Monday, December 20, 2010

Internet Censors

The following is a list of Senators who voted for the COICA bill. Sold as a bill to prevent piracy, if passed, it is far more likely to be used to censor the internet. The story, as it arrived in my email, apparently comes from at least two sources, Aletho News and the American Post – Gazette.

There are probably many who have inadvertently violated copyright laws. Their sites and blogs might well be shutdown under this law as was done with wikileaks. In fact, possibly every site on the internet that passes on something they read on another site could be shutdown. Since the Book Burning Act of 1978, it isn't even necessary to register a copyright. Just the act of publishing automatically copyrights it. So says a flyer printed by an office supply store and given to people wanting to have copies made of something that may be protected. If you have no proof that what you want copied is in the public domain or that you have permission from the copyright owner, they won't print it unless it was published prior to 1923, hence, the “Book Burning Act.” Of course, the shutting down will likely be selective with those sites that oppose America's Big Brother government comprising the bulk.

According to the email I received, a number of law professors have explained the unconstitutionality of the bill, but it doesn't matter to those pushing it, including a number of Senators who have been denouncing censorship in other countries.

This is the list. Some are repeat offenders having already supported the healthcare obamanation and/or illegal immigration or “liberalized” immigration laws.

* Patrick J. Leahy – Vermont also “healthcare” and defender of illegals or “liberalized” laws

* Herb Kohl – Wisconsin also “healthcare”

* Jeff Sessions - Alabama

* Dianne Feinstein – California also “healthcare”

* Orrin G. Hatch - Utah

* Russ Feingold – Wisconsin also “healthcare” and defender of illegals or “liberalized” laws

* Chuck Grassley - Iowa

* Arlen Specter – Pennsylvania also “healthcare”

* Jon Kyl - Arizona

* Chuck Schumer - New York also “healthcare”

* Lindsey Graham - South Carolina

* Dick Durbin – Illinois also “healthcare”

* John Cornyn - Texas

* Benjamin L. Cardin – Maryland also “healthcare” and defender of illegals or “liberalized” laws

* Tom Coburn - Oklahoma

* Sheldon Whitehouse - Rhode Island also “healthcare”

* Amy Klobuchar – Minnesota also “healthcare”

* Al Franken – Minnesota also “healthcare”

* Chris Coons – Delaware (This is the clown that thinks part of the First Amendment deals with a “separation of church and state.”)

The list came to me with the following comment: “You would think that our own elected officials would understand the First Amendment but, apparently, they have no problem turning the US into one of the small list of authoritarian countries that censors internet content it does not like. We already have laws in place to deal with infringing content, so don't buy the excuse that this law is about stopping infringement. This law takes down entire websites based on the government's say-so. First Amendment protections make clear that if you are going to stop any specific speech, it has to be extremely specific speech. This law has no such restrictions. It's really quite unfortunate that these 19 US Senators are the first American politicians to publicly vote in favor of censoring speech in America.”

To be fair, there may be sound reasoning behind the government and its controllers wanting to effectively shutdown the internet. What do you think?

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