How Free is Speech Now?

As always, do your research:

Big Tech Has Performed the “Greatest Bait-and-Switch in American History” As It Now Turns On Free Speech

Big tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube have performed “perhaps the greatest bait-and-switch in American history” as they now have committed to an about-face to the American value of free speech.

That is the assessment of Breitbart New‘s Allum Bokhari who exclusively presented a leaked Google internal briefing titled “The Good Censor” to the public on October 9th, exposing the world once again to major tech companies’ attitude towards the bedrock of traditional American attitude.

“The Good Censor” is an 85-page briefing that openly admits that Google and other tech platforms are undertaking a “shift towards censorship” in response to unwelcome political events around the world. Unsurprisingly – especially after leaked video showed google employees in an emotional meltdown after the election victory of Donald J. Trump – The Good Censor cites the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the rise of the populist Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party in Germany as unwelcomed events.

While admitting the shift away from free speech it is also simultaneously admitted that those select few giants “control the majority of online conversations.”

The briefing goes into how Google, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are stuck in a position of going along with the “unmediated marketplace of ideas” (free speech and free markets) vs. “well-ordered spaces for safety and civility” (censorship). These two directions are also described as the “American tradition” which “prioritizes free speech for democracy, not civility” and the “European tradition,” which “favors dignity over liberty and civility over freedom.” The internal pages claim that all tech platforms are now moving toward the European tradition.

Perhaps the most significant part of the brief, as Breitbart’s Bokhari reports, is when it associates Google’s new role as the guarantor of “civility” with the categories of “editor” and “publisher.”

This is significant, given that Google, YouTube, and other tech giants publicly claim they are not publishers but rather neutral platforms — a categorization that grants them special legal immunities under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Elsewhere in the document, Google admits that Section 230 was designed to ensure they can remain neutral platforms for free expression.

Bokhari wrote on Wednesday:

What ordinary Americans long suspected, The Good Censor has proven beyond doubt. According to Google’s own analysis, tech companies have performed perhaps the greatest bait-and-switch in American history, promising their users free speech while they were taking over the market, only to go back on their word once they came to “control the majority of online conversations.”

What better example to prove this bait-and-switch than the statement given by Sinead McSweeney, Twitter’s vice president for public policy and communications in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa who told British politicians at the end of last year that it’s “no longer possible to stand up for all speech.”

Just 5 years prior, Twitter’s first executive in the UK, Tony Wang, described the company as “the free-speech wing of the free-speech party.”

The once acceptance and defense of free speech by these big tech players is discussed in The Good Censor, as the document reads: “This free speech ideal was instilled in the DNA of the Silicon Valley startups that now control the majority of our online conversations.”

And while Google hubrisly boasts that its free speech bait-and-switch has placed them and a few other giants as controllers of “the majority of online conversations” (aka the majority of all conversation happening on earth) the company has come out and finally admitted directly that it has a censored Chinese search engine project in the works. What better guarantor of “civility”, “publisher, “editor” could the masses of internet users wish to oversee the majority of online conversation?

See more at PlanetFreeWill.com.

For more on this from Mke Adams, see text from:   https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-10-17-tech-giants-pull-off-epic-bait-and-switch-in-turning-against-free-speech.html

Taking Back Your Internet Data

ALTERNATIVE NEWS

WWW Inventor’s New Internet OS Would Allow Users To Control Their Personal Data

By.  

IN BRIEF
  • The Facts:Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the ‘World Wide Web,’ has created a new startup company named Inrupt which is poised to ‘interrupt’ the data domination and invasion of privacy of big internet companies like Facebook and Google.
  • Reflect On:Can you envision an internet in which each one of us is the gatekeeper of our own data and we can all operate on the internet in an equitable way?

Facebook, Google, and the rest of the censorship and data mining cabal–you have now officially been put on notice.

Something that I hinted at in a previous article ‘Anti-Defamation League, Facebook, Google & Youtube Appoint Themselves As Official Internet Censor‘ has taken on new significance. When I said that I’m not sure the “censorship cabal” led by Facebook should really be messing with an Awakening Community, it turns out we have some pretty powerful people in the Awakening Community.

