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Main | Defend our Freedom to Share (or Why SOPA is a Bad Idea) »
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:

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