In Fault Lines: Controlling the Web, the Al Jazeera English documentary series Fault Lines, "looks at the fight for control of the web, life in the digital age and the threat to cyber freedom, asking if US authorities are increasingly trying to regulate user freedoms in the name of national and economic security."
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a controversial surveillance bill that proposes broad legal exemptions for the U.S. government and private companies to share "cyber threat intelligence" that go well beyond the FISA Amendments Act which legalized the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. [more inside]
Australia hosts secret trade agreement negotiations this week in Melbourne This Thursday, behind closed doors in Melbourne, representatives from nine countries will take up discussions once again on an ambitious