███████ your site, fight SOPA

Tiffiny from American Censorship writes,

I've censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet--a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit: http://americancensorship.org/posts/4299/uncensor

People are pretty angry about two web censorship bills that would keep Americans ███████g websites like Boing Boing, and they've been very active in trying to stop███████bad bills from becoming law. This is the week to put all of our energy into killing the bill, to kill it for a long time. It's basically do-or-die right now. The must-kill web censorship bill SOPA ███████ is going to a vote that either means eventual passage to law or not. Can people take a few minutes for a full-on censorship protest this week? We're asking regular internet users in every community to censor their own posts (on Facebook, twitter, tumblr, news sites, their blogs, and on and on), surprise the world with all kinds of creative protests, and help melt the switchboards in Congress. If you hate these bills, it only makes sense to fight with us now. It's super simple to censor your posts or take actions in your own way, and give your friends and fa███████A and help kill it -- insert any text into the censorshipeverywhere tool, get a censored message back -- your friends can "uncensor" it by calling or emailing Congress. We made the censorshipeverywhere tool to put the power to kill these bills in your hands. Go wild with it. Use it to grab people's attention, and lead the way to defending internet freedom and free spe███████oing the noble deed of defending jobs and national security too. If the web censorship bills are allowed to pass with just a whimper, we will regret it for ages. On the flip side, we can kill the bill for a long time this week. We can't let t███████cedented coalition of tech companies, sites, and advocacy are joining and going out all week too, ███████se they hate this bill. The opposition is grow███████makes sense. ████ IS ████? It ████ up the █████ ████████ ██████████ ██████ by ███████████ █████████ ████ ████████ ████████ ████ ██████ -- it █████ ████ █████ █████ ████ of █████████ ████ ██████ for an ██████████ of ████████████ of ████ one ████. It █████ ████ █████, ████ ████ are ███████ via ████████, and █████████ to the ██████████'s █████ ████████ ██████, bad for ████████ ████████ (████ █████'t ███████ ████ ███████████).

Uncensor This


  1. Here’s a thing you might forget: We foreigners don’t have congresscritters we can write, nor do we want to view censored sites. We just get fucking annoyed and go elsewhere.

      1. I think you’ve missed the point.  Here in the UK, where we enjoy a greater degree of freedom of expression than in the US, we will visit sites in the US, see them all censored, and go “oh, that’s a shame” and find something else instead.

        Eventually American companies will go “Oh what, we’ve lost something like 80% of our readership/clickthroughs/eyeballs, sod this for a game of soldiers, let’s move the site to a country that still has some political freedom like Holland or Azerbaijan”

        Ever come across the term “brain drain” before?

        1. Out of curiosity, in what way does the UK have greater freedom of expression than the US?

          Last I checked, you had libel/defamation laws that have been used quite successfully to silence people, laws against possession of “illegal” information under your Terror act, laws against blaspheming Christianity and internet filters required by law implemented by your ISPs.

          1. Really? Can’t say I’d particularly noticed.
            Maybe it’s more noticeable to certain sections of the news media.

          2. Well for example, in the US you have libel and defamation laws that are used to silence people, laws against possession of “illegal” information and laws against… oh, really, do we have to do this?

            You have no Data Protection Act in the US, so any company that holds information about you is at liberty to do whatever they like with it and you have no say in the matter.

            Your libel laws are ridiculously unfair – in the UK, whoever is telling the truth wins but in the US whoever shows up with the most money wins.  This is not utterly unrelated to the SLAPP lawsuits.

            I don’t know what screaming red-top right-wing rag you got the internet filters thing from.  ISPs are not and have never been legally required to implement filtering. Some ISPs do it because it allows them to sell advertising.

            You have laws in the US that make it illegal to criticise the President.

            Furthermore, you have laws in the US that allow the police to break down your door and drag you away at gunpoint because one officer said they thought they might have smelt cannabis smoke, maybe.

            Oh, and let’s not forget the blanket CCTV coverage in US cities, and the use of UAVs to “monitor” private citizens.  Scary stuff!  I’ll just stay here in the third largest city in the UK, with around 60 CCTV cameras in total covering the city centre and one or two dotted around on some of the more accident-prone motorway junctions.

          3. What does the data protection act have to do with freedom of expression?

            And blanket CCTV? Compared to the UK? The UK has the highest number of CCTVs per capita in the world! And just because people have talked about using UAVs, doesn’t mean they will. They consider about a lot of stupid things.

            And some ISPs do? 95% of ISPs in the UK implement filters compiled by the Internet Watch Foundation according to Wikipedia’s entire article on Internet Censorship in the UK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_the_United_Kingdom and specifically mentions that ISPs being required to do so by Home Office Minister Vernon Croake in 1997.

            And calling our libel laws unfair is a laugh. Libel laws are so weak in the US that cases are almost never even brought up and when they are, it is usually against newspapers who promptly win them. In the UK, the downright draconian defamation laws favor the plaintiff and any celebrity can gag anyone who criticizes them.

          4. The UK has much more draconian STFU laws than the US does. How many successful libel suits can you name in the US in the last three decades compared to the UK? And superinjunctions? We only aspire to that level of suppression.

    1. Guess what, bro? If SOPA passes, it won’t matter where you are. You’ll have the exact same DNS censorship – because, for some odd reason, the US believes that it owns the internet. Maybe instead of complaining about such selfish sillyness, you can urge your own lawmakers to officially take action against the US for such ideas or condemn them.

