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January 17 2012


January 16 2012

How PIPA and SOPA Violate White House Principles Supporting Free Speech and Innovation

Over the weekend, the Obama administration issued a potentially game-changing statement on the blacklist bills, saying it would oppose PIPA and SOPA as written, and drew an important line in the sand by emphasizing that it “will not support” any bill “that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”

Yet, the fight is still far from over. Even though the New York Times reported that the White House statement “all but kill[s] current versions of the legislation,” the Senate is still poised to bring PIPA to the floor next week, and we can expect SOPA proponents in the House to try to revive the legislation—unless they get the message that these initiatives must stop, now.  So let’s take a look at the dangerous provisions in the blacklist bills that would violate the White House’s own principles by damaging free speech, Internet security, and online innovation:

The Anti-Circumvention Provision

In addition to going after websites allegedly directly involved in copyright infringement, a proposal in SOPA will allow the government to target sites that simply provide information that could help users get around the bills’ censorship mechanisms. Such a provision would not only amount to an unconstitutional prior restraint against protected speech, but would severely damage online innovation. And contrary to claims by SOPA’s supporters, this provision—at least what’s been proposed so far—applies to all websites, even those in the U.S.

As First Amendment expert Marvin Ammori points out, “The language is pretty vague, but it appears all these companies must monitor their sites for anti-circumvention so they are not subject to court actions ‘enjoining’ them from continuing to provide ‘such product or service.’” That means social media sites like Facebook or YouTube—bascailly any site with user generated content—would have to police their own sites, forcing huge liability costs onto countless Internet companies. This is exactly why venture capitalists have said en masse they won’t invest in online startups if PIPA and SOPA pass. Websites would be forced to block anything from a user post about browser add-ons like DeSopa, to a simple list of IP addresses of already-blocked sites.

Perhaps worse, EFF has detailed how this provision would also decimate the open source software community. Anyone who writes or distributes Virtual Private Network, proxy, privacy or anonymization software would be negatively affected. This includes organizations that are funded by the State Department to create circumvention software to help democratic activists get around oppressive regimes’ online censorship mechanisms. Ironically, SOPA would not only institute the same practices as these regimes, but would essentially outlaw the tools used by activists to circumvent censorship in countries like Iran and China as well.

The “Vigilante” Provision

Another dangerous provision in PIPA and SOPA that hasn’t received a lot of attention is the “vigilante” provision, which would grant broad immunity to all service providers if they overblock innocent users or block sites voluntarily with no judicial oversight at all. The standard for immunity is incredibly low and the potential for abuse is off the charts. Intermediaries only need to act “in good faith” and base their decision “on credible evidence” to receive immunity.

As we noted months ago, this provision would allow the MPAA and RIAA to create literal blacklists of sites they want censored. Intermediaries will find themselves under pressure to act to avoid court orders, creating a vehicle for corporations to censor sites—even those in the U.S.—without any legal oversight. And as Public Knowledge has pointed out, not only can this provision be used for bogus copyright claims that are protected by fair use, but large corporations can take advantage of it to stamp out emerging competitors and skirt anti-trust laws.

For instance, an Internet service provider could block DNS requests for a website offering online video that competed with its cable television offerings, based upon “credible evidence” that the site was, in its own estimation, promoting its use for infringement….While the amendment requires that the action be taken in good faith, the blocked site now bears the burden of proving either its innocence or the bad faith of its accuser in order to be unblocked.

Corporate Right of Action

PIPA and SOPA also still allow copyright holders to get an unopposed court order to cut off foreign websites from payment processors and advertisers. As we have continually highlighted, copyright holders already can remove infringing material from the web under the DMCA notice-and-takedown procedure. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that power abused time and again. Yet the proponents of PIPA and SOPA want to give rightsholders even more power, allowing them to essentially shut down full sites instead of removing the specific infringing content.

While this provision only affects foreign sites, it still affects Americans' free speech rights. As Marvin Ammori explained, “The seminal case of Lamont v. Postmaster makes it clear that Americans have the First Amendment right to read and listen to foreign speech, even if the foreigners lack a First Amendment speech right.” If history is any guide—and we’re afraid it is—we will see specious claims to wholesale take downs of legitimate and protected speech.

Expanded Attorney General Powers

PIPA and SOPA would also give the Attorney General new authority to block domain name services, a provision that has been universally criticized by both Internet security experts and First Amendment scholars. Even the blacklist bills’ authors are now publicly second-guessing that scary provision. But even without it, this section would still force many intermediaries to become the Internet police by putting the responsibility of censorship enforcement on those intermediaries, who are usually innocent third parties.

