Sunday, November 28, 2010

Feds Still Censoring/Seizing So-Called "Pirate" Sites

Although the fed's latest internet censorship attempt has failed (for now), they're still shutting down internet sites suspected of piracy, despite a lack of evidence.

As with federal asset forfeiture laws, with suspected "internet piracy" it's guilty until proven innocent.

Once again, the feds are trashing the Constitution.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Internet Censorship Bill Stymied -- TSA Porno Scanners Next Target reports progress on the internet censorship bill that we previously reported:

On November 18, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to send the Internet blacklist bill to the full Senate, but it was quickly stopped by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) who denounced it as "a bunker-buster cluster bomb" aimed at the Internet and pledged to "do everything I can to take the necessary steps to stop it from passing the U.S. Senate."

Wyden's opposition practically guarantees the bill is dead this year -- and next year the new Congress will have to reintroduce the bill and start all over again. But even that might not happen: Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Hollywood's own senator, told the committee that even she was uncomfortable with the Internet censorship portion of the bill and hoped it could be removed when they took it up again next year!

This is incredible -- and all thanks to you. Just a month ago, the Senate was planning to pass this bill unanimously; now even the senator from Hollywood is backing away from it. But this fight is far from over -- next year, there's going to be hearings, negotiations, and even more crucial votes. We need to be there, continuing to fight.

Can you chip in a couple bucks so we can keep our lobbyist in DC?

We're doing everything we can: working with key staffers to remove the most egregious parts of the bill, lobbying more members of Congress to speak out against this bill, and insisting on hearings so the whole Senate can learn about how dangerous this is. And, of course, we'll keep working with you to make sure more people hear about this bill and tell their senators.

Keep on fighting,

-- Aaron Swartz, David Segal, and the Demand Progress team

P.S. Are you as outraged as we are at those new TSA scanners? Click here to write a letter to your state legislators asking them to ban the practice. We've already gotten a bill introduced in New York -- will your state be next?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Music Industry Supports Internet Censorship Bill


Congress is bringing back the Internet blacklist bill for a vote on Thursday -- just a week from now! We've spent the week meeting people in DC and I can tell you our petition is definitely making a difference. This bill was supposed to pass without objection, but now even Politico is calling it "hotly debated" -- all thanks to you.

We've found the most effective way to get through to senators is for constituents to call in to Congress.

Remember, this bill--in blatant violation of the Constitution--would let the Attorney General create a blacklist of websites that every American ISP would be required to block. Wikileaks, YouTube, and others are all at risk. Human rights advocates, constitutional law experts, and the people who invented the Internet have all spoken out against this bill -- but some of the most powerful industries in the country are demanding that Congress rush it through. The music industry is even having all of their employees call Congress to pose as citizens in support of the bill.

-- Aaron Swartz, David Segal, and the Demand Progress team

P.S. Can you please forward our petition to your friends? So far over 250,000 people have signed. Can you help us hit 300,000 before the vote?


The music industry is supporting this bill, doubtless to make it easier to take down "pirate" sites. But if this bill passes, it can be used to censor any site that the military, or any politically well-connected group, wants to censor.

Another example of how over-broad intellectual property protection threatens free speech.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Halloween in November on Theofantastiqe: Horror Film Aesthetics

It's early November, but if Halloween is still on your mind, you may want to read this interview in Theofantastique, in which Thomas M. Sipos discusses his book, Horror Film Aesthetics.

Theofantastique covers the intersection of the horror genre and metaphysical issues.

Read the interview for a peek into Sipos's views on the subject.

Or go directly to to buy the book!