      1. And you imagine that the US would take a blind bit of notice, eh?
        They’ll just carry on ignoring our protests like they ignore our protests about one-sided extradition orders signed by our illustrious former leader Princess Blair.

  2. It’s disturbing that this false meme has gained so much traction.  Spend a few minutes online at various pirate websites (content and counterfeit goods) and you will see it’s about only one thing. MONEY.  Today’s piracy is driven by the desire to make money (off other people’s work).  It’s open season on indie artists, authors, musicians, filmmakers, etc.  

    Why should the internet be above the law?  Legal commerce has moved online and so too has the illegal variety.  The only difference between the online bad guys is that there’s no laws to stop their activity.

    Companies like Google are motivated to oppose the legislation because they reap financial rewards from this illicit activity.  Venture to nearly every pirate website and it’s likely you’ll find a Google served ad (now cloaked as AdChoices).  They earn money off stolen content, the pirates earn money, while the creators earn ZERO.

    Another fact that is routinely ignored by piracy apologists is that those most vulnerable to the ravages of piracy is not “Big Hollywood” but the little guys–indie artists who earn a modest living from their work.  Why should we demonize them and their right to earn a living?

    Content creators are working hard to evolve and offer their products to consumers online in low-cost, convenient ways.  However, despite these efforts, and thanks to piracy, they are often forced to compete with FREE versions of themselves.

    Why go to a legit online portal and watch your favorite indie film for $2.99 when you can go to Megavideo.com and watch it for free.  The fact is that piracy dilutes the market for legitimate sales and undermines an artist’s ability to earn a living.

    This legislation will not censor anyone.  What it will do is give artists some recourse to battle those who steal their work and profit from it.  It should and will target the blood supply (profit) that feeds and encourages these pirates.  The time for action is now.

    1. Respectfully Sir.

      Get Bent. This has little to do with piracy except as a justification for silencing critics and forcing the world market to regress to a point where they could dictate terms so artists would have to come on bent knee and sign contracts at whatever terms they wish for the privilege of sucking essentially all but a few scraps of profit and using their likeness and backlog of music indefinitely I since copyright law seems to be headed to perpetual ownership rather than temporary.)

      Someone better articulated than me able to field this one? Yes this guy’s trolling and I’m probably doing wrong by feeding him, but… No. Just… No.I cannot let your ignorant tirade stand.Facebook. Twitter. All of it will become even more astroturfed than it already is by fake ‘grass roots’ advertising and ‘real life’ customer testimonials as an out of touch attempt at getting people’s good press.

      Under current laws, which are far less draconian than SOPA ever will be in any incarnation, Warner and Universal have both sent out dozens of takedown notices for material neither group owned and without any real recourse for the average person to correct. Under SOPA those notices would translate into domains (www.whatever.com/org/net/edu) with even less ability to respond to correct any sort of false notification and zero accountability to those that send such notices (let us for the moment assume these notices are sent in error rather than active malice.)

      Do you really want to have a web where every word, every video, soundbyte, comment. Everything has to be screened (at your expense) before being posted lest the site owners risk getting their ability to collect revenue removed and their site de-listed from search engines (which, hey guess what, includes google! who’d have thought a search engine company would oppose being forced to be a bully boy for somebody else’s ham-handed attempt’s at controlling the conservation?)

    2. “It’s disturbing that this false meme has gained so much traction.  Spend a few minutes online at various pirate websites (content and counterfeit goods) and you will see it’s about only one thing. MONEY.”

      Funny thing. Every single pirate site my friends have ever gone to, they went there solely for the purpose of getting whatever media they were looking for— free.

    3. The US has had the DMCA for years now, it gives publishers a proven method for removing unlicensed copyrighted content.

      That wasn’t enough for the artists’ masters, now they need the government to do their dirty work for them, at the taxpayer’s expense, while they’re busy giving themselves multimillion-dollar raises.

      Privatize the profits, socialize the losses.  It worked for the bankers, right?

  3. An option to specify that you’re writing from abroad but nevertheless are concerned, and still proceed to uncensored posts, would sort this. We should all be concerned about internet censorship wherever it occurs in the world.

  4. So I have to write an email arguing against censorship before I can read the post with intelligent reasons on why I should be against censorship, which would be suitable to put into that email… 

    1. 1)  Yes, that’s the point: censorship is an obstacle to discourse

      2)  You don’t already have intelligent reasons to be against censorship?  Yikes.

  5. There, I figured that I’d repost one of my older short stories on my blog — censored using this — to protest SOPA and PIPA:


    I thought about doing it to Hello Cory (my fanfiction about Cory Doctorow) but I decided to go with something that few of my fans have already read.

    Yes, my international fans will have to go through a process of regarding U.S. censorship in order to uncensored it — but PIPA and SOPA affect more than just the U.S. My ability to interact and communicate on the global scale as a U.S. citizen is interrupted when the government occludes my sight of the rest of the world and this cuts both ways when sites that would otherwise be seen by me lose me as an audience because my government made a decision for me.

    The entire idea of censorship of this type flies in the face of liberty.

    It’s bad for writers, bad for artists, bad for gamers, bad for anthropologists — and if I extricate myself from the niches where I overlap the unwashed masses, it’s bad for the masses as well.

  6. I posted it to the SCAQ Blog and Facebook, you should too. Congress will still pass it will but it will be a “shout out” that will be add “another brick in the wall” to eventually inspire the voters to block these attacks on free speech.

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