The Attorney General would also be empowered to de-list websites from search engines, which, as Google Chairman Eric Schmidt noted, would still “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself.”  The same applies to payment processors and advertisers.

These are just some of the egregious provisions in PIPA and SOPA that would fundamentally change (for the worse) the way we use the Internet, and punish millions of innocent users who have never even thought about copyright infringement. As Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian explained, PIPA and SOPA are “the equivalent of being angry and trying to take action against Ford just because a Mustang was used in a bank robbery.” These bills must be stopped if we want to protect free speech and innovation on the web.

Please take action now and tell your Congressional representatives you oppose the blacklist bills.

Cross-posted at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

January 15 2012

The day after: the movement beyond the protest | 2012-01-14

As our movement transforms from a protest into a new social climate, promising signs are emerging of a new cooperative form of social organization.


By Carlos Delclós and Raimundo Viejo: "Over time, the wave of mobilizations that first hit the shores of the Mediterranean and extended outwards over the course of 2011 has overcome its initial, expressive phase. This phase managed to substitute the dominant narrative with our own. We now know that the problem is not some mysterious technical failure we call a crisis, but the intentional crimes of a cleptocracy ... Having reached this point, the obvious question becomes, 'Now what?'"




// oAnth - original URL --

Reposted by99percent 99percent

January 09 2012

Sommes-nous représentés ? Interview de Loïc Blondiaux | 2012-01-06

L’écho rencontré par le mouvement des indignés témoigne d’une grande insatisfaction envers la représentation politique à travers le monde. Dans cet entretien, le politiste Loïc Blondiaux appelle à démocratiser la démocratie en combinant diverses formes démocratiques expérimentales et élections.


// oAnth - original URL --

See it on, via manually by oAnth - from my contacts
Reposted bycheg0099percent

January 07 2012

Richard Stallman's Selected Essays: Free Software, Free Society (pdf) | offene Ablage: nothing to hide


// oAnth - orginial URL (Pdf)



Richard Stallman is the philosopher king of software. He single-handedly ignited what has become a world-wide movement to create software that is Free, with a capital F. He has toiled for years at a project that many once considered a fool’s errand, and now that is widely seen as “inevitable.”
—Simon L. Garfinkel, computer science author and columnist

By his hugely successful efforts to establish the idea of “Free Software,” Stallman has made a massive contribution to the human condition. His contribution combines elements that have technical, social, political, and economic consequences.
— Gerald Jay Sussman, Matsushita Professor of Electrical Engineering, MIT

RMS is the leading philosopher of software. You may dislike some of his attitudes, but you cannot avoid his ideas. This slim volume will make those ideas readily accessible to those who are confused by the buzzwords of rampant commercialism. This book needs to be widely circulated and widely read.
—Peter Salus, computer science writer, book reviewer, and UNIX historian



December 06 2011

Play fullscreen
Should Greece Pull Out of the Euro?

Costas Lapavitsas: The Greek people face a decade of depression in the Eurozone, better to leave and make major reforms

Time: 15:44 More in News & Politics

December 05 2011


(T)he offending portions are currently worded so vaguely, that any US citizen can be considered a "terrorist" or an aid to terroristic activity. Any US citizen who is inconvenient to the US government can be detained and silenced.

Also, the intent was extremely bad here -- Sens. John McCain, Carl Levin, and Lindsey Graham INTENDED for this bill to redefine the US homeland as a "battlefield" (Graham's words, not mine), allowing the revocation of even our most basic civil rights and access to due process.

When the intent is bad, an intentionally vague section of the NDAA can be interpreted by authorities in the worst possible way. The whole bill must be thrown out, except for key parts to continue military operations and crucial funding of our armed forces.

Let me remind you that this is not a drill. This is not an inflammatory blogger's post. This actually happened, and with the Senate's passage of this bill, it is very close to becoming law. The US mainstream media is not covering this AT ALL, as I pointed out in a recent column. The only source for even remotely accurate information right now is on the social networks, especially Twitter -- this reminds me of something you'd experience in Iran or Syria, not in America.


Ron Paul And The Tea Party Can't Save You: 2012 National Defense Act Is 'Terrifying' | 2011-12-02
Reposted bykrekk krekk

November 17 2011

Play fullscreen
Mario Savio Memorial Lecture: Robert Reich on Class Warfare in America

Uploaded by UCBerkeleyEvents on Nov 16, 2011

The 15th annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture & Young Activist Award will present Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley, speaking on Class Warfare in America.

