Part 1: The Internet Coup d'etat
The "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" (COICA) , also known as the Internet Blacklist Bill, was passed out of Judiciary yesterday by unanimous vote and near unanimous silence in the major media including Keith Olbermannand Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, which frankly should surprise no one because major corporate copyright holders Microsoft and NBC are big supporters of the bill and the bottom line is that Keith and Rachel work for MSNBC.
I won't repeat my arguments about why this bill really could mean the end of the Internet as we know it. I have already done that in my earlier diaries on this subject. However, I would ask anyone that is still has doubt about the radical attack on the Internet that is this bill to read the protest letter of 87 Internet fathers to the Senate. Here are a few excerpts:
this legislation will risk fragmenting the Internet's global domain name system (DNS), create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure.So don't be negative. Don't think of it as the end of the Internet as we know it. Think of it as the Internet as we know it in China.
All censorship schemes impact speech beyond the category they were intended to restrict, but this bill will be particularly egregious in that regard because it causes entire domains to vanish from the Web, not just infringing pages or files. Worse, an incredible range of useful, law-abiding sites can be blacklisted under this bill.
Senators, we believe the Internet is too important and too valuable to be endangered in this way, and implore you to put this bill aside.
So where is Keith Olbermann on this story? We know it's part of his beat because he was all over the Google/Verizon Net Neutrality panic of August. Then he was raising the alarm about "the Google-Verizon deal with the devil to throw out net neutrality for the sake of their profits." A few shows later, when it became clear there was no Google Verizon "deal", only a proposal for legislation, he was still highly critical "because Google and Verizon have proposed a framework whereby the FCC would not regulate the wireless Internet"
But the bottom-line is that it was just a proposal by two very big companies for a limited view of network neutrality. It did not include blacklists. Even if the very worst of the anti Google claims were true, and I have already shown they are bunk, but even if they were, it was claimed that access to the DailyKos could be greatly slowed down as others paid for preferential treatment. That was a proposal, this is a bill that is headed for passage if not opposed strongly now, that could remove the DailyKos from the web entirely.
So where is Keith Olbermann and all those other brave defenders of the Internet that were so loud in August because Google dared to make a proposal they found wanting? Why are they so silent in the face of this brazen attack?
One thing is certain, all Industry eyes will be on Google if this thing passes. They refused to play ball with the Bush administration's intrusions into our Internet privacy when they denied them data on our searches. Data which AOL, Yahoo and MS were happy to turn over, and they have opposed this sort of thing in China. What will they do with the COICA demands? I hope they have not been deterred from fighting this by the preemptive strikes launched against them recently.
Also yesterday Sarah Palin gave us an idea of how some that aspire to power view fair use and the copyright law, when she tweeted "The publishing world is leaking out-of-context excerpts of my book w/out my permission? Isn't that illegal?" Think what this law will mean in the hands of people like her.
But not to worry. Even if COICA passes the House and Senate and is signed into law by Obama, the DailyKos won't be affected. Not at first. It will be a death of a thousand cuts. First they will come for thepiratesbay.org because it's such an obvious target, and we can blog about that. Then they will come for WikiLeak, which is hosted by thepiratesbay servers, because not only are they disseminating materials in violation on copyright, they are threat to national security, and we can blog about that. By the time your bookmark for the DailyKos returns, "Server Not Found", they'll be no place left to blog.
UPDATE: VICTORY for now!!!!
I just receive this update from Aaron Swartz of DemandProgress.org:
Clay -- big news! Yesterday 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.
Here is a recap of my other DKos diaries on this subject:
Sweet Victory on Internet Censorship: Senate Backs Off!
Internet Engineers tell the Senate to Back Off!
Why is Net Neutrality advocate Free Press MIA?
Obama's Internet Coup d'état
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal