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A Free Internet, If You Can Keep It

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the you-can-keep-it-but-you're-in-charge-of-feeding-it dept.

The Internet 102

Kethinov writes "My Congresswoman, Zoe Lofgren, a prominent opponent of the infamous Stop Online Piracy Act, has introduced two bills to the U.S. House of Representatives designed to protect the free and open internet, expand the protections of the Fourth Amendment to digital communications, and protect against the introduction of any further SOPA-like bills. Since these are issues Slashdotters care deeply about, I wanted to open up the bills for discussion on Slashdot. The bills are: ECPA 2.0 and the Global Free Internet Act. Is my Congresswoman doing a good job? Is there room for improvement in the language of the bills? If you're as excited by her work as I am, please reach out to your representatives as well and ask them to work with Rep. Lofgren. It will take a big coalition to beat the pro-RIAA/MPAA establishment politics on internet regulation."

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102 comments

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Still hope for the US. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42001903)

As a euroboy I can only urge you Americans to support politicans like this. Your political system seems bent and broken to me but this is a glimmer of hope at least. Keep fighting for your freedoms, they seem to dictate the direction the rest of us get herded.

Re:Still hope for the US. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42001935)

As a euroboy I can only urge you Americans to support politicans like this. Your political system seems bent and broken to me but this is a glimmer of hope at least. Keep fighting for your freedoms, they seem to dictate the direction the rest of us get herded.

Said the lazy citizen, looking for an excuse to return to watching his futbol match. So you can riot over a soccer game but not your liberties? Must be America's fault.

Re:Still hope for the US. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002061)

Thanks Europe. Your debt crisis and failing economic system are a shining star for all the world.

Re:Still hope for the US. (-1, Offtopic)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42002265)

Only 45 days left until the US "fiscal cliff", I wonder if the Republicans are feeling like collaborating in the economy after Obama's win?

Re:Still hope for the US. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002975)

They only feel like collaborating in as far as Obama is willing to succumb to their desires and fuck over everyone else at the expense of themselves and the rich. "Fiscal cliff" shit isn't as bad as the debt ceiling--sure, places are talking about pushing the US's credit rating lower still, but all the fiscal cliff does is fuck everyone over equally at the expense of the debt instead of fucking over the people that probably actually need it the most and could help the economy the most. </angry american rant>

Re:Still hope for the US. (2)

aicrules (819392) | about 2 years ago | (#42005033)

The fiscal cliff is just forced cuts and tax increases. Not something the average citizen wants necessarily, but far from being all bad.

Re:Still hope for the US. (4, Interesting)

rvw (755107) | about 2 years ago | (#42002403)

Thanks Europe. Your debt crisis and failing economic system are a shining star for all the world.

Our debt crisis? Look at that big pink elephant [usdebtclock.org] behind you. Oh and it might be red with many golden stars, you know, like from communist China?!

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002625)

Obviously that guy is a douchenozzle. The economic elite in the US are responsible for the current condition of the global economy.

Re:Still hope for the US. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002955)

The difference is people are still willing to lend us money hand over fist, even at a known loss to themselves.

Re:Still hope for the US. (1, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | about 2 years ago | (#42003315)

As a fraction of GDP, the US has less public debt than Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, or the UK.

So... yes. European debt crisis.

Re:Still hope for the US. (5, Informative)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 2 years ago | (#42003597)

Wrong. As of 2011, US public debt was at >100% of its GDP, almost putting it in the top ten:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt [wikipedia.org]

If you look at external debt, it's a different picture:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_external_debt [wikipedia.org]

If you cancel out what all the countries owe each other, it becomes even more interesting:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_international_investment_position [wikipedia.org]

Re:Still hope for the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008917)

Don't forget that the US banks ruined Iceland's economy by getting them on board with the selling of bad investments with the rest of them.

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 2 years ago | (#42009907)

That table is inaccurate. (It's the first place I looked.) Remember I said public debt, which is what's usually used to compare the debts of different countries. That page has two sources for public debt figures: CIA world factbook and the IMF. If you look at the CIA World Factbook for the US (actually, they have a whole table, just like the Wikipedia page), you'll find that it's 68%. If you look at the IMF table that the Wikipedia page cites, you'll see that they're actually listing "general government gross debt", which is not the same as public debt. Notably, gross debt includes debt between agencies within the same government, while public debt does not.