Professor Reich, a political economist has served in three national administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the 20th century and the Wall Street Journal in 2008 placed him sixth on its list of the "Most Influential Business Thinkers." He is the author of 13 books, most recently Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future and Supercapitalism:The Transformation of Business, Democracy and American Life. A regular commentator on public radio's Marketplace, Reich is also a syndicated columnist and a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The Atlantic, WSJ, and other major publications . He is the recipient of the prestigious Vaclav Havel Foundation VIZE 97 Prize for his writings on economics and politics and is known as an exciting, dynamic speaker.

The Memorial lecture honors the memory of the late Mario Savio, a spokesperson for Berkeley's Free Speech Movement (1964), and the spirit of moral courage and vision which he and countless other activists of his generation exemplified. The evening includes a presentation of the Mario Savio Young Activist Award, which recognizes young people engaged in the struggle to build a more humane and just society. It is co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Library, the Goldman School of Public Policy, the Free Speech Movement Cafe and the Graduate Assembly.

Reposted by99percent 99percent

November 16 2011


This is What Revolution Looks Like | Chris Hedges - - 2011-11-16

Wel­come to the rev­o­lu­tion. Our elites have ex­posed their hand. They have noth­ing to offer. They can de­stroy but they can­not build. They can re­press but they can­not lead. They can steal but they can­not share. They can talk but they can­not speak. They are as dead and use­less to us as the wa­ter-soaked books, tents, sleep­ing bags, suit­cases, food boxes and clothes that were tossed by san­i­ta­tion work­ers Tues­day morn­ing into garbage trucks in New York City. They have no ideas, no plans and no vi­sion for the fu­ture.


Reposted by99percent 99percent

November 15 2011

Arab World: Is the NYPD “Pulling a Mubarak?”

Arab netizens are watching with awe news of New York police forcefully evicting Occupy Wall Street protesters at Zuccotti Park in New York. Some say they are “pulling a Mubarak” in reference to the brutal manner in which Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak dealt with protesters who ousted him in the Egyptian revolution.

Among them is Egyptian activist Gigi Ibrahim, who is in New York, who notes that the New York police force is “pulling a Mubarak” in the way they suppress protests:

@Gsquare86: Cut trains, prevent press, tear up tents, use pepper spray, & arrest journalists ? NYPD are pulling a Mubarak on #Occupywallst

She adds:

@Gsquare86: NYPD is reminding me of Egyptian Army raiding of Tahrir sq on Aug 1st to end July8 sit in OWS..same pigs different face

and continues:

@Gsquare86: NYPD chasing OWS around lower manhattan. It would almost be comical if it wasn't so sad.

Bahraini writer Ali Al Saeed notes:

@alialsaeed: What's funny is that Obama has a lot to say about arabspring yet fails to recognize what's going in in his own backyard.

Egyptian Mosa'ab Elshamy adds:

@mosaaberizing: If they were *really* inspired by Tahrir, now maybe a good time for the Occupy protesters to test their rock-throwing skills. Just saying.

And Egypt-based journalist Bel Trew asks:

@Beltrew: Why are police forces& governments around the world so terrified of people occupying spaces?When will this violence end?it's shameful

Meanwhile, UAE-based journalist Tom Gara jokes:

@tomgara: Every time you seriously compare Occupy protests to the Arab uprisings, God kills a puppy.

November 13 2011

Egypt: Homosexuals to Occupy Tahrir on January 1

Profile picture of the 'Egyptian Homosexual Day' Facebook page which reads as "We Do Not Want to Hide."

If Islamists were the ones to appeal as threatening to women and religious minorities in Egypt, then they are not alone when it comes to opposing passing LGBT rights in post-revolution Egypt. Recently, a Facebook page was established to promote the rights of homosexuals and to call on them to gather on the 1 January, 2012, in Tahrir Square to demand their rights.

Hundreds joined the page, not necessarily to support the demands, but to write homophobic comments, murder threats, and to cite Quran verses that show how Islam forbids homosexuality and defines it as a major sin. In one of the pictures posted by the page admin, a comment is written to define the page and to justify the rights of homosexuals to a normal life [ar]:

من حقنا الظهور في المجتمع بشكل علني لحمايه نفسنا و لحمايه المجتمع من اضطهاد المثليين لان المجتمع اللي لا يقبل الاخر يبقى مريض
We have the right to come out in society and to protect ourselves and protect our society from oppressing homosexuals because a society that doesn't accept the other is a sick one.

