Today is SOPA Blackout Day
belatedly, PIPA too). In rough order of importance, Google, Boingboing,
Arstechnica, 4Chan, ThePirateBay, Identi.ca, Craig's List, Mozilla,
Wordpress and Wikipedia are drawing attention to the SOPA bill
by either blacking out their whole sites or displaying banners.
Wikipedia's blackout got the most press but their effort was a rather trivial
Most of the afore-mentioned are only displaying banners (but thanks
Google, your support is priceless). Closer to home, projects such as Fedora
are also joining in. And huge kudos to OSNews
If you Slashdotters aren't impressed so far then how about if I told
you that Bruce Schneier
just joined in too?
The effort against SOPA has failed on two levels: 1) The communinity
(or communities) haven't quite managed to inculcate the average geek on
exactly how bad SOPA will be, and; 2) They've failed miserably in
getting the average geek to understand just how bad things are
*already* without SOPA.
I've heard a dozen times SOPA described simply as a bill to "order the removal of
of sites thought to enable piracy". Newsflash guys: The
US government have been doing this for 18 months already and more than
300 domains have been confiscated. A site which was declared legal
TWICE in Spain just disappeared from the Internet. They weren't selling
counterfeit goods, they weren't hosting warez or movies or songs - they
simply hosted links. At least two dozen such sites were seized during
2011. As far as I know, only one site, Dajaz1.com
is up and working again after being seized by the authorities. Their
lawyer was not
to see any of the judgements in connection with this case.
The case did not actually exist in any court. He was not even notified
when they gave up and the site was released.
The program which is running already is called Operation
In Our Sites
, an effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement to meddle in affairs well
any port, airport or border crossing. The program is known
Remember, this is not SOPA, this has been going on for 18 months.
However in a discouraging aspect to the story it seems like none of the sites that
by ICE are displaying any kind of ICE/SOPA-related
notice today. I checked all the sites listed on the page of the FireICE
add-on for Firefox: Firstrow, Atdhe, Torrent-finder, Movies-links,
Rojadirecta, Ilemi, TVshack, HQ-Streams, Onsmash and Rapgodfather.
Nothing. I also checked Wiziwig, Filespump, Channelsurfing,
Absolutepoker, Funtimebingo, Truepoker and Betmaker. Still nothing.
Of the sites that got shafted by ICE, the ONLY one taking any action
against SOPA is the afore-mentioned Dajaz1
- the site that was confiscated for a whole 12 months without any due
process nor any paperwork whatsoever.
Several sites are tracking who is participating in SOPA blackout day.
Perhaps you might want to help record who is participating and who is
NOT particpating by going over to Herdict
a project run by the Berkman Centre for Internet & Society. We
could get some interesting