A Quiet, Respectful Protest
It was brief. It was quiet. You would be hard pressed to have a more…
In a shocking move, or if you’re paying attention you knew it was just a matter of time, the all powerful Homeland Security has moved into protecting corporations from…..wait for it…. copyright infringement.
What’s that you say? You thought Homeland Security was about protecting us from terrorists. Well, as in all government creep, the “legal” mandate goalposts got moved somehow.
Homeland Security is now helping out in seizing and shutting down websites that are under investigation for copyright infringement. Is this the beginning of US federal takeover of the internet?
Oh ya. No due process. Just seized and shut down.
“What we can’t debate is that the government has a right to enforce its own laws. If copyrights are being infringed upon and goods are being counterfeited, the government does have the authority to put a stop to those activities.
But when legislators have taken great pains to construct and pass laws that create procedures for dealing with these exact issues, it does seem a bit off that none of those procedures were used.
For example, COICA would create a blacklist of censored URLs. If infringement of copyright or the trafficking of counterfeited goods is central to the operation of the website, the Attorney General can ask a court to place that website on the blacklist.
The DHS is bypassing typical laws and procedures to quickly stamp out file-sharing and counterfeiting — perhaps in time to thwart knock-off holiday shopping, we could speculate. We might also speculate that the reason for the rush job has something to do with the impending passage of COICA, which would create a longer process for closing these sites.
Speculations aside, this great haste is as confusing as it is perturbing; it doesn’t sit well with the traditionally American sense of due process.”
What’s next? Alternative medicine, “patriot” sites, alternative views challenging government policy…
Usually it starts somewhere semi-legitimate and then goes rogue. Now they seem to just be rogue because nothing ever happens when they don’t follow the law or respect basic legal principles.
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