And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Internet Censorship Bill Threatens Free Speech, Rule of Law | Cato @ Liberty

Posted on: November 19, 2010

Internet Censorship Bill Threatens Free Speech, Rule of Law | Cato @ Liberty.

Obama and his Socialist cohorts are coming quickly for the  People’s Grapevine!  If not for the Internet there would not have been a Tea Party Movement, nor would We the People know  what the Obama Administration was doing to destroy America.  The Internet makes it possible for common people to communicate with each other   and to research  for information.  The lame duck congress is trying to push this law thru before the Republicans take over the House in January.  This is unlawful censorship!  BB

See the entire article from the  Cato Institute below:

nternet Censorship Bill Threatens Free Speech, Rule of Law

Posted by Timothy B. Lee

On Thursday the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act . Its backers, including Hollywood and the recording industry, are hoping to rush the legislation through Congress during the current “lame duck” session. The legislation empowers the attorney general to draw up a list of Internet domain names he considers to be “dedicated to infringing activities,” and to obtain a variety of court orders designed to block access to these sites for American Internet users.

To understand the proposal, it helps to know a bit about the Domain Name System, or DNS, that is the focus of the bill. The DNS is the Internet’s directory service. Computers on the Internet are assigned (mostly) unique numbers like “72.32.118.3,” but these numbers are not convenient for human users to remember. So instead websites use domain names like “cato.org,” and our computers use the DNS system to automatically translates these names into their corresponding IP addresses. DNS is a distributed system; thousands of Internet Service Providers operate DNS servers for the use of their own customers.

Under COICA (Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act), when the attorney general accused a domain name of being “dedicated” to copyright infringement, the courts would issue orders not against the owners of the domain name (who may be overseas) but against domain-name registrars and the operators of DNS (Domain Name System) servers here in the United States. This means that thousands of systems administrators would be required to maintain a large and constantly-changing list of blacklisted domains. This is a significant and unfair administrative burden on private parties who have absolutely no connection to infringing activities.

The legislation falls far short of constitutional due process requirements. Legal injunctions would be issued upon the attorney general’s mere accusation of “infringing activities.” Not only would the owner of the domain name not have an opportunity to contest the allegations, he would not even have to be notified. And the parties who would receive notice under the legislation—DNS registrars and server administrators—will typically have no knowledge of or connection to the accused domain, which means they would have neither the knowledge or the motivation to dispute unreasonable orders.

This is especially problematic because we are talking about constitutionally-protected speech here. The Supreme Court has long held that prior restraints of speech are unconstitutional. The websites on the government’s blacklist may have a large amount of constitutionally-protected speech on them, in addition to allegedly-infringing material. Not only does COICA(Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act) not require the government to prove its allegations before a domain name is blocked, it doesn’t require the government to ever prove them.

Earlier this year, my colleague Jim Harper praised Secretary Clinton’s speech making Internet freedom a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s diplomatic agenda. Secretary Clinton was right to lecture foreign governments about the evils of Internet censorship; her former colleagues in the US Senate should listen to her.

2 Responses to "Internet Censorship Bill Threatens Free Speech, Rule of Law | Cato @ Liberty"

Just the fact that this idea has been under discussion in Congress is scary. The Constitution guarantees free speech, something Internet censorship would eradicate.

Again, I find it hard to believe that the American people are so willing to just lay there and let our government walk all over us.

Has the American “Will” to survive been so easily destroyed? Is it possible that the hard times many are going thru right now have basically taken the “Will” to fight back from them?

Is it possible that we have been so emotionally traumatized that we no longer find ourselves capable of standing up and just saying “No” to these elected officials that somewhere along the line decided that they had the “Right” and the “Power” to take
from us what was not theirs to give?

Our President and our Congress somehow decided that they are smarter than those who voted to put them into office. These elitists have talked back to us, talked down to us and are now trying to shut us up, and “We the People” are complying.

The World warned us, even our enemies warned us to pay attention to what was going on in our country, but we just turned a blind eye. Now, we are suffering, but let me tell you, the worst is yet to come.

Will the silent majority ever wake up? I cannot believe that the Baby Boomers never taught their children how to defend themselves from the enemy. Right now, today, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Korea, Afghanistan are not our enemy; We Are! ss

The enemy within is US! Agree Snappy. But I think right now the people who are aware are just waiting to see what the new Congress is able to accomplish. Those who are aware are generally Conservatives with some education above the par and therfore not apt to go off in a rage and start burning automobiles and breaking windows. However at some point we will I believe move on Washington enmass to overtake the government. It may even be a coup by our military to take back our country. I do know from personal acquaintantes that the soldiers hate Obama.

Who knows. I am just sitting here waiting because even if there is a movement against “him and they” i will still be on the side lines cheering. BB

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