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the ‘World Wide Web’ and one of Time magazine’s ‘100 most important people of the 20th century,’ had the noblest intentions when he turned the keys of the internet over to the world for free in 1989. This awakened genius saw the potential for increased openness, connectivity, and productivity on the platform which was fundamentally designed as a medium for positive change and human empowerment.

The Emergence Of  A Frankenstein

Instead, Berners-Lee has seen his creation turn into some kind of Frankenstein, as noted in this Zero Hedge article:

“For people who want to make sure the Web serves humanity, we have to concern ourselves with what people are building on top of it,” Tim Berners-Lee told Vanity Fair last month. “I was devastated,” he said, while going through a litany of harmful and dangerous developments of the past three decades of the web. He lamented that his creation has been abused by powerful entities for everything from mass surveillance to fake news to psychological manipulation to corporations commodifying individuals’ information.

Berners-Lee has worked in recent years in and out of different companies and advocacy groups trying to preserve the sanctity of the internet and retain its initial purpose and vision, but despite his efforts, he has seen its gradual takeover by powerful entities who have been able to centralize much of the internet’s activities, and along with this have been able to horde much of its valuable information.

Dreams Of Freedom And Openness

In the face of this, Berners-Lee and other internet activists have long been dreaming of a digital utopia where individuals control their own data and the internet remains free and open. But for Berners-Lee, the time for dreaming is over. “We have to do it now. It’s a historical moment,” he has said. Ever since revelations emerged that Facebook had allowed people’s data to be misused by political operatives, Berners-Lee has felt an imperative to get this digital idyll into the real world.

And so, Berners-Lee has launched a start-up that intends to end the dominance of Facebook, Google, and Amazon, while in the process letting individuals take back control of their own data.

Solid and Inrupt

This began with ‘Solid,’ which is a decentralized web platform that Berners-Lee designed and built with a small team at MIT over several years. It can be considered as a kind of operating system for the internet that will serve as the foundation for applications which support the decentralization of information.

On Solid, all of one’s information is under the user’s control. Every bit of data he or she creates or adds on Solid exists within a Solid ‘pod’–which is an acronym for personal online data store. These pods are what give Solid users control over their applications and information on the web. Anyone using the platform will get a Solid identity and Solid pod. This is how people, Berners-Lee says, will take back the power of the web from corporations.

He then created Inrupt, Berners-Lee’s new online platform and companythat serves as a user interface to these pods, where everything from messages, music, contacts or other personal data will be stored in one place overseen by the user instead of an array of platforms and apps run by corporations seeking to profit off personal information. The project seeks “personal empowerment through data” and aims to “take back” the web, according to company statements.

Inrupt Will Just Be One Of Many

Once again, as per the Zerohedge article,

Unlike Facebook or Twitter where all user information ultimately resides in centralized data centers and servers under control of the companies, applications on Inrupt will compete for users based on the services they can offer, and only the users can grant these apps “views” into their data, making personal data instantly portable between similar applications.

“The main enhancement is that the web becomes a collaborative read-write space, passing control from owners of a server, to the users of that system. The Solid specification provides this functionality,” the Solid website says.

If all goes as planned, Inrupt will be to Solid what Netscape once was for many first-time users of the web: an easy way in. And like with Netscape, Berners-Lee hopes Inrupt will be just the first of many companies to emerge from Solid. In this way, creative developers will be able to compete with their latest and greatest interfaces to internet information, but unlike the opportunity seized by the likes of Facebook and Google, these new interfaces will never be able to ‘own’ or ‘house’ people’s personal data, and therefore the corrupt and fraudulent abuse of that data by big corporations will disappear from the internet. This failsafe is now built into the architecture of the Solid operating system.

