP address is seen as "engaging in, enabling or facilitating copyright infringement", its domain is blocked. The corporations who own...