Tag: internet

United Nations Defends Internet to Russia’s Control

Within the current year, a couple of researchers from George Mason University, have established a website called WCITLeaks.org. This site allows users to upload and share documents that many government officials don’t want you to know about. One of which being the “Draft Compilation of Proposals with Options for Revisions to the ITRs.”

This ties into Russia’s desire to censor the internet. The United States plans to put this action to a halt at a United Nations conference later this year. Russian officials say they want the right to block access where it is used for “interfering in the internal affairs, or undermining the sovereignty, national security, territorial integrity and public safety of other states, or to divulge information of a sensitive nature”.

This may sound like a reasonable cause but the power that this would give the Russian government is far too fearful.

Members of the United Nations will gather this December to create a treaty for the World Conference on International Telecommunications. Russia has clearly shown the direction they want internet development to head in.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly felt a need for centralized control over the internet.

President Vladimir Putin, on right, pushes for centralized control of the web.

U.S. delegation has promised to block any and all proposals from Russia, and other countries for that matter, that they find to threaten the current governing structure of the internet or give “tacit approval to online censorship.”

However, these assurances have yet to lessen tension for bureaucrats and those that hold the power of the internet so dearly. The possibility of damaging the world’s single most powerful engine for exchanging information, employment opportunities, and revolution across the globe has kept many on their toes.

“Examples of where the internet has acted as a voice for change include when social networks played a key role in the Arab Spring uprisings that last year upended regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.”

Besides these factors, the provision has also been found to be in violation of Article 19 of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says “people shall have the right to access information through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Such an amended treaty would be sure to be followed by intense investigation by lawmakers wary of its promising dangers.

The U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) works around the general agreement of the public. So its proposals can be stopped by a considerable amount of objections from various countries.

Protesters from the Anonymous India group iun Mimbai of hackers protest laws that give government control of internet usage.
More than 190 nations are expected to attend the Dubai conference and the U.S. delegation now seeks support for positions at the meetings in anticipation of the conference.
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The Truth About SOPA and PIPA

Stop SOPA and PIPA
Protect your online rights! Stop SOPA & PIPA!

So, you might have heard some word about these bills “SOPA” (Stop Online Piracy Act) and “PIPA” (Protect IP Act). These bills were established October 26th, 2011 with the introduction of SOPA from the House of Representatives congressman – Lamar S. Smith. Basically the reason for the creation of these acts is to put an end to online piracy and the spread of illegally downloaded software, games, music, you name it. These bills come from the constant demand for intellectual property protection from organizations such as Universal Media Group, RIAA, and the MPAA. While this may seem like a very necessary and helpful action, the true potential of these bills is in fact far from its proclaimed intent.

What does SOPA and PIPA mean to you?

Together, these bills will allow for full censorship of the world-wide-web, otherwise known as the internet. What does that mean? It means that whatever you post on your Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, or whatever it may be – is up for revision by the U.S. government. Sounds a little bit like the censorship of the internet taking place in the People’s Republic of China, doesn’t it? That’s because it ultimately IS.

Let’s say you post a video on Youtube, whatever the intent of the video may be, and you include a song in that video. If you do not personally own the rights to that song, that video will be removed. Think of all the videos on Youtube right now that fit that description… That is a LOT of content, just gone now. Or maybe you post an image on your Facebook, something you found funny or just liked. Once again, that being an image you do not personally own, will be removed. This affects a lot of content and innovation that we all love so much on the web.

Here’s what will happen if SOPA and PIPA become laws of the U.S. constitution:

  • Security threats – countless websites will be forced to modify their software opening security holes and increased vulnerability to their websites.
  • Free Speech Infringement – the government controls what you can and can’t publish to what was once the worlds greatest free information resource.
  • Innovation Out the Window – developers and publishers will have a very hard time establishing government-approved content and products.
  • Internet Police” – The federal government will be using ISPs, cable companies, web hosts, etc. as their task force to achieved a censored internet.

That is just the quick summary of what these bills could mean. Maybe the bill sponsors Lamar Smith and Patrick Leahy didn’t intend on infringing on free speech or basically destroying the internet we all know and love, but that is exactly what these bills threaten to do if passed.

The sad part is that there are other ways to run a business in these industries without violating U.S. law or taking part in online piracy. Services such as iTunes, Steam, Pandora, and Last-FM all offer services for digital goods like music, movies, and games, and they do it LEGALLY. All it takes is a little innovation to provide a better service like these organizations do. What does the federal government want to do? Take full control of the internet and online life.

What can you do?

I know it seems like there isn’t much you can do about this sort of thing, but you are the ones that CAN. Contact your local representatives office and give them a piece of your mind!

Find and contact your local representative:

Join the fight against online censorship:

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