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Jane Kagon
Executive Editor
Marion Brown
Managing Editor  
Mike Campbell
Social Media Editor 
Maureen Feldman
Social Enterprise Editor 
Karina Saravia
Science Editor 
Nadia Walker
Entertainment Editor 
Ariel Lapidus
Communication Design Editor 
Bob Lasiewicz
Education Editor 
Kris Slava
Entertainment Editor 
Marty Perlmutter
Journalism Editor
Richard Kroon
Education Editor 
Lisa Mattson
Science Editor 
Corine Ganem
Journalism Editor

 

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Thursday
May172012

PIPA, SOPA, CISPA, ACTA... and the Beat Goes On...

Jane Kagon
May, 2012 

The Center for Democracy and Technology's (CDT) white paper of February 2012 entitled What Every Policy Maker Should Know About The Internet, states that "the Internet today is a technology of freedom and innovation" precisely because the policies that have arisen with the technology have historically been aligned with the essential open nature of that technology. But now, the principles of the First Amendment, free speech and privacy, which underlie the Internet's continued growth and evolution are being challenged by political and market-place counter forces. 

The white paper lists the legitimate areas of concern by policy makers, including controlling objectionable content online, promoting anti-terrorism legislation and protecting intellectual property,but stress that these legislators need to focus on the true values of the Internet as an innovative, global technology which is open and decentralized and which has a low barrier of entry and a limitless capacity to empowers its users. The CDT encourages policy makers to gain a better understanding of the essential nature of the internet to avoid passing draconian laws that will effectively destroy the Internet as we know it and negatively impact innovation, free enterprise and civil liberties. 

Wikipedia is a good resource for summaries of Internet related policies being promulgated on a regular basis, including: SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) PIPA (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) CISPA (The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) and ACTA (The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.) For more on the ongoing battle over the Internet, see selected artilces below:

Thursday
May172012

Defend our Freedom to Share (or Why SOPA is a Bad Idea)

Wednesday
May162012

What Is ACTA ?

Monday
May142012

Regulating Google Results Would Violate First Amendment

Timothy B. Lee
Ars Technica, May 10 2012

Wikimedia Commons

A prominent First Amendment scholar has co-authored a white paper arguing that search engines enjoy the same high level of First Amendment protections as traditional media outlets. Google commissioned the paper, presumably to help ward off calls for government regulation of its search results.

As Google has grown in size and influence, it has attracted a growing chorus of critics who accuse it of anti-competitive conduct. Some Google critics have promoted the concept of "search neutrality,"though others have labeled the concept "incoherent." The company is also increasingly targeted by those who demand that Google scrub unwanted details from specific searches Read more…

Sunday
May132012

Copyrights and Internet Piracy (SOPA and PIPA Legislation)

The New York Times, Updated: Feb. 8, 2012

For years, pirated movies, television shows and music have been on the Internet. And for just as long, Hollywood and the entertainment business have been trying and failing to stop it.

But with more and faster broadband networks as well as powerful and speedy computers, the playing of illegally copied music and movies is booming, as are sales of counterfeit goods from auto parts to pharmaceuticals. Because most pirate sites are abroad, beyond the reach of United States law enforcement, companies have been left with a Whac-a-Mole approach to shutting them down. Read more… 

Sunday
May132012

CISPA = SOPA 2.0?

Monday
May072012

FBI Wants Wiretap-Ready Social Networks Soon 

Sam Laird 
Mashable.com, May 06, 2012 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation wants to make Facebook and other social networks easier to use for spying on suspected criminals ? and it wants access ASAP. High-ranking FBI officials and other government representatives have been meeting with Internet industry leaders to ask them not to oppose a proposed law that would give federal agencies backdoor access to social networking sites, CNET reports. The FBI?s argument? As communication has shifted more and more online, previous laws allowing wiretaps on phone lines are becoming less and less useful. FBI lawyers have reportedly drafted a proposal that if passed into law would require social networking sites to rework their code for easier surveillance. It would also apply to instant messaging, VoIP and email providers that exceed a certain number of users. Read more…

Wednesday
Apr182012

If Corporations are People, You Can Kiss Our Democracy Goodbye, My Friend…But Wait!

Jane Kagon
April, 2012

U.S. UncutIs that the cavalry coming to the rescue? Are citizens of America, as opposed to Citizens United, rallying around the flag to save Old Glory? Are we hearing a loudening hue and cry from our common sense citizenry and more enlightened legislators protesting the “money equals free speech” conclusion of the 2010 US Supreme Court’s majority ruling in the Citizens United vs the Federal Elections Commission case?

With the upcoming 2012 elections, the Tsunami of propaganda unleashed by Citizens United is gaining force. But there is a stirring from early adaptors committed to preserving our civil liberties. Several states, including California, Hawaii and New Mexico, have already come on line and have proposed or have passed resolutions to invalidate Citizens United. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has joined 10 other attorneys general in calling on Congress to reverse the Supreme Court's decision. And just this past week, the US Supreme Court has agreed to take a Montana case, Western Tradition Partnership v. Attorney General that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer say will give it a chance to rethink its infamous Citizens United v. FEC decision. 

So now is the time for those of us who have been merely watching from the sidelines to fight for our civil liberties and join forces to support an amendment to the US Consitution which would provide that a corporation is not a person and that money is not speech and that both can be regulated.

Wednesday
Apr182012

'Citizens United' Backlash: Montana Supreme Court Upholds State's Corporate Campaign Spending Ban

The Huffington Post, January 4, 2012

WASHINGTON -- The Montana Supreme Court has put itself on a collision course with the U.S. Supreme Court by upholding a century-old state law that bans corporate spending in state and local political campaigns.

The law, which was passed by Montana voters in 1912 to combat Gilded Age corporate control over much of Montana's government, states that a "corporation may not make ... an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political party that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party." In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, struck down a similar federal statute, holding that independent electoral spending by corporations "do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption" that such laws were enacted to combat. Read more…

Tuesday
Apr172012

Move to Amend's Proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution

Section 1 [A corporation is not a person and can be regulated]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.  

Section 2 [Money is not speech and can be regulated]

Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure. 

Section 3 

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press. Read more…

Monday
Apr162012

The Story of Citizens United vs the FEC

Monday
Apr162012

Bill Moyers on How Citizens can nullify the Citizens United decision