The Takeaway

Many of us in the Awakening Community have been upset by the assault on our privacy and our freedom by the large internet corporations, but we can take solace in the fact that sometimes these very acts of injustice are what triggers consciousness to move us forward, and enables awakened humans to fulfill their dreams of creating the next great thing that will truly empower humanity.

from:    https://www.collective-evolution.com/2018/10/06/tim-berners-lee-internet-os-control-personal-data/

Access to the Alzheimer’s Prevention Summit

OUTRAGE as pharma-corrupted Google censors Alzheimer’s prevention summit, claiming disease is not ‘preventable’

Google censorship

(NaturalNews) We are living in an age of massive censorship, collusion and criminality by the internet’s top gatekeepers. Google, Facebook and Twitter are all deeply corrupt, compromised organizations, and they systematically censor everything they don’t want you to see. For example, Twitter was just caught censoring the #DNCleaks hashtag following the Wikileaks release of 20,000 damning emails from DNC staffers (which revealed an astonishing pattern of corruption and an organized attempt to smear and destroy Bernie Sanders).

Now, Google has been caught shutting down the Adwords advertising campaign for an empowering online summit that teaches people how to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. (See details here.)

“Back in May, I hired a professional marketing firm in New York to help me share the news about this event and the hope was to literally reach millions of people by this time,” wrote Jonathan Landsman, organizer of the online event.

“Within 48 hours of placing our first ads on the internet – THEY SHUT US DOWN,” Landsman explained. And the reason for the shut down? Because a Google representative claimed Alzheimer’s isn’t preventable!

Google censors ads that teach disease prevention (and hurt Big Pharma’s profits)

So now, Google executives are self-proclaimed medical scientists who can censor any advertising campaign that threatens the profits of big pharma. Any ads that attempt to teach people how to prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease or Alzheimer’s is systematically censored by Google under the fraudulent excuse that such diseases “aren’t preventable.” (This is Big Pharma’s BIG LIE that keeps them rolling in the profits by selling “treatments” that never stop the cycle of disease.)

As Google news very well, preventing disease means taking away billions of dollars in profit from the corrupt drug companies who maintain FDA-enforced monopolies on disease treatment in America. The last thing they want us for people to learn how to prevent chronic degenerative disease.

So Google is willing to deny people access to honest information about preventing disease in order to protect the profit interests of Big Pharma. And it’s not just Google, either. Did you know that Facebook bans dietary supplements from its Facebook shopping system? No supplements are allowed whatsoever… not even vitamin C!

Google is all-in for Big Pharma, vaccines, GMOs and Hillary Clinton

What’s readily apparent is that Google, just like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo News and all the other large internet gatekeepers, is all-in for every destructive, evil form of medicine or politics imaginable. They’re 100% pro vaccines, GMOs, SSRI drugs, psychiatric drugs and Hillary Clinton. They routinely censor the truth across all these topics while promoting the lies and propaganda of the corrupt, criminal cartels that operate at every level of our present-day fascist police state society.

“The Alzheimer’s Association had its ‘Alzheimer’s awareness’ month in June,” Landsman explained. “And their message is ‘there’s no cure … just donate money for research.'”

As long as you don’t promote a cure for anything, you won’t be censored. If you keep stupidly promoting Komen’s fraudulent pink ribbons, or breast cancer awareness month (which feeds the for-profit cancer industry), you’ll be granted a voice through Google, Facebook, Twitter and other online gatekeepers. But the minute you start to teach people something TRUTHFUL about preventing disease or reversing disease, you will be targeted and silenced. In some cases, credit card merchants will even cut off your ability to process online payments, denying you a revenue stream.

This is what America has become under the fascist corporate-government power cartels. This is where we are after 8 years of Bush’s police state and 7.5 years of Obama’s “transformation of America” into a criminal cartel of totalitarian traitors. Every sector of modern society has now been overrun with sellouts and traitors who actively seek to enslave the American people by separating them from real solutions that could save lives and end suffering. And it was all propagandized be seditious, subversive disinfo agents (like Wolf Blitzer and Andrea Mitchell) who pretend to be journalists.

Thankfully, we still have Natural News, NewsTarget, Drudge and Breitbart. And although Google has deliberately censored the Alzheimer’s summit advertising, they can’t stop the summit itself!