You know how people harp on not just using Wikipedia as a source? That's why.

Note that both of your other lists are total external debt, which includes private (i.e., nongovernmental) debts, so they're a horse of a different color altogether.

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 2 years ago | (#42013539)

Well, I intentionally included three different appreciations of 'debt' to show that there is more than one way to look at it (one could argue that the NIIP is much more interesting that the other two). I'd say my three Wikipedia references trumped your 'no references at all'. Your initial statement was clearly a gross oversimplification of matters.

The CIA world factbook says this about their figure for US public debt:
"note: data cover only what the United States Treasury denotes as "Debt Held by the Public," which includes all debt instruments issued by the Treasury that are owned by non-US Government entities; the data include Treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by individual US states, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of Treasury borrowings from surpluses in the trusts for Federal Social Security, Federal Employees, Hospital Insurance (Medicare and Medicaid), Disability and Unemployment, and several other smaller trusts; if data for intra-government debt were added, "Gross Debt" would increase by about one-third of GDP"

As far as I can see, such discounting of the debt figure is not done for the other countries in the list, which skews the position of the US. I wouldn't know how such discounting would influence the positions of the EU-countries, but it seems only fair to perform it for either all or none of the countries in the list.

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year ago | (#42014515)

Your three references are to completely different things. My two references are on the Wikipedia page we're talking about.

As I understand it, all debt figures cited by the CIA World Factbook are public debt. Public debt is also the standard for comparing debt of countries.

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

dinfinity (2300094) | about 2 years ago | (#42016509)

Your three references are to completely different things.

Yes, that was kind of the point. I was trying to illustrate that public debt perhaps isn't the only metric that is useful in comparing countries. I do agree that private debt (and thus external debt and the NIIP) is a different matter.

As I understand it, all debt figures cited by the CIA World Factbook are public debt.

Well, there are apparently a lot of definitions of public debt used in the listing. Just look at the differences between the 'notes':
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2186.html [cia.gov]

I wish I could find a credible source that has a strict definition of public debt and a ranking of countries based on that definition, but I can't. What we can agree on, I believe, is that pretty much all the first world countries are in a bit of a bind when it comes to the matters of debt and the solidity of their economies.

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about 2 years ago | (#42017079)

What we can agree on, I believe, is that pretty much all the first world countries are in a bit of a bind when it comes to the matters of debt and the solidity of their economies.

To a degree. It's hard to say. We've been in more dire situations before, but perhaps in the past approached them less stupidly. The US is still able to sell bonds at incredibly low rates, so at present the market seems to think our debt is no big deal. The European situation is complicated, but it's certainly not going well.

Certainly we can agree that there are a lot of countries that manage to have less debt than we do. Most have much lower GDPs, but not all.

Re:Still hope for the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42006367)

Europe economy is falling. No doubt about that. I am really concerned as a European. But just for your curiosity I read recently quite disturbing news that industrial export of whole U.S economy is lower not only compared to Japan but event to Germany alone. And this is supposed to be behind U.S. deficit. Does not look that shiny now...

Re:Still hope for the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002181)

I'm pretty sure Germany has won and will be dictating where you get herded, not the US.

Re:Still hope for the US. (0)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42002333)

I sure hope they have some herding plans for Spanish politicians. Preferably into the nearest prison.

Re:Still hope for the US. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002235)

Thanks. Enjoy your police state, eurofriend.

Re:Still hope for the US. (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#42002311)

As a euroboy I can only urge you Americans to support politicans like this.

Zoe represents California's 16th district. It consists of most of the city of San Jose (where I live), Santa Clara, and Morgan Hill. It is probably the nerdiest congressional district in the country. People here care about this stuff, but it is not even on the radar of most politicians.

Re:Still hope for the US. (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42002363)

People here care about this stuff, but it is not even on the radar of most politicians.

The point is you now have an official chance to get it on their radar. I hope you're not going to let it pass.

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#42009011)

>Zoe represents California's 16th district. It consists of most of the city of San Jose (where I live), Santa Clara, and Morgan Hill. It is probably the nerdiest congressional district in the country. People here care about this stuff, but it is not even on the radar of most politicians.

