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[liberationtech] White House Petition - Deny Visas to Censors

Shava Nerad shava23 at
Sat Feb 9 15:18:25 PST 2013

On Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM, Trevor Timm <trevor at> wrote:

> Also, I can't really think of a worse way people can advocate for free
> expression than banning people from this country with views that are
> different than theirs - no how repugnant those views are.

There are better ways to restrict trade than limiting visa issues -- but I
think the intent was to put the power of restricting this into the hands of
the State Department who might be assumed by the originator to be more
sympathetic than the Department of Commerce, say, or Congress.

Although I can see that this would be a way to do a fiat end-run of that
variety it's not right, for the reasons you mention.  It opens us up to
some nasty criticism that could do more damage in the end.

The right thing to do, as painful as it is, is to educate the right parties
as to why these things are not pragmatic in the long run for anyone to use,
including state side, as mechanisms for control.  And then push them back
in the market here too.

We regulate the marketplace when we find harmful products -- items that
produce antidemocratic things or false information are among the things we
restrict.  False advertising, paying off voters, all sorts of things are
regulated by law that have to do with information flow or restriction.

If we want to get private company censorship profits on this list we need
to form strategies to get it included in those categories, and figure out
how to successfully and effectively get it past the assymetrical influence
we would be countering in DC.


> --

Shava Nerad
shava23 at
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