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In Protest Of Anti-Piracy Bill, Wikipedia To Go Dark

 
 
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2012 01:23 pm
In Protest Of Anti-Piracy Bill, Wikipedia To Go Dark
by The Associated Press
January 16, 2012

Wikipedia will black out the English language version of its website Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress, the foundation behind the popular community-based online encyclopedia said in a statement Monday night.

The website will go dark for 24 hours in an unprecedented move that brings added muscle to a growing base of critics of the legislation. Wikipedia is considered one of the Internet's most popular websites, with millions of visitors daily.

"If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States," the Wikimedia foundation said.

The Stop Online Piracy Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Protect Intellectual Property Act under consideration in the Senate are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas.

Supporters include the film and music industry, which often sees its products sold illegally. They say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs.

Critics say the legislation could hurt the technology industry and infringe on free-speech rights. Among their concerns are provisions that would weaken cyber-security for companies and hinder domain access rights.

The most controversial provision is in the House bill, which would have enabled federal authorities to "blacklist" sites that are alleged to distribute pirated content. That would essentially cut off portions of the Internet to all U.S. users. But congressional leaders appear to be backing off this provision.

Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay, AOL and others have spoken out against the legislation and said it threatens the industry's livelihood. Several online communities such as Reddit, Boing Boing and others have announced plans to go dark in protest as well.

The Obama administration also raised concerns about the legislation over the weekend and said it will work with Congress on legislation to help battle piracy and counterfeiting while defending free expression, privacy, security and innovation in the Internet.

Wikipedia's decision to go dark brings the issue into a much brighter spotlight. A group of Wikipedia users have discussed for more than a month whether it should react to the legislation.

Over the past few days, a group of more than 1,800 volunteers who work on the site and other users considered several forms of online protest, including banner ads and a global blackout of the site, the foundation said. Ultimately, the group supported the decision to black out the English version of the site.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia who first announced the move on his Twitter account Monday, said the bills are a threat to the free, open, and secure web.

"The whole thing is just a poorly designed mess," Wales said in an email to The Associated Press.

Wikipedia is also requesting that readers contact members of Congress about the bill during the blackout.

"I am personally asking everyone who cares about freedom and openness on the Internet to contact their Senators and Representative," Wales said. "One of the things we have learned recently during the Arab Spring events is that the Internet is a powerfully effective tool for the public to organize and have their voices heard."

Wikipedia will shut down access from midnight Eastern Standard Time (0500 GMT) on Tuesday night until midnight Wednesday.

This is the first time Wikipedia's English version has gone dark. Its Italian site came down once briefly in protest to an Internet censorship bill put forward by the Berlusconi government; the bill did not advance.

"Wikipedia is about being open," said Jay Walsh, spokesman for the Wikimedia foundation. "We are not about shutting down and protesting. It's not a muscle that is normally flexed."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 1,562 • Replies: 19

 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 11:18 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
If You Really Need Wikipedia Today, You Can Get To It
January 18, 2012
by Mark Memmott

Wikipedia's English pages have indeed "gone black" until midnight ET tonight — part of an organized protest by it and many other websites over pending anti-online piracy legislation in Congress.

But "black" is something of a relative term in this case. You can still get to Wiki's English site today, as it explains here:

"Is it still possible to access Wikipedia in any way?

"Yes. During the blackout, Wikipedia is accessible on mobile devices and smart phones. You can also view Wikipedia normally by disabling JavaScript in your browser, as explained on this Technical FAQ page. Our purpose here isn't to make it completely impossible for people to read Wikipedia, and it's okay for you to circumvent the blackout. We just want to make sure you see our message."

As Eyder reported Tuesday, NPR, The Washington Post and The Guardian are today trying to gauge what the Internet is like without Wikipedia by encouraging folks to send questions that they otherwise would turn to Wiki to get answered to the Twitter hashtag #altwiki. We'll report back later on what we find. And NPR reference librarian JoElla Straley plans to answer some of the queries.