I watched the SOPA markup live. There were exactly three committee members fighting against it, or trying to patch it to make it less terrible. These were: Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). Chaffetz in particular has been really good about promoting liberty in congress, but I think all three of them deserve a few bucks from all of us for their next campaigns.

The R/D divide was not as important as the bought-by-the-RIAA/not-bought-by-the-RIAA divide.

Re:Still hope for the US. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002395)

As an American I would ask Europeans to please not tell Americans you support this. In fact, it'd really help if you come out strongly against this. Say Americans have to conform to the world view or something like that. Basically say whatever you'd normally say about the environment but replace the environment with Internet censorship. Thanks.

Re:Still hope for the US. (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#42002483)

As Winston Churchill reputedly once put it, "America can always be relied upon to do the right thing ... after exhausting all the alternatives."

It took me about two decades of voting and following US politics to appreciate the full meaning of that. How can something simultaneously fill me with pride and exasperation? (I'll guess find out when I have kids.)

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42004403)

How can something simultaneously fill me with pride and exasperation? (I'll guess find out when I have kids.)

Yes. (But it's worth it.)

Re:Still hope for the US. (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#42002549)

Your political system seems bent and broken to me

Compared to what, out of curiosity? I don't think anyone would argue that the political system here is perfect and there is no room for improvement, but to me there don't seem to be a whole lot of good models to follow. Sweden is about the only country that really seems to consistently be better than the US in the political system. Most of the rest of the world seems like examples of what not to do. The UK, France, and Germany seem 50-50.

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about 2 years ago | (#42005431)

That it's broken doesn't mean there is a better alternative out there. You can objectively tell when an engine is "broken" (doesn't work), regardless of there being a better alternative out there. Then again, you're also right the rest of the world is probably broken too!

Re:Still hope for the US. (4, Insightful)

Maltese Falcon (11786) | about 2 years ago | (#42002635)

This post says nothing untrue or insulting. He states a fact, our political system is bent and broken (in reality, they all are, just in different degrees. The second point he makes is to encourage us in supporting those U.S. politicians who act as Rep. Lofgren has here... to try to preserve and strengthen our freedoms and liberties, because as he basically said, the world looks to us. As the U.S. goes, so does the rest of the world.

Re:Still hope for the US. (-1, Troll)

JockTroll (996521) | about 2 years ago | (#42002859)

As a euroboy

Shit yourself out of your semen-encrusted asshole and flush, you nazi child-molesting sisterfucking commie cocksucking aryanophile euroturd.

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#42003061)

She'll be assassinated soon by big movie.

Re:Still hope for the US. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008523)

That doesn't sound too likely. An assassinations war would favour big media's much better distributed opponents.

On the other hand such a war would highlight how much many people care about copyright abuses and would probably stimulate the Bitcoin economy (crowd-funding hit men).

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 years ago | (#42005171)

Keep fighting for your freedoms, they seem to dictate the direction the rest of us get herded.

This would have been a perfect time to repeal the nonsensical limitations on scanner radios that were based on analog cellphones and the desire of people who were using RADIO systems to keep other people with radios from hearing them. This mandated gap in coverage is no longer justifiable, yet it remains on the books.

I do like her in some ways (2)

Quila (201335) | about 2 years ago | (#42005393)

Lofgren represents Northern California with the tech and Internet companies. They have a monied interest in an open Internet, naturally you'd think that their paid congresscritter fights for that. This bill falls right into that. However, back in 2002 she introduced a bill that would invalidate EULAs. That would seriously anger this core constituency. It really seems that she's looking out for us.

Well, at least in this one respect (she still promotes institutional racism, unequal protection under the law, and flat-out doesn't believe in three of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights).

Re:Still hope for the US. (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about 2 years ago | (#42007221)

I'm not from the US. But their system seems a hell of a lot better than the European system of having a undemocratic umbrella group controlling what every country does.

All for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42001925)

Go Lofgren!

Awesome (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42001961)

This is exciting that a member of Congress is doing this, I will reach out to my local representatives and ask them to support this.