To explain why they have chosen to protest in Tahrir Square in January, the page had a post saying:

من نحن: نحن مجموعه من شباب مصر المثلي الجنس..نزلنا الميدان و شاركنا في الثوره..و نرى الان انه لنا كل الحق في العيش باحترام و علانيه..فنحن جزء من مصر الثوره ..فلا يزايد علينا احد
We are a group of gay Egyptian youth. We were in Tahrir and we took part in the revolution. We see that each of us has the right to have a life of respect in public. We are part of Egypt's revolution and we won't allow anyone to question our loyalty.

In one of its status updates, the page admin posted a message that s/he received from a gay Egyptian man, who was afraid to post it himself after he saw the insults and threats filling the page's wall:

ايه الضرر لما يكون في اتنين من نفس الجنس في مكان ما في العالم نايميين في حضن بعض؟؟ انا ضريتك في ايه؟؟ اخدت حاجة بتاعتك؟؟ اكلت اكلك؟؟ ايه؟؟ انا انسان احس واحب واكره واغضب واسامح وافرح
What's the harm if two people from the same sex somewhere in this world are hugging each other? How did I harm you? Did I take something that is yours? Did I eat your food? What? I am a human who feels, loves, hates, gets angry, forgives, and feels happy!

The page admin has also posted a note to media stating the reason behind rejecting interviews:

لكننا نعتذر لجميع الصحفيين عن عدم التواصل معهم..حيث اننا نرى ان تناول الاعلام لهذا الحدث الان سيؤدي الى احداث بلبله و ضجه اعلاميه قد تؤدي الى اجهاض اليوم من اساسه وارهاب شخصيات مثقفه وطنيه كانت قد ابدت موافقتها على المشاركه..و نرى انه من الانسب تغطيه الحدث وقت حدوثه وسيتم توجيه دعوات لجميع المؤسسات الاعلاميه في حينه
We apologize to all journalists for not responding to them. We think if media talks about this, there will be a big fuss which might lead to the failure of the national gay day we are planning. It will also make some national personages and intellectuals change their minds about attending the day after giving us their approval. We see it's better if the event gets covered at the time it takes place and we will invite media to be there then.

Another status came as a reply to all the threats that the page had on its wall:

الى الساده المصدومين من اعداد المثليين في مصر : احنا موجودين بينكم من زمان لكن انتم فرضتم علينا نعيش تحت الارض و دفنتم رؤسكم في الرمل كالنعام..ثانيا :كفايه بلطجه ومحاولات ارهاب لينا مش هانسمح لحد يشكك في وطنيتنا
To those who are shocked of how many of us exist in Egypt: we have lived with you for a long time but you forced us to live hiding. Stop you terror attempts; we do not allow you to question our patriotism.

The page has also posted a YouTube video which plays a written message from a gay Egyptian who says that he is just another citizen who contributes to the society and respects all, and expects to be treated the same in his own country.

The comments on this planned day that this Facebook page came out with were not only found on Facebook. Some people started to talk about them on Twitter. Ahmad Abdelhady (@Hadeezz) had an odd opinion on this that he didn't fully explain:

عامة .. حق المثليين جنسيا فى الزواج والمعاملة بدون تمييز ده انا بؤيده … انما ف الشارع ويوم وطنى ده تعدى على حرية الاخرين ..نقطة وكلامى خلص
@Hadeezz: In general, I support the rights of homosexuals to get married and be treated equally, but to have a national day out in the street is something I find as a violation of others' freedom. Period, that's all I have got to say.

Activist Mostafa Hussein (@moftasa) condemned the murder threats against homosexuals, but rather in a sarcastic way, as he attempts to put it:

أيه حكايةالناس اللي عاوزة تقتل المثليين دول كمان؟ هي ناقصةدم؟ طيب لو انت رايح تقتلة كده راح هو مدافع عن نفسه و قتلك؟ نسميك أيه؟ شهيد الشرج؟
@moftasa: What's the story of those who want to kill the homosexuals? It is as if we need to shed more blood? So when you go to kill a homosexual and he defends himself by killing you, what will we call you? The ‘anus martyr'?

An engineer called Hussain Imam (@kemam) tweeted several posts on the LGBT planned day and suggested in one of them:

بأفكر أعمل جروب لمناهضة المثليين دول بتوع 1 يناير!
@kemam: I think I should start a group against those homosexuals of January 1st.