The bills at the center of the protest are the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. Critics say they're forms of censorship, particularly because they could lead to sites being "blacklisted" if they allegedly distribute pirated content. Supporters say something has to be done to stamp out piracy.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 11:40 am
It is disappointing that this issue is not getting more attention at A2K....this is a classic attempt at a power grab by the federal government, but this time unusually it is running into resistance. I dont know how this will turn out but Washington is talking about being willing to take less power now that this resistance has been voiced. Perhaps we are beginning to see a bit of spine from the American people, as this is the second major power grab that has been resisted in the last 4 months, the first being the Federal Government attempt to rub out due process at University for those accused of sex crimes.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 11:42 am
@hawkeye10,
It's not a power grab by the US government. It's a power grab by the big media companies.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 11:46 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

It's not a power grab by the US government. It's a power grab by the big media companies.


With the Federal Government taking major media's side and using Major Media's grievance as an excuse to take a fist full of control of the internet by way of threatening massive punitive measures against those who dont self police content as the government wants them to. Make no mistake, the government aim is to control the internet, because the government is always seeking to expand the range of its control, this is just a handy excuse to get in....Trojan Horse style.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 11:56 am
@DrewDad,
I agree. Big Media lobbyists paid for this action.
Hawkeye's just afraid the gov't will take away his kiddy porn sites.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 11:59 am
@hawkeye10,
You know all you would need to do is used an offshore DNS server so not only is this silliness going to mess up the internet protocols at great cost but it is not going to stop one person from going where he wish to go.




hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 12:20 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

You know all you would need to do is used an offshore DNS server so not only is this silliness going to mess up the internet protocols at great cost but it is not going to stop one person from going where he wish to go.






As the online poker site owners found out the government has ways to prevent internet commerce that it does not like even when the servers are offshore.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 12:22 pm
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:

I agree. Big Media lobbyists paid for this action.
Hawkeye's just afraid the gov't will take away his kiddy porn sites.


It would be nice if you could deal with the issue at hand rather than diverting into taking guesses as to why I am interested in the question at hand. It appears however than this would be to expect more out of you than you can do.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 12:34 pm
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:
I agree. Big Media lobbyists paid for this action. ...


Well, we don't need it here - as our Federal Court had ruled in in October 2010 [case reference: I ZR 191/08; 'AnyDVD' German Federal Supreme Court ("Bundesgerichtshof")]. And I don't think that our federal judges are influenced by "Big Media lobbyists".
Quote:
[...]
... the First Civil Senate of the Bundesgerichtshof took the view that adding the links on Heise's website which linked to SlySoft's website (where SlySoft offered copyright right infringing software) was covered by the constitutional right of freedom of press and freedom of opinion under Article 5(1) German Constitution (Grundgesetz). Further, in cases where the actual text of a report was protected by freedom of expression and freedom of press, the included links would also be afforded equal protection. The judges stressed that the purpose of the links on Heise's website was not only to technically facilitate to access the SlySoft's website but the links were to be regarded as part of Heise's reporting because they were complementing and 'backing up' what was reported with additional information. The fact that the Heise was aware that the software offered on SlySoft's website was copyright infringing did not change this and so could not be blamed on Heise since the information interest of the general public was of higher importance.

The judges also argued that reports on illegal conduct (here: that SlySoft offering copyright infringing software) could be of particular public information interest. It was also important that Heise had clearly indicated in its report that SlySoft's software was copyright infringing. In this context the Bundesgerichtshof explained that protection of Article 5(1) Grundgesetz encompassed freedom of expression and freedom of media in all its aspects and was thus not limited to the content of the report, but it also included the (outer) form of this reporting. As such, it was up to Heise itself, as the subject entitled to the fundamental right under Article 5(1) Grundgesetz, to decide which form of presentation it chose for its reporting. This also encompassed the decision whether additional information about a company and its products (here: SlySoft) should be expressly used in the report and it could include the decision to publish links to SlySoft's website.

The court, inter alia, based its decision on Article 95 a German Copyright Act which is based on Article 6 of the Copyright Directive (Directive 2001/29/EC) (“Obligations as to technological measures”). Intriguingly, the Bundesgerichtshof interpreted Article 95 a German Copyright Act not only in the light of Article 5(1) Grundgesetz but also in light of Article 11 (1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which stipulates as follows “(e)veryone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.” Article 11 (2) provides that “(t)he freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected.” Referring to the ECJ's precedent in Connolly/Commission (C-274/99 P), the Bundesgerichtshof also stressed that content and quality of a report are irrelevant when it comes to the application of Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Source


0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  2  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 12:43 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

You know all you would need to do is used an offshore DNS server so not only is this silliness going to mess up the internet protocols at great cost but it is not going to stop one person from going where he wish to go.