Re:Awesome (3, Informative)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 2 years ago | (#42002431)

And you can find contact for your local rep here:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ [house.gov]

Re:Awesome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42003713)

The information on that web site is for the current "lame duck" congress. If your district was redrawn, like mine, this may not be who your new representative is. Depending upon the situation you may actually have more success contacting the person in your new district. After all a congressman you don't get to vote on next time may not be as motivated to help you as one who needs your vote in two years.

Re:Awesome (1)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 2 years ago | (#42003957)

Good call.

4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhere (1, Informative)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about 2 years ago | (#42002019)

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." This applies to personal emails and other effects but it is not license to take others intellectual property and do with as you like. We need to defend intellectual property as well as our own privacy.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002093)

A) No it does not, according to the SCOTUS.
B) Thanks for self-identifying as a member of the MAFIAA. In case you haven't noticed, you're not welcome here.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (2)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about 2 years ago | (#42002711)

MAFIAA? Me. Because I believe that what I create is my own?

I think big media is stupid and has created a ton of problems for itself because it doesn't change it's business model and because it backing these stupid laws (SOPA, ACTA).

I'm a big supporter of eff.org. I don't use Facebook because of privacy issues. But all this doesn't mean that you can take someone else's property.

When the last Harry Potter book came out - do you think it would have been legitimate for you to copy the book, print it and sell it and keep all the profit for yourself?

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (1)

Simply Curious (1002051) | about 2 years ago | (#42007603)

Words that are arranged are not owned. Rather, you are given a limited monopoly on the reproduction of those words, for a limited time. This monopoly is society's way of saying "Thank you" for having contributed to society, and is the way by which incentive is given to enrich society.

You are not given absolute control, nor is the control you are granted to last forever.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about 2 years ago | (#42012319)

I agree completely about being given temporary control. The US constitution states: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;" There are too many people who think that copyright protection is wrong. I'm defending the concept of individual property rights. I'm not defending the actions of big media, nor am I defending the idiotic actions of law makers.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008075)

Because I believe that what I create is my own?

You can't own ideas the way you do physical items; that's why we have copyright, trademark and patent laws which are separate from property laws.

do you think it would have been legitimate for you to copy the book, print it and sell it and keep all the profit for yourself?

Off topic; there's no profit in sharing bit streams across the net.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002107)

This applies to personal emails and other effects but it is not license to take others intellectual property and do with as you like. We need to defend intellectual property as well as our own privacy.

What about the need to defend Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny? Those are just as real as "intellectual property."

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002815)

Actually, isn't Santa Claus trademarked by Coca Cola?

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002531)

No....the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to personal email and that is one of the major points of ECPA 2.0. Right now, if your personal email is not in an "electronic communications system for one hundred and eighty days or less," it is receiving virtually no privacy protections at all. Even if it hasn't been 180 days yet, that communication could still be handed over by your service provider. How many governmental requests did Google/Gmail receive this past year....?

The Senator is right (from TFA): "the defeat of SOPA should be more than cause for pride — it must also prompt action to secure the future of the Internet." But this is also about securing us NOW.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about 2 years ago | (#42002627)

You're correct it doesn't.

I should have said the 4th A *SHOULD* apply to email and posts hosted elsewhere.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#42007493)

This applies to personal emails and other effects but it is not license to take others intellectual property and do with as you like.

What the hell are you talking about, and how is it relevant to the story?

We need to defend intellectual property as well as our own privacy.

And judging from your comment, you propose to do that by... invading people's privacy for 'safety'? But no, I don't really want the government to waste my tax dollars going after people who copy files.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about 2 years ago | (#42007697)

No. I'm not defending the idiotic decisions by German courts, nor am I defending SOPA, ACTA or other ridiculous bills.

Unfortunately there are people who think that intellectual property is nonsense; that there should be no copyright laws. The post on the 4th A was written too quickly. It should have said that the 4th A *SHOULD* apply to papers and effects such as emails. I'm a big privacy fan and am appalled by the direction our society is going. For example that Facebook owns the content written there in. Facebook should have no more say about the posts than does the manufacturer of my laptop have in what I'm writing right now.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 2 years ago | (#42012113)

"This applies to personal emails and other effects but it is not license to take others intellectual property and do with as you like."

