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[liberationtech] US State Department not for internet freedom - Opinion - Al Jazeera English by EFF staffer

Collin Anderson collin at averysmallbird.com
Sat Nov 19 15:34:03 PST 2011


So if a system already exists to censor entities that fall under American law, how does SOPA present any more of a threat to the ability of activists to use the Internet for mobilization? Moreover, how does SOPA expose the United States to allegations of hypocrisy any more than the seizure of domain names or the DMCA?  

SOPA is clearly an insidious law, it occurs to me that things like Tor hidden services could constituted an abridgment of SOPA. It's unfortunate, then, that the discussion surrounding it endangering Internet Freedom has consisted mostly of hyperbole, unsubstantiated comments and broader discussion of American foreign policy.  

-- 
Collin David Anderson
averysmallbird.com (http://averysmallbird.com/) | @cda | Washington, D.C.


On Friday, November 18, 2011 at 7:04 PM, Jillian York wrote: 
> To Ahmed's latter point, considering DMCA has already been abused to take down human rights content in several instances (all of which, I'm glad to say, were successfully appealed in the end), I have no doubt that SOPA could do the same.
> 
> On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 3:42 PM, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin <ashihab at gmail.com (mailto:ashihab at gmail.com)> wrote:
> > I'm currently editing an essay by Maryam Al Khawaja that really takes the US to task on its convenient inaction in Bahrain in the face of oppresssion which can be juxtaposed with State's convenient referencing in the letter Jillian shared of the so called "Arab Spring" and role of internet as a tool to fight government oppression.
> > 
> > Speaking of US inconsistencies as it pertains to "Arab Spring"  - aside from surveillance exports to Syria, there is also the hosting of as many as 17 Syrian gov websites on US (and Canadian) servers (that can be seen as violation the US's own sanctions on Syria) that highlights US duplicity in context of Arabs demanding dignity.
> > 
> > As the Al Jaz article says, "under SOPA, any site hosting videos, even if they are used to draw attention to human rights abuses, will be easily derailed if an overzealous copyright holder decides to use one alleged violation to strangle the whole site."
> > 
> > To say this is a "threat" to the bold/burgeoning entrepreneurial tech scene in the region would be a grave understatement.
> > 
> > On Nov 18, 2011, at 6:13 PM, Jillian York wrote:
> > 
> > > Here's the letter (opens as PDF): www.mpaa.org/Resources/55b3874e-ad7c-40b0-b33f-760ca5d23390.pdf (http://www.mpaa.org/Resources/55b3874e-ad7c-40b0-b33f-760ca5d23390.pdf)
> > >
> > > I find the sentence about the Arab Spring pretty rich, considering State's utter inaction on Bahrain, not to mention their slow response (aside from Alec's tweets) regarding the myriad surveillance exports to Syria.
> > >
> > > On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 3:00 PM, Evgeny Morozov <evgeny.morozov at gmail.com (mailto:evgeny.morozov at gmail.com)> wrote:
> > > Katrin:
> > >
> > > If Clinton has no way of influencing the debate on SOPA and related net freedom issues, then, perhaps, it was a dumb idea to frame the "net freedom agenda" as she/DoS did in both of her speeches.
> > >
> > > Tactically, State Department's silence on this issue is a disaster. Few outside of the US know the intricacies of domestic policy-making (e.g. who's allowed to talk about what) but everyone surely knows about the benchmark they set for the USG with "net freedom" rhetoric. USG has by any possible measure fallen short of that benchmark and Clinton, so keen to tout net freedom in China and Iran, says nothing about it (or, worse, says something mildly supportive). How is that NOT an issue for the State Department?
> > >
> > > I think AJE piece is very well-argued and does highlight the inept nature of DoS's rhetorical construction of the net freedom problem.
> > >
> > > Evgeny
> > >
> > > On Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 5:48 PM, Katrin Verclas <katrin at mobileactive.org (mailto:katrin at mobileactive.org)> wrote:
> > > Is the Clinton letter online somewhere in its entirety?
> > >
> > > This is a really poorly argued piece if it's based on that one sentence from Clinton's letter. The gal has to answer Congress but can't lobby for or against legislation. Talk to anyone at State - they do not like SOPA there. Obviously, the author did not bother.  And, who would disagree with her statement? It's finely worded but certainly not an 'endorsement'.
> > >
> > > Seems unusually gratuitous and an entirely red herring to focus on DOS when it's a bunch of Congressional hacks who drive the legislation, supported by pretty big money from pharma and old media/Hollywood.
> > >
> > > Katrin
> > >
> > >
> > > Sent via mobile. Hence, short.
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Miles Fidelman <mfidelman at meetinghouse.net (mailto:mfidelman at meetinghouse.net)>
> > > Sender: liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu (mailto:liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu)
> > > Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 17:05:27
> > > To: <liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu (mailto:liberationtech at lists.stanford.edu)>
> > > Subject: [liberationtech] US State Department not for internet freedom -
> > >  Opinion - Al Jazeera English by EFF staffer
> > >
> > > Fallout from SOPA:
> > >
> > >
> > > http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/20111116141248301243.html
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> > > jilliancyork.com (http://jilliancyork.com) | @jilliancyork | tel: +1-857-891-4244 (tel:%2B1-857-891-4244)
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> jilliancyork.com (http://jilliancyork.com) | @jilliancyork | tel: +1-857-891-4244
> 
> 
> 
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