How to hear the summit that Google censored

The summit begins on Monday, and you can register at this link (it’s free). Once you hear the very first interview, you’ll immediately understand why Google had to censor all online advertising for this summit: The information you’ll learn threatens the profit monopolies of the pharmaceutical cartels who are counting on a massive wave of Alzheimer’s and dementia to fill their bank accounts with financial riches.

If you want to keep your mind intact, protect your sanity and deny Big Pharma more profits, you need to hear this summit. Find out what Google was so terrified of… learn what the internet’s largest gatekeepers are desperately trying to prevent you from discovering.

Because the simple, fundamental truth on all this is that Alzheimer’s and dementia can be prevented. You just need to know how. Click here to join the summit and find out for yourself. It begins Monday, July 25th and features new, exclusive interviews each day next week.

Censorship & Alternate Sites

Elites Panic as Information Control Flounders

by Zen Gardner May 20, 2015

5 25

by James Corbett
TheInternationalForecaster.com

Do you want the good news first or the bad news?

Alright, here’s the bad news: Google is about to start ranking sites according to their conformity with mainstream opinion. Or at least that’s what the headlines would have you believe.

The usual sources in the controlled corporate media are telling you that this is a good thing and that only “Anti-science advocates are freaking out about Google truth rankings,” but if that seems like a remarkably blase attitude to take when facing the prospect of a 1984-like reality where the modern-age Ministry of Truth (Google) is going to determine the “truth” of controversial subjects and rank search results accordingly, then keep in mind that such articles are written by the likes of Joanna Rothkopf, daughter of mini-Kissinger and author of “Superclass,” David Rothkopf.

New Scientist–the website that broke the story with their article “Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links“–also framed the story, predictably enough, as “science” versus “anti-science,” starting their article by lamenting the fact that “Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free ‘news’ stories spread like wildfire.” The article rejoices in the fact that the good chaps at Google have come up with a bulletproof answer to this mess: “rank websites according to their truthfulness.”

The slightly good news is that, ironically enough, the New Scientist article seems to be a perfect example of a fact-free story spreading around the internet like wildfire. While the story does link to a research paper from a Google research team that outlines a “novel multi-layer probabilistic model” for assigning a “trustworthiness score” to web pages, it neglects to mention that the idea is still very much a theoretical work-in-progress at the moment and is nowhere near ready to be launched. If you have a fetish for multivariate equations, dynamically selected granularity, and line graphs comparing calibration curves for various data analysis methods, have at it! For the rest of us who are not fluent in boffin-speak, the gist of it is this:

Google research paper extract

First, a page is harvested for its “knowledge triples.” These are connected triplets of information consisting of a subject, predicate and object. The paper itself helpfully provides the example: Obama – Nationality – USA. A “false value” (again according to the paper itself) would be Obama – Nationality – Kenya. These knowledge triples are assessed for their (Google-determined) accuracy and the page is assigned a KBT (Knowledge-Based Trust) score, which Google could use in place of (or perhaps in some combination with) the traditional PageRank score to determine how high in the search results the web page should place.

The paper uses a list of 15 gossip websites to demonstrate that using this method, sites with disputed and often incorrect information (gossip sites) might rank high in traditional search results, which are weighted toward popularity, but low in the KBT results. But even the paper itself admits there’s a long way to go before this KBT method would be usable by Google to rank billions of web pages.

This is good news for those alt media websites (and their readers) who realize that they are the ones directly in the crosshairs of this technology. Given that Google is nothing other than an American intelligence adjunct (and has been since its inception), would we expect anything resembling a fair assessment of the “truthfulness” surrounding the most politically controversial subjects of our time?

The Federal Reserve is a private cartel created by the banksters for the express purpose of manipulating the money supply and controlling the economy? CONSPIRACY THEORY! No Google for you!

Governments always and throughout history use false flag terrorism in order to justify their wars of aggression? SLANDER! Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to the bottom of the search results!

google-bouncer-blog-small-fileGoogle and every other major Silicon Valley firmis in bed with the DOD and/or the CIA and/or the NSA? BLASPHEMY! You have been excommunicated from the church of Google.