There is no such thing as "intellectual property". There is copyright, patent, and trademark law. These were created for various policy reasons most of which no longer exist or were never valid in the first place.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about a year ago | (#42015167)

Here I thought copyright, patent and trademark law existed to protect intellectual property. Now -- I am NOT defending all the stupidity and abuses done in the name of intellectual property. I am however defending the idea that what people create is theirs and cannot be copied at whim by others. Can you pass someone else's work as your own (plagiarism) and not expect to get called on it? No. Because that music, movie, book was created by someone else. It is not yours.

Re:4th A applies to email and posts hosted elsewhe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42018379)

I am however defending the idea that what people create is theirs

The data stored on my hard drive is certainly not yours or anyone else's; it's mine.

cannot be copied at whim by others.

It can be and will continue to be no matter how much you whine about it.

Can you pass someone else's work as your own (plagiarism) and not expect to get called on it?

Passing off "someone else's work" as your own is different than merely sharing data with other people.

It is not yours.

It is if it's in my possession/on my hard drive. Honestly, pro-IP people are the most anti-private property goons I've ever met.

I wish (2)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 2 years ago | (#42002027)

It would be great if I could get my congressmen to do something like this, or even support something like this, but they are so far up the ass of their corporate masters they can brush the CEO's teeth without him ever opening his mouth.

Re:I wish (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#42002099)

Becasue you have talked to them? Or becasue you are a lazy do nothing and just put headlines into your own preconceived context?

Re:I wish (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 2 years ago | (#42002309)

Because I've watched their votes and they are never in the interest of the people they represent. (pro SOPA and PIPA, Anti-net neutrality)

Because they have closed door sessions with lobbyists that support issues not relevant to my state.

Because they are mostly anti-tax, tea-bagger, jag-offs.
Are you a congressman or something, why the personal attack?

Re:I wish (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#42002747)

Well, if the people of your district continue to reelect them, I would say the problem lies elsewhere. That they may be "anti-tax, tea-bagger, jag-offs" and still win can only mean that they are a fairly accurate reflection of your neighbors. And as for the people they represent, it seems they're doing exactly what is expected. Either way, it's up to you all to replace them with somebody more to your liking.

Re:I wish (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 2 years ago | (#42003233)

I agree with you 100%, and I will continue to try to get someone else elected. For now though, they are still assholes and are most of the rural residents of the state that keep re-electing these guys.

Re:I wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002759)

you didn't answer the question. There was a question - not an attack You say you "watched" them
and that they don;t vote the way the people they represent (you or people you agree with). But
have you actually made an effort to let them know what your interests are? Or do you actually do nothing
but whine and complain and call names?

Re:I wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42003237)

I am fucked, Boehner is my rep...

Re:I wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008165)

You mean you're Boehned?

Encourage positive behaviour from your politicians (4, Insightful)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about 2 years ago | (#42002033)

My spelling gives it away, probably... I am a Brit living outside the US. But Congresswoman Lofgren's approach is one that would go a long way to winning my vote, if I was living in San Jose and was eligible to vote.
If you are in her Congressional District and you agree with her stance, I would suggest sending her a message of support (let her know that she is doing a Good Thing... she is not a mind-reader, and positive feedback is always welcomed).
If you are not in her Congressional District, I would suggest sending your Congress-person a request to get behind her proposal, and also sending her a letter to say that you support her stance, and you have asked your Congress-person to do the same.

Re:Encourage positive behaviour from your politici (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42003579)

Doesn't help when you're in Feinstein's District. Her and Boxer were both Pro-SOPA (and other similiar legislation) and neither seem to reply or take into account comments made via their websites (My dad has sent letters to both until he was blue in the face. Still votes for 'em though.)

People need to start taking the 'long term' view, and vote third party, not because they'll get them into office, but so that in 4-6 years (whatever the term limits are for the position in question) they'll be able to have funding for their NEXT campaign and hopefully challenge the party duopoly in a meaningful way. If you're voting FOR someone because of party lines and not actually the issues that are important to you, you're going to get what you deserve.

That is all.

Sorry (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 years ago | (#42003635)

If you are not in her Congressional District, I would suggest sending your Congress-person a request to get behind her proposal...

My state's congress creatures are so pro-corporate and police state as to make Eugene McCarthy now look like a centrist.

