03.06.14

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GoDaddy, Go Away: How This SOPA Backer is Censoring the Internet Despite SOPA’s Death

Posted in Law at 11:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Political censorship now in the West, but overlooked by statistics that omit domain-level cutoffs

Remember the boycott against GoDaddy over SOPA (pro-censorship bill) support? Well, guess what? Even without SOPA GoDaddy is censoring Web sites and the EFF is up in arms [1]. iophk says that it’s “like when ODF sites were censored in 2008 via a different registrar. Back then it was blamed on a contract dispute but somehow got cleared up within hours of the critical deadline having gone.”

The last thing we need on the Internet is censorship and we wrote many posts about the reasons. Here in the UK we have paedophiles claiming that we need censorship to protect us from paedophiles [2] and in central Europe too politicians like Neelie Kroes continue to pretend adults are children [3] and require government supervision on the Web.

This new Internet censorship world map [4] totally fails to take into account the type of ‘soft’ censorship we now have in the UK, including domain-level interception of Web sites without due process. It’s really quite bad and Reddit too is not in the censorship business [5,6], basically burying stories that reveal government interference in Web sites. Twitter is also censoring sites now (at domain level even [7]), YouTube continues to facilitate censorship through bogus copyright claims [8,9] or utterly fictional claims [10] (iopkh says that “the film was blamed after the fact and that the actual violence had the hallmarks of long and careful planning, including selection and casing of the target”), and in India domain-level censorship was achieved (hiding political corruption) only after a court had gotten involved [11]. What a disgusting trend. How long before many ISPs in Western nations block sites like Wikileaks (some parts of the US public sector have done this for years)? If we don’t protect free speech, then the rich and powerful will continue to take it away, eliminating the advantage of the Web (speaking truth to power, bypassing gatekeepers).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Mexican Protest Site Censored by GoDaddy — with the U.S. Embassy’s Help
  2. Top UK official involved in national porn filter arrested for child porn

    A top British government aide who helped create 10 Downing Street’s controversial policy to censor online pornography for the majority of British Internet users has resigned from his post on Monday after being arrested last month on charges of possessing child pornography.

  3. A free media needs regulators to be independent

    In each EU country, audiovisual services like TV benefit from oversight by independent regulators. And yesterday we convened the first ever meeting of all those regulators, from across the EU.

  4. The most important thing you’ll see today: Internet censorship world map
  5. Why Reddit mods are ‘censoring’ Greenwald’s latest bombshell

    In the article, Greenwald provides images from a Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) documents that show how the clandestine agency has tried to “control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the Internet itself.”

    Greenwald also provides a great deal of context and explanation in his article, comparing it to similar programs allegedly carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA). Greenwald’s story was subsequently picked up on Boing Boing, RT.com, Daily Kos, Zero Hedge, and Der Speigel.

    The removals have been the subject of numerous threads on r/subredditdrama (where redditors discuss “Internet fights and other dramatic happenings from other subreddits”) and r/undelete (home to submissions that moderators remove from the top 100 in r/all). Redditors are calling it an act of censorship.

    [...]

    Moderator BipolarBear0 responded to the Daily Dot to add that Greenwald’s original story was removed because “it breaks our preexisting rules as to analysis and opinion.”

    “As it stands, the Firstlook story is almost entirely comprised of analysis and a lack of objectivity. Not to say that’s necessarily a bad thing—in fact, the Firstlook story by Greenwald is, at least in my opinion, a great piece of investigative journalism.”

  6. Reddit Censors Big Story About Government Manipulation and Disruption of the Internet

    The moderators at the giant r/news reddit (with over 2 million subscribed readers) repeatedly killed the Greenwald/Snowden story on government manipulation and disruption of the Internet … widely acknowledged to be one of the most important stories ever leaked by Snowden.

  7. Twitter Blocks Kickass.to Links, Says They’re Unsafe

    Twitter is refusing to link users to Kickass.to, the second largest torrent index on the Internet. People who attempt to access the site through Twitter get a warning that the site may be unsafe and potentially harmful. Questions to Twitter about the reason for this unusual blockade remain unanswered.

  8. YouTube Ordered to Remove ‘Illegal’ Copyright Blocking Notices
  9. Bad Facts, Really Bad Law: Court Orders Google to Censor Controversial Video Based on Spurious Copyright Claim

    It’s an old legal adage that bad facts lead to bad legal decisions, and today we’ve got a classic example in Garcia v. Google—the “Innocence of Muslims” case. Based on a copyright claim that is dubious at best, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Google to take offline a video that is the center of public controversy. We can still talk about it, but we can’t see what we are talking about. We’re hard-pressed to think of a better example of copyright maximalism trumping free speech.

  10. YouTube ordered to remove film that sparked violence in Middle East

    US appeals court said anti-Muslim video infringed actress Cindy Lee Garcia’s copyright to her role and she could order its removal

  11. Court blocks Tamil ‘Assange’ Shankar’s website savukku.net

    Justice CT Selvam of the Madras High Court has ordered the Chennai City Police to block the website www.savukku.net immediately. He has directed all those affected by savukku.net to file complaint with police. Senior Tamil Nadu police officer Jaffer Sait is likely to be the first complainant in the case. Savukku.net, which is known as a Tamil Wikileaks is likely to face a huge trouble after this order.

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