Another Twitter user (@MiSrBtfHam) called on his followers to report the ‘Egyptian homosexual day' Facebook page to shut it down:

اطالب الجميع بعمل ريبوت للصفحه دي الحريه مش معناها كده المثليين ميتمحكوش في الثورة واللي عاوز يدافع عنهم يتحرق
@MiSrBtfHam: I demand you all to report this page. Freedom doesn't mean homosexuals rule the revolution. Those who will defend them should burn.

Egypt: Plight of Bloggers Continues at Military Courts

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

A military court today decided to jail blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah for another 15 days, 15 days after first detaining him, pending investigations on what defenders say are trumped up charges. Blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad's trial was also once again postponed until November 27.

Abd El Fattah was detained on October 30, after refusing to be interrogated by the Military Prosecution, in protest against its legitimacy. His arrest, and the international outcry it has caused, is shedding light on the plight of more than 12,000 civilians, including Sanad, who have been put on military trials in Egypt since the the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) took power. Abd El Fattah is accused of inciting violence against the military, stealing a weapon and destroying military equipment during the October 9 Maspero massacre, in which 25 Egyptians, mostly Copts, were killed in clashes between the military poilce and protesters demanding answers for the burning of churches in Sohag and Aswan.

Supporters wrote freedom for alaa abd el fattah on the ground outside the military prosecution building in cairo. photo by nazly hussein, posted on twitter

Supporters wrote Freedom for Alaa Abd El Fattah on the ground outside the Military Prosecution building in Cairo. Photo by Nazly Hussein, posted on Twitter

Abd El Fattah's trial coincided with Sanad's - Egypt's first blogger to be arrested and charged by a military court after the revolution which ousted Hosni Mubarak as president. Sanad was sentenced to three years in prison, for writing a post on his blog, which the military said was insulting.

The charges against Sanad are insulting the armed forces, publishing false information on his blog and disturbing public security. Last month, the Supreme Military Court of Appeals annulled the conviction but continued to hold Sanad, who had started a hunger strike, transferring him to a mental health facility.

Back in prison, Sanad continued with his hunger strike and his defiance to accept being subjected to the trial of a military court, a stance similar to Abd El Fattah's.

Today's rulings are seen by many as yet another blow for free speech and human rights in post-revolutionary Egypt.

The Big Pharaoh sums up the day:

@TheBigPharoah: Alaa refused to recognize the military court legitimacy, #MaikelNabil told his lawyers not to speak. Respect. #FreeAlaa

Rasha Abdulla adds:

@RashaAbdulla: Alaa Abdel fattah gets another 15 days in prison pending investigation. MaikelNabil postponed to Nov 27. Min of defence detainees acquitted

At first, news emerged that the Military Prosecutor dropped one of the charges from Abd El Fattah's accusations - that of stealing a weapon.

Alfred Raouf tweets:

@Kemety: will be detained for another 15 days, they dropped accusation of stealing weapons. He still refused recognizing the court.

And Azza Shaaban explains [ar]:

رغم اسقاط تهمة سرقة السلاح عن علاء عبدالفتاح لكن تهم التحريض واتلاف والتجمهر واستخدام القوة لسه لم تسقط
@Azza_Shaaban: Even though the charge of stealing a weapon has been dropped from Alaa Abd El Fattah, the charges of inciting violence, gathering, destruction of property and the use of force still remain

It then turns out that the judge “forgot” to turn the charge sheet to the next page.

Sultan Al Qassemi reports:

@SultanAlQassemi: Egypt Military Prosecutor: 's charge of “stealing army weapons” remains. Judge “forgot” to turn the charge sheet.

Farah Saafan notes:

@FarahSaafan: A Military Council that issues official statements on FB with judges that forget 2 turn pages during trials & can't protect minorities= SCAF

And Moutaz Dawood adds [ar]:

وبتجديد حبس علاء عبالفتاح .. يثبت المجلس العسكرى أنه لايجيد التفاوض ولا المرواغه .. ادواته الوحيده القضاء العسكرى والشرطه العسكريه
@Moutaz_D: By renewing Alaa Abd El Fattah's detention, SCAF proves that it doesn't master the art of negotition and that its only tools are military trials and military police

Meanwhile, Nazly Hussein reports about a defiant Abd El Fattah emerging out of court [ar]:

علاء خرج دلوقتي و هتف يسقط يسقط حكم العسكر من جوة البوكس

@nazlyhussein: Alaa just left and chanted: “Down Down with Military Rule” from inside the police jeep

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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