Too late this year (2)

Amezick (102131) | about 2 years ago | (#42002079)

This seems like a throw-away bill. There is no chance it will make it to the president's desk before congress closes for the year and all bills have to start over.

Re:Too late this year (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | about 2 years ago | (#42002365)

This won't even make it out of committee unfortunately.

Re:Too late this year (1)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 2 years ago | (#42002535)

Which is addressed in her discussion of the bills and why she is introducing them now.

Re:Too late this year (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#42002649)

This won't even make it out of committee unfortunately.

Which committee? If any of my congress-critters are members, I'll crawl up their asses and set up camp until these bills get to the floor.

Orwell (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002081)

In our Orwellian nation, I regard with suspicion any legislation claiming to preserve 'freedom.' Too often, names like "Global Free Internet Act" end up being cover for precisely the opposite.

Perhaps I am not being fair here (and I don't have the time to read the impenetrable language of the bills), bit long experience has taught me to be this way.

Re:Orwell (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#42003031)

Zoe appears to be good people. She lead opposition to SOPA and against PCIPA's data retention requirements. I don't like that she supported the Sonny Bono act, but her proposed Public Domain Enhancement Act (Which would require periodic renewal of copyrights after 50 years, though that bill has gone nowhere) redeems her somewhat.

It will not take a big coalition. They are TINY (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002087)

Don't make the Mafia (one "a") look bigger than they are! The last time I checked, the whole global music industry made less in revenue than a single broke German construction company (Holzwinkel) made profit.
And the by far biggest part of that was iTunes.

It's not much different with the other media distribution and artist extortion industries.

They just have a giant overblown ego. (Judging from what I've seen with EMI, SonyBMG, and Warner, my only guess would be massive cocaine abuse.)
And they project that ego over everything, much like a Steve Jobs reality distortion field, so that politicians think the Mafia has some actual relevance.

But 1. who says we can't blow up things just as much, and 2. their bubble only works if you believe in it. Otherwise it bursts quicker than a soap bubble in a nail bomb explosion.

So please don't spread their reality distortions. (Including the one about imaginary property.) Because by doing so, like a Streisand Effect, you're helping your own enemy.

Thanks.

Re:It will not take a big coalition. They are TINY (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#42003155)

They have disproportionate influence compared to their financial clout, because the media are the means of communication with the people, and politicians find this both enticing and threatening at the same time.

Re:It will not take a big coalition. They are TINY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42005713)

Good point, that definitely has to be part of the big picture.

But what I wanted to say, is that even a tiny fraction of any other population group could lobby the living shit out of the media industry.
We just need to have the confidence to be a bit more like the Yes Men [theyesmenfixtheworld.com] . Imagine 100 of those guys, doing this as a full-time job, being our lobbyists, paid by what are only a few cents for each of us.

It really doesn't even remotely take as much, as we all tell us every day it would take.
And I, for one, plan to have some major fun with it. :)

Does Wyden support this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002103)

I hate to say it, but I'm suspicious. Is Wyden on board with this?

That awkward Moment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002223)

When you a webform to ask your senators to support a bill and it errors out...

Hm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002405)

SOPA's the one that only affects USians right?

Then I don't care bout this story.

Re:Hm... (2)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#42003249)

the problem is that SOPA is a Nuclear Option for IP things.

even if you are not in the US you can still be on the hook for violating it if

1 your internet presence has a edu /net / com extension

2 some US company decides that you violated Their IP

3 any of your business is in the US

4 Your country has treaties that require it to match the US regs

5 Your country has %resource% and the US decides that it needs to be Liberated (with the "corrections" to IP laws of course being part of that)

I'm not optimistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002417)

By the time they get done watering this down and then loading it with pork and hidden agendas, this bill will be worthless, if not dangerous.

Actually read the bills (4, Interesting)

Saxophonist (937341) | about 2 years ago | (#42002425)

I took a look at both bills. I'm not optimistic.

I would need to dig more into the ECPA 2.0 bill, but there are, at a minimum, some technical problems with the bill's language. The purpose seems to be to abolish GPS tracking, but the language is weasel-y, and it needs to clarify some points such as interaction with state laws.