Right, but this time when you do that you'd be committing a Federal crime. If they chose to actually pursue you the consequences would make your little imagined DUI scenario seem like a tea party in the green field.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 12:46 pm
@Questioner,
Quote:
Right, but this time when you do that you'd be committing a Federal crime. If they chose to actually pursue you the consequences would make your little imagined DUI scenario seem like a tea party in the green field.


For instance to use the drug forfeiture laws as a template to justify taking your house if they can prove that you used a computer in the house for illegal internet activity.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 01:11 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
With which firms do you side in the fight over online piracy bills?

Tech....................60%......................54127
Don't know..............31%...................27831
Media.....................8%.......................7559

cnn.com..
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 02:23 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
As the online poker site owners found out the government has ways to prevent internet commerce that it does not like even when the servers are offshore.


That not however what the law they are trying to pass is said to do.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 02:24 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
It would be nice if you could deal with the issue at hand rather than diverting into taking guesses as to why I am interested in the question at hand. It appears however than this would be to expect more out of you than you can do.


Agree on that one.................
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 02:31 pm
@Questioner,
Quote:
Right, but this time when you do that you'd be committing a Federal crime


LOL where did it so state in the bill? The answer in nowhere at all.

Sorry but this law deal with US DNS servers no where on American citizens using offshore DNS servers and turning that into a crime.

Second you do not even need to use DNS servers you can just type the address and name of the ban websites into your host file.

There will be list of such addresses all over the web one second after this law passed if it does.
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 02:37 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:

Quote:
Right, but this time when you do that you'd be committing a Federal crime


LOL where did it so state in the bill? The answer in nowhere at all.

Sorry but this law deal with US DNS servers no where on American citizens using offshore DNS servers and turning that into a crime.

Second you do not even need to use DNS servers you can just type the address and name of the ban websites into your host file.

There will be list of such addresses all over the web one second after this law passed if it does.


Quote:
Impact on web-browsing software

The Electronic Frontier Foundation expressed concern that free and open source software (FLOSS) projects found to be aiding online piracy could experience serious problems under SOPA.[60] Of special concern was the web browser Firefox,[26] which has an optional extension, MAFIAAFire Redirector, that redirects users to a new location for domains that were seized by the U.S. government.[61] In May 2011, Mozilla refused a request by the Department of Homeland Security to remove MAFIAAFire from its website, questioning whether the software had ever been declared illegal.

Deep-packet inspection and privacy

According to Markham Erickson, head of NetCoalition, which opposes SOPA, the section of the bill that would allow judges to order internet service providers to block access to infringing websites to customers located in the United States would also allow the checking of those customers' IP address, a method known as IP blocking. Erickson has expressed concerns that such an order might require those providers to engage in "deep packet inspection," which involves analyzing all of the content being transmitted to and from the user, raising new privacy concerns.[66][67]

BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 02:47 pm
@Questioner,
Quote:
According to Markham Erickson, head of NetCoalition, which opposes SOPA, the section of the bill that would allow judges to order internet service providers to block access to infringing websites to customers located in the United States would also allow the checking of those customers' IP address, a method known as IP blocking. Erickson has expressed concerns that such an order might require those providers to engage in "deep packet inspection," which involves analyzing all of the content being transmitted to and from the user, raising new privacy concerns.[66][67]


Tens of Billions of dollars of cost for deep packet inspections and it would not work either because of SSL connections and such software as tor.

Unless you wish to stop all internet banking and buying and selling over the internet you can not interfere with SSL.

If China can not keep it citizens from breaking the great firewall of China good luck to the US government doing so.

Short of shutting down the net completely none of this is going to work and all for the movies industry!!!!!!!!!
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 03:04 pm
@BillRM,
Absolutely agree with that. It's a bogus bill.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Jan, 2012 03:23 pm
@Green Witch,
IF this go full bore with such things as deep packet inspections you are going to end up paying double or more for your internet connections all for the benefit of the movie industry and other such special interests.
0 Replies
 
 

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