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SOPA/PIPA

The battle over so-called 'online piracy' has awakened a sleeping tiger. For years, the Internet community has been outgunned and outspent by Hollywood and the copyright cartel in Washington. Now, proposed legislation that would enable the government to take drastic action against rogue websites and force internet service providers to police content moving through their services far more stringently has triggered a growing response from tech companies large and small. From COICA to Protect-IP to SOPA and PIPA, the acronyms have changed but the goal has been largely the same: make sharing of content harder, even impossible, to shore up the business models of intellectual property owners. But as we have been reporting, this push in Washington is now being met by a new force, made by an intriguing alliance between Internet companies, popular websites and their users.

Seven Lessons from SOPA/PIPA/Megaupload and Four Proposals on Where We Go From Here

BY Yochai Benkler | Wednesday, January 25 2012

Yochai Benkler photo by Joichi Ito, CC-BY 2.0

A guest post from Yochai Benkler, who writes: "On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, a new model of politics succeeded in bringing to a halt legislation that had been pushed by some of the most powerful industry lobbies in Washington, which began its life with broad bi-partisan support in both chambers of Congress. The political calculus seems to have changed drastically this week, and we need to understand how to exploit and harness the changing winds to expand and lock in this initial victory." Read More

After SOPA/PIPA Victory, Tech is Thinking About Tackling Political Reform

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, January 24 2012

Illustration: Shutterstock

In the wake of last week's online uprising against the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, there's a fascinating dynamic starting to unfold as technology leaders and grassroots activists wrestle with the question: now what? Read More

The Day the Internet Started Fighting Congress

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, January 18 2012

Ron Conway at an anti-SOPA rally in San Francisco on Wednesday. Photo: Sarah Lai Stirland / techPresident

Throngs of technologists took to the streets in New York and San Francisco Wednesday to protest controversial anti-piracy legislation now before Congress, two of five events planned across the country, as many people who depend on Internet freedom for their livelihood shuttered their websites for the day and marched in an unprecedented level of political cohesiveness from online industry. Read More

Are PIPA and SOPA Dead? White House Issues Strong Declaration Against Its Key Provisions

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Saturday, January 14 2012

Is there light at the end of the tunnel for Internet activists? Illustration: Kainet / Flickr

The Obama administration on Saturday took the unprecedented step of engaging the internet community online about the problems that a pair of controversial online intellectual property protection bills would cause online businesses and start-ups. Read More

Protesting SOPA: There's An App (Actually Several) For That

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, January 13 2012

Tony Webster and Andy Baird have put up virtual protest signs in front of websites belonging to entities that support SOPA

A new Chrome plug-in flags web sites belonging to companies and entities that support the Stop Online Piracy Act, controversial anti-piracy legislation. Once at one of these web sites, Chrome browser users with this plug-in see a red bar at the top of the web page that reads: “Internet Blacklist Legislation Supporter! This company may be a supporter of the dangerous SOPA or PIPA legislation.” Clicking on the bar takes them to a Reddit page with an FAQ about the legislation. Welcome to the emerging world of programmer activism, in which protests against ideas they find objectionable manifest in code and not just letters to lawmakers. Read More

PIPA Sponsor Will Cut Domain Name Blocking Provision From Measure

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, January 12 2012

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, (D-Vermont) said on Thursday that he will cut a controversial domain name blocking provision from an online intellectual property protection bill he is sponsoring in response to ... Read More

Cheezburger Sites To Be Blacked Out January 18 To Protest SOPA and PIPA

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, January 12 2012

Photo: icanhazcheezburger.com

Ben Huh, the CEO of the home of the Lolcats and more, plans to black out his network of sites January 18th, along with Reddit, to protest Congress' current effort to enact controversial online intellectual property legislation. Read More

Geeks Gear Up To Fight Online IP Bills, PIPA, SOPA

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, January 11 2012

Picture: Isaac Mao

Activists advocating an open Internet and worried that the Senate could fast-track a controversial online intellectual property protection bill are coalescing on the web and getting together to set up meetings with their ... Read More

SOPA: In Congress, Who's For And Who's Against, And Why? Mashing Up Public Data, SOPAOpera.org Offers Suggestions

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, January 10 2012

SOPAOpera.org, a project of ProPublica Developer/Journalist Dan Nguyen.

ProPublica's Dan Nguyen has put together a beautiful and amazingly useful new site that serves as a quick and easy reference point regarding who is for and against a pair of controversial online intellectual property protection bills currently speeding through Congress. Read More

Reddit Jumps On The Anti-SOPA Bandwagon

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, December 14 2011

Reddit is the latest social site to interrupt users' experience of its platform to urge action against the Stop Online Piracy Act. The social link sharing site is hosting a link to a Mobile Commons online petitioning tool which can help users call their member of Congress. Reddit is urging users to make that call and tell their lawmakers to block the House Judiciary Committee's approval of SOPA, which is scheduled to come before the committee on Thursday. Read More

With Internet Companies In the Fight, Battle Over SOPA Legislation Continues This Week

BY Miranda Neubauer and Nick Judd | Monday, December 12 2011

Photo: ToGa Wanderings / Flickr

After a coalition of advocacy groups and Internet companies worked together to raise awareness about the Stop Online Piracy Act beginning Nov. 16, they are now gearing up for another push to online action this week as the House Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up the bill on Thursday.

Read More

A SOPA That Advocates Say Won't Kill the Internet

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, December 2 2011

There was some movement yesterday in the debate over the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and others have backed an alternative proposal that would move the ... Read More

Scope of U.S. Online Piracy Bill Too Broad, Says the Business Software Alliance

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, November 21 2011

A piece of legislation designed to thwart online piracy and counterfeiting being considered in the House is still too broad in its scope not to risk interfering with innovation, said the head of the Business Software ... Read More

Tumblr Is Happy With Its Aggressive Anti-SOPA Advocacy

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, November 17 2011

Tumblr reports that their advocacy push around the Stop Online Piracy Act yesterday generated 87,834 calls to representatives and a total of 1,293 hours talking to staffers on Capitol Hill: Yesterday we did a historic ... Read More

The Fight Over #SOPA -- Both Sides of It -- Carries On Online

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 16 2011

Of course the advocacy efforts over the Stop Online Piracy Act would use the Internet as a main stage. I've been watching this Avaaz.org petition in opposition to SOPA and noticed that it's gained something like 3,000 ... Read More

#SOPA: They're Not Talking About Clam Chowder

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, November 16 2011

Source: analytics.topsy.com As the House Judiciary Committee continues its hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill that supporters say would protect American jobs and businesses and opponents counter would hobble ... Read More

Senate Trying Again with Tweaked Website Takedown Bill

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 12 2011

COICA is gone, but in its place comes PROTECT IP, the last development in the long-running effort by copyright-driven industry groups to get Congress to empower its enforcement efforts. Ars Technica's Nate Anderson ... Read More

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Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

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