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Stop American Censorship (SOPA/PIPA)

Congress is about to pass internet censorship, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill - PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House - to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity.

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Don't let this legislation pass. IP holders want to control what you can and can't do and don't care about your interests. Don't let them have their way in passing this legislation.

LOLcats, Porn, Proxies and Censorship

Based on my Tripod experience, I’d offer the hypothesis that any sufficiently advanced read/write technology will get used for two purposes: pornography and activism. Porn is a weak test for the success of participatory media - it’s like tapping a mike and asking, “Is it on?” If you’re not getting porn in your system, it doesn’t work. Activism is a stronger test - if activists are using your tools, it’s a pretty good indication that your tools are useful and usable.

In late 1996, we noticed that Tripod was receiving a great deal of traffic from Malaysia. Searching through the server logs, we found lots of pages in Bahasa Malay talking about “Reformasi” and “Anwar Ibrahim”. I had to visit the Political Science department at Williams College to figure out that we were apparently hosting much of the Malaysian opposition political movement, dedicated to helping deposed and imprisoned deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim return to power. Malaysian media was largely closed to opposition voices, but investment in internet infrastructure meant that the opposition was able to access the internet and publish material that couldn’t be disseminated any other way. (Several of these pages still exist on Tripod.)

FTC Sides Against Net Neutrality

he Federal Trade Commission has cautioned against regulations that would ensure telecom providers treat all internet traffic the same way.

In a report released late Wednesday, the FTC's Internet Access Task Force accepted arguments posed by cable and phone companies that government intervention in Net Neutrality is unnecessary, as competition would prevent internet providers from taking advantage of customers.

Interesting, seems like this debate was ages ago and dropped off the radar. But, it seems FTC has decided against net neutrality. What does that mean for you (assuming you're a US internet user)? God knows... while much of it is speculative, discriminating internet traffic is the largest concern. Backroom deals with ISPs who control the users on the ISPs? Blocking competitors? If/when such things happen, you can be sure your proxy traffic will soar as people try and circumvent blocking, delays and such imposed at an ISP level.

So who wins from this? Cable/DSL companies surely, maybe even those that can strike deals with them if it comes to that. Who loses? The consumer.... if net neutrality were imposed could you see any harm to you the consumer? No favoring of traffic.... everyone being treated equal, doesn't seem so bad to me.

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