The Global Free Internet Act appears to do nothing useful. It would create a task force ripe for regulatory capture [wikipedia.org] , and it would probably result in less accountability than having groups continue to lobby Congress. Also, some of the factual statements about the Internet are incorrect, especially when making assumptions about the Internet's "original purpose."

I'm not saying that we couldn't have quality legislation in these areas, but the proposed bills are lacking.

Re:Actually read the bills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002761)

What? A politician submitting misleadingly named legislation that appears to meet the desires of their constituents but is internally phrased so as to be less than useless?

I am shocked, shocked I tell you!

Re:Actually read the bills (3, Interesting)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | about 2 years ago | (#42002853)

Do you think its writing is better or worse than the typical bill?

Do you think its real purpose id different than its stated intent?

If we really want this bill, and really want it in a good fashion, we should make a wiki collaboration of it. Of course I am saying that, and it takes energy, and I'm heading off to work at the moment.

Re:Actually read the bills (2)

Saxophonist (937341) | about 2 years ago | (#42003113)

In this case, to me, the bills just look ineptly written. That's to be expected, in a way; writing bills is not especially easy, and it usually takes a collaboration of people to look at all the possibilities and get it right. Unfortunately, sometimes that collaboration introduces corruption into the bill as well, since certain legislators will work for special interests. I don't think these bills are any different from others in this way.

I don't know how federal bills get written. In my state, where I ran for legislature this year (and lost, but it was a good showing in a district that heavily favors the other major party), there is a legislative office with lawyers on staff who write all the actual bills.

A wiki approach might be good. On the other hand, imagine what would happen to your open-source software project if everyone could contribute, nothing was explicitly vetted, there was no ability to fork, and the result really mattered and was difficult to change. Congress would, of course, vet the bill by voting on it if they chose to do so. Groups write model legislation all the time. Maybe this is something that the EFF could do? Another posted suggested having EFF look at these bills, which could be a good starting point.

Re:Actually read the bills (2)

aicrules (819392) | about 2 years ago | (#42005653)

The axiom "Never apply to malice what can be attributed to stupidity" applies in reverse for laws like this. What may look like an ineptly written law is more likely meant to hide true, and nefarious purpose. Maybe it's not in this case, but that's my assumption. Global in the title worries me...internet does span the globe, but this is a US law. Don't want to bring the globe into it. I think an acceptable new version of the law would be titled Free Internet Act and would simply read: No law shall be inacted regulating the use of the internet. Done.

What does the EFF say? (4, Informative)

crow (16139) | about 2 years ago | (#42002493)

It would be nice to have someone with a degree of credibility look at this legislation and report on how useful it really is. That's exactly the sort of thing that the EFF should be doing. Have they reviewed it?

Re:What does the EFF say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002757)

Excellent point, similar to my thoughts. All I see is a lot of edits and I'd have to read the edited document to understand and probably still not fully appreciate the results, since IANAL.

Looks good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42002613)

Won't happen. Snowballs chance in hell odds.
How many ex-riaa/mpaa and other hollywood lobbyist type people did obama put into positions when he got elected the first time? Couple dozen... (theres a nice infographic floating around that lists them all and where they came from and where they went)

Until you fix THAT... Going to be damm hard to have any common sense or good laws when it comes to anything related to the internet, media, or communications.

It's part of the reason why crap like SOPA keeps comming back. Whatever its name is this week. I expect SOPA will make yet another return around xmas and try to get slipped in and passed while we're not looking.

Why not apply wiki model to legislation? (2)

bmearns (1691628) | about 2 years ago | (#42002807)

I've been thinking for a little while that it would be interesting to apply the wiki concept of communal editing to legislative proposals. This might be a good opportunity to start, since so many slashdotters will interested. Someone could set up a project and allow anyone to edit the Congresswoman's bill. Then when there is some kind of consensus, it can be submitted to her so she can pursue it further. Any volunteers?

Re:Why not apply wiki model to legislation? (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 2 years ago | (#42003187)

I would take it one further - the problem with wiki's is that they have a first-come, first served model, and the last edit wins.

What you really want is to load the text of the bill into a git repository. Each user interested in amending the bill does so, pushes their branch, and proposes it for merging (with Gerrit or something similar).

A web interface that permitted you to do the branching and editing would be great too.

This sort of thing has already been done with things like the law of Utah, but mostly for review, rather than proposing amendments.

Re:Why not apply wiki model to legislation? (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 2 years ago | (#42005093)

Can we then also have American Idol style elections? Each week we vote a candidate off after making them dance for our amusement...

what amendment (1)

scrout (814004) | about 2 years ago | (#42003463)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, ... describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. So my internet "papers and things" are not already included in the 4th amendment protections? Aren't they simply the modern version of my papers?

This is what is wrong with congress and the law: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42004359)

On pg. 23 or BILLS-112hr6529.ih.pdf, the congress critter says this:

SEC. 5. PROHIBITIONS OF BULK SUBPOENAS.
          Section 2703(c)(2) of title 18, United States Code,
is amended by striking ``of a subscriber to or customer''
and all that follows and inserting ``of a subscriber to or
customer or user of such a service when the governmental
entity uses any means available under paragraph (1) or
uses an administrative subpoena authorized by a Federal
or State statute or a Federal or State grand jury or trial
subpoena specifying the particular subscriber, customer,
or user whose information is sought by name, address,
telephone or instrument number, subscriber number or
identifier, including any temporarily assigned network ad-
dress, credit card or bank account number, or any other
information that uniquely identifies the particular sub-
scriber, customer, or user.''.

When this would have been shorter, clearer, and to the point:

No subpoena shall issue by any court that requests any subscriber information for more than one single individual.

Man, they need a Git repo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42004585)

SEC. 2. WARRANT REQUIRED FOR CONTENTS OF COMMUNICATIONS.
(a) COMPELLED DISCLOSURE OF COMMUNICATION
CONTENTS.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 2703 of title 18,
United States Code, is amended—
(A) in subsection (a)—
(i) by striking ‘‘INELECTRONIC STORAGE’’ in the subsection header;
(ii) by inserting ‘‘or remote computing service’’ in the first sentence after ‘‘electronic communication service’’;

I would really prefer if they used a proper repo and we could just look at the diff.

Origin of the quote "If you can keep it" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42004661)

http://www.bartleby.com/73/1593.html [bartleby.com]

"Well, Doctor, what have we got - a Republic or a Monarchy?"

    "A Republic, if you can keep it."

ATTRIBUTION: The response is attributed to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN - at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation - in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland's delegates to the Convention.

    McHenry's notes were first published in The American Historical Review, vol. 11, 1906, and the anecdote on p. 618 reads: "A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it." When McHenry's notes were included in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, ed. Max Farrand, vol. 3, appendix A, p. 85 (1911, reprinted 1934), a footnote stated that the date this anecdote was written is uncertain.

Moot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009503)

It will all be a moot point once the Chinese and Arab censorship pushers take over the Internet via the U.N.

just wrote my house rep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42010355)

"Greetings! As you can probably tell, this is not an automatic form letter. It probably has no resemblance to any other letters you have received, though I hope you have received none in opposition to what I am writing. As such, please do not respond to this unless it will be with a personally crafted, one of a kind, letter. Anything else would be a waste of tax-payer monies, and your time. (Senator Kohl seems to be the best example, well, more his staff, of actually reading these requests for non-generic response) Anyway, down to the point: I request, and urge your full support of HR6529, and HR6530, both of which are designed to support an open and free internet. I feel the founders of this country would be in support of such measures, in order to maintain open commerce among the citizenry, as well as free speech, and to maintain a degree of privacy which, though not explicitly laid forth in the constitution, an open and free society must have for unimpaired function. I recognize that perhaps these may not be a particularly hot topic with your constituents, tho it is with me. I also recognize that these bills may run counter to the recent course set-forth by big business and brought up in congress, but might I remind you that you are in office to serve me and other citizens who do not have the lavish funds required to otherwise buy legislation (such as the famed SOPA/PIPA). Your support of these measures may require you to reach across the aisle and work with your political opponents, tho it seems time that such actions be taken up for risk of permanently harming this nation. Regards, (my name here)"

War is Peace... (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | about 2 years ago | (#42011677)

Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength...

Just take everything a bill is named for and reverse it and you get it's true goals.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) wouldnt have stopped Piracy but proliferated it.

Any time a a politician brings a think of the children arguement what they really are thinking about it corporate interests, etc...

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