You get the idea.

But here’s the really good news: even if Google does launch such a system, it is doomed to failure. The internet is one of the last, best bastions of the free market in action that we have in our stultified, regulated, controlled, manipulated economy. Google’s popularity did not come about because government goons pointed a gun at everyone’s head and forced them to use it. They didn’t even create a licensing system for operating search engines, a favorite government trick for keeping genuine competition out of the market. It became popular because it was a million times more useful than AskJeeves or Yahoo! or any of the other outdated, clunky, dysfunctional search “portals” that dominated the web in the late 1990s. Granted, the power of Google’s PageRank may have come directly from the NSA’s own engineers, as some have speculated, but the fact remains: people use it because they can find what they want quickly and easily with minimal fuss.

At that point at which Google stops being useful for its intended purpose (helping people to look for information), people will start to look for alternatives. And alternatives do exist.

Ixquick.com is a privacy-protecting search engine that returns results drawn from a wide range of other search engines.

DuckDuckGo is another popular alternative search engine focusing on privacy protection that uses a number of innovative tools to make searching quicker and easier.

SigTruth is an “Alternative Media Search Engine for Liberty Minded People” that uses Google’s own custom search abilities against itself by returning only alt media website results on various topics.

Truthinessdict

 

 

 

 

And even the news that Google might at some point start using its “truthiness” score to downgrade the alt media has spurred others in the alt media (like Mike Adams) to announce the creation of their own search engines.

This is how the free market of ideas is meant to work, and if and when Google starts returning sanitized propaganda, those who are uninterested in sanitized propaganda will vote with their feet (fingertips?).

But here’s the best news of all: what this urge to categorize sites by “truthfulness” (and all of the back-slapping, high-fiving articles about this news from the dying establishment mouthpiece media) really shows is just how desperate the would-be gatekeepers are becoming in their fight to put the alt media genie back in the bottle. And even better yet, this is by no means the first sign that the gatekeepers are losing their war to keep the people in the dark on the topics that matter.

In 2008, arch-globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski started lamenting how, for the first time in human history “all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive.” This, as he stressed in speeches and articles at the time, means that it is no longer possible to dominate people in the same ways that they have been dominated for centuries.

In 2011, Hillary Clinton admitted that the US was losing the information war to alternative media outlets of all stripes.

In 2013, PopularScience.com had to turn off comments on all of their articles because, they said, a “decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics” like catastrophic man-made climate change.

internet-bringing-down-nwo-house-of-cardsAnd poll after poll after poll in year after year after year continues to chart the decline of the dinosaur print/radio/tv media and the rise of the internet as a source of daily news and information for the majority of the public.

Yes, there are dark skies and reasons to be concerned about what’s coming in the inevitable digital clampdown. But there are bright spots as well, and these deserve to be noted, highlighted and celebrated. After all, the people have had a taste for real information and now more people than ever before see through the increasingly clumsy propaganda of the establishment. And that makes the propaganda increasingly useless for setting the political agenda.

The internet revolution toothpaste is out of the tube, and it’s going to be one heck of a job getting it back in. And that’s good news.

+++

ZenGardner.com

from:    http://www.zengardner.com/elites-panic-information-control-flounders/

Blocking Woo-Woo Info in the UK

“Esoteric” Content Censorship…. Coming Soon to a Website Near You!!Censorship (1)2nd October 2013

By Andy Whiteley

Co-Founder of Wake Up World

Graphic and introduction courtesy of reachinglight.com

Introduction:

Can you imagine a world where access to esoteric and spiritual information was blocked by the government? What if you stopped by an internet café only to find that your favourite website was banned by a public web filter? … Or your friend’s natural health website was blocked because it mentioned ‘spiritual healing’ techniques?

A disturbing movement to censor legal spiritual and esoteric information is growing – right now in the UK, and other countries are poised to jump on the bandwagon – and will continue unchecked unless people become aware of the problem and protest it.

Esoteric, anyone?

The word “esoteric” is defined by OxfordDictionaries.com as:

adjective: intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.

Now carefully consider the implications of this definition, just as the UK government considered them in preparation for their proposal to block UK readers from accessing “esoteric” material online.

This measure would provide the UK government powers to censor information from or about any individual or group it sees as “special interest”… or in other words, “not mainstream”. In essence, the government is seeking the legal right to censor opposing streams of thought… and ancient knowledge… and new innovative ideas… then continue on in its theatre of narrow-minded corporate politicking.

If you have specialized knowledge or a ‘minority’ interest of any kind in the UK, you and the “small number of people” who share your minority standing may lose your legal right to share information online about your experiences, thoughts, learnings and practices.

And remember, by definition, “esoteric” doesn’t limit itself only to religious or “spiritual” knowledge; so consider whether your right to share information relating to your culture, language, nationality, race, sexuality, gender identity, interests, expertise, research, discoveries, history or political opinions might also be at risk.

So then, what is the intention of this legislation?

Knowledge is power

Attempting to restrict access to such information demonstrates the UK government’s intent is not to represent its people and administer services on their behalf. This move is a grasp by government at control.

If successful, this law preserves in time the status quo of majority “mainstream” thinking. It limits the public’s access to new ideas, and will therefore limit public thinking, to the ideas and ideals already embraced or unquestioned by the mainstream… and to those the non-”esoteric” media (regulated by government) will continue to peddle. By effectively outlawing access to philosophies and concepts that question or even extend upon currently “accepted” knowledge, the UK government is deliberately engendering a culture of narrow thinking and throwing fuel on a failing old control paradigm.

Welcome to the new “underground” folks!

If this proposition is successful, content from Wake Up World and hundreds of other “alternative” news and information websites will be censored from UK screens. In fact, our UK readers probably wouldn’t even be able to read this article.

So where does it stop? And does it set a dangerous precedent for other “developed” nations?

At the end of the day, knowledge is power. And call me cynical, but I don’t assume benevolence of a government that attempts to hinder its citizens from freely seeking out knowledge and information. By its definition, much “esoteric” knowledge is in fact ancient knowledge – which should be learned and preserved, not banned and hidden under the guise of protective governance.

By proposing laws that strip its people’s right to access lawful information, the UK government is not only seeking control of what people may know today, but control of what future generations may ever know. This kind of censorship is unacceptable in – and dangerous to – a true democracy.

One can reasonably assume the UK government has something to hide.

You can find out more about the UK filter and how it will affect you below.

I also recommend you visit facebook.com/esotericmaterialcensorship for more information, and to get involved.

Infographic: UK Filter to Block ‘Esoteric Content’ - Worldwide Implications

Original graphic published at www.reachinglight.com

from:    http://wakeup-world.com/2013/10/02/esoteric-content-censorship-coming-to-a-website-near-you/

 

Hidden Knowledge Course

Here is an interesting set of course materials dealing with some of the hidden and conspiratorial aspects of these times.  As always, you can choose to investigate or not, believe or not.  Use your discretion.  Follow your intuition.

The Hidden Knowledge Course
Shining Light on the Shadow Aspects of Our World


The Hidden Knowledge Course provides an in-depth, comprehensive understanding of powerful forces at work behind the scenes in our world of which few are aware. The vital information presented here is carefully hidden from the public by various factions of the largely invisible global power elite.

The course starts with media censorship, which limits the range of public debate by failing to report some of the biggest stories of our time. The 11 information-packed lessons then go on to expose little-known facts about war agendas, banking corruption, suppressed energy technologies, 9/11 intrigues, the UFO question, and more. To verify the many astounding facts presented, links are always provided to reliable sources. And most important, the course gives hope for our future.

This engaging course connects the dots, allowing you to understand the big picture with its many complexities, while also examining the relatively simple principles upon which the many layers of deception are based. The powerful lessons here contain highly revealing essays, thought-provoking quotes, inspiring photos, powerful online videos, and suggested exercises designed to give you full spectrum understanding of all that is going on in our world.

Much of the revealing material in this eye-opening course was compiled from the respected WantToKnow.info website, which specializes in selecting the most reliable reports from verifiable sources to expose major cover-ups. The deeper purpose of WantToKnow.info and this course is to call readers to join together in stopping disempowering secret agendas which benefit the power elite of our world at the expense of almost everyone else, and to work together for the good of all.

This course will leave you inspired that we can and will make a difference. Yet it is largely focused on the shadowy underbelly of our world. For those who feel this information might be overwhelming, or for those who would like to read the same powerful material interspersed with inspiring lessons to balance the dark cover-ups, we highly encourage you to click here to see if one of the other free online courses designed by PEERS might be a more appropriate choice for you.

Thanks to the amazing power of the Internet, the mind-expanding Hidden Knowledge Course is able to dive right into the deepest, darkest corners of our world to shed light in places which have long been hidden. The course will not only leave you better informed than the vast majority of people in our world, it will also better equip you to deal with these hidden realities and inspire you to make a difference in our world.
Earth Hands

 

For complete course materials, go to:   http://www.hidden-knowledge.net/

Save Internet Freedom

The Internet on Strike

What happened when major sites went on strike to offer a taste of a censored Internet.
posted Jan 18, 2012

 

Google homepage protests SOPA

Google used its homepage to protest SOPA and PIPA.

Update, Jan. 19: Following the blackout protests, 18 Senators—including 7 former sponsors of the bill—withdrew their support for the Protect IP Act, leaving it without enough votes.


Today, if you tried to find an apartment on Craigslist, Google photos of cute cats, or look up the 14th president on Wikipedia, you surely noticed something strange. These sites, cornerstones of our Internet lives, are blacked out today—and they’re not alone. A massive digital strike is underway, all in protest of what sounds like friendly legislation: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and its peer, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate.

So why is the Internet on strike? Because what’s at stake in the bills, opponents say, is a lot bigger than LOLCats. According to the ACLU, the legislation “would not only impact unlawful infringing content, but also a wealth of completely legal content that has nothing to do with online piracy.”

SOPA would allow owners of intellectual property to cripple foreign sites that are using their copyrighted material illegally (for example, by demanding that search engines not index them, or that ad agencies not contract with them). But since this process would be governed by the “good faith belief” that sites are infringing, rather than judicial review, there’s a lot of worry that it would be misused.

Gizmodo explains:

Potential for abuse is rampant. As Public Knowledge points out, Google could easily take it upon itself to delist every viral video site on the internet with a “good faith belief” that they’re hosting copyrighted material. Leaving YouTube as the only major video portal. Comcast (an ISP) owns NBC (a content provider). Think they might have an interest in shuttering some rival domains? Under SOPA, they can do it without even asking for permission. […]

SOPA also includes an “anti-circumvention” clause, which holds that telling people how to work around SOPA is nearly as bad as violating its main provisions. In other words: if your status update links to The Pirate Bay, Facebook would be legally obligated to remove it. Ditto tweets, YouTube videos, Tumblr or WordPress posts, or sites indexed by Google. And if Google, Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, etc. let it stand? They face a government “enjoinment.” They could and would be shut down.

The resources it would take to self-police are monumental for established companies, and unattainable for start-ups. SOPA would censor every online social outlet you have, and prevent new ones from emerging.

In fact, SOPA has been having a rough road of late: the Obama administration came out against it, knocking it off course for the time being, and three co-sponsors of the bills withdrew their support as the Internet blackout (which the L.A. Times estimates to include some 10,000 websites) began. But PIPA is still set for mark-up next week.

And so the protest continues. Google, in a petition it’s circulating, states, “There’s no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs.” A group of artists sent an open letter to Congress, explaining that “copyright law exists to promote the arts, but the new penalties in PIPA could be used against the new social media channels we depend on to make a living, and endanger freedom of expression.”

from:    http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/brooke-jarvis/the-internet-on-strike