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Messin' with Lamar Smith, Revisited

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 22 2012

Remember that grassroots fundraising campaign to put a "Don't Mess with the Internet" billboard in the home district of Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas and sponsor of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act? All of the money required came in, and Fight for the Future, the advocacy group opposing more stringent copyright protections online, writes that the billboard went up. Read More

Messin' With Lamar Smith

BY Nick Judd | Monday, March 12 2012

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is leading a grassroots fund-raising campaign to place a "Don't Mess with the Internet" billboard in the home district of Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), a sponsor of the stalled-in-committee Stop Online Piracy Act. Read More

Germany Delays ACTA Ratification

BY TechPresident Staff | Friday, February 10 2012

It appears that the federal government in Germany will delay ratification of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a sweeping international treaty that includes provisions about intellectual property and online copyright infringement along with stifling the flow of counterfeit goods and pharmaceuticals, according to reports in Der Spiegel and elsewhere. The German government will not act on ACTA until European Parliament makes a move on the treaty, according to reports. Read More

"Power Politics in the Age of Google"

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 9 2012

TechPresident's editorial director, Micah Sifry, will be speaking this afternoon on a panel at Harvard University called "Power Politics in the Age of Google," alongside Susan Crawford, Nicco Mele, Elaine Kamarck and Alexis Ohanian. The panel will be moderated by Harvard Shorenstein Center Director Alex Jones, and will be live-streamed here. Read More

First POST: Fallout from SOPA, ACTA, and Megaupload

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, January 30 2012

Photo: Elsie Esq.

In today's First POST:

  • As a Mitt Romney campaign ad has NBC News executives up in arms, an FCC proposal would ask local television stations to post online disclosures about the political ads they're airing;
  • Voters overseas may have a greater influence in this year's elections thanks to technology;
  • How the Megaupload case has spawned a lawsuit against the FBI abroad, according to reports.
All this and more in today's First POST, your daily round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

In Germany, SOPA, PIPA and Megaupload Spark Debate in Merkel's Party

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 26 2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's political party is split internally over a recent statement in support of controversial American anti-piracy legislation — and the fight is playing out on Twitter. Two officials in Merkel's conservative CDU Party recently released a statement with a title that translates from the German as "The American SOPA-legislation points in the right direction." Then, several members of the same party took to Twitter to voice their disagreement with the statement. The statement references the Stop Online Piracy Act, legislation stalled in the U.S. House, and related legislation in the Senate, called the Protect IP Act and further shortened to PIPA in favor of an even longer and more unwieldy name. Those bills were put on hold last week after widespread protest spurred by a nationwide coalition of online businesses. Read More

Young Adults Were Fixated On Fight Over Anti-Piracy Legislation, Pew Says

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 24 2012

The Pew Research Center on People & the Press notes today that young adults followed the battle over the Stop Online Piracy Act more closely than any other news story, according to new survey results. A survey conducted Jan. 19-22 among 1,002 adults by the Pew center found that while 26 percent of all respondents were interested in news about a cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy and only 7 percent were interested in online piracy legislation, the figures were drastically different for adults age 18-29. Read More

Public Knowledge Statement: Start Over On Anti-Piracy Legislation

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 20 2012

Public Knowledge legal director Harold Feld says, in a statement, that Congress should start from scratch on anti-piracy legislation to replace a now-stalled pair of bills in the Senate and House. Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that Senate legislation would be delayed, and Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican of Texas, House Judiciary Committee chairman and the key sponsor of related House legislation, also agreed to postpone movement on his bill, too. House Speaker John Boehner had previously called for "consensus" on the bill before bringing it to the floor. Read More

MPAA's Dodd: Time to Change "Dynamics of the Conversation" About Piracy

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 20 2012

Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd just released a statement calling the delay of controversial anti-piracy legislation a "failure to act" but, at the same time, seeming to ask Internet industry back to the table. "With today’s announcement," he said, per the statement, "we hope the dynamics of the conversation can change and become a sincere discussion about how best to protect the millions of American jobs affected by the theft of American intellectual property." Read More

In the Senate, Anti-Piracy Legislation Is Delayed

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 20 2012

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office is circulating a statement today in which the Democrat of Nevada announces he will delay action on controversial anti-piracy legislation until the bill can be changed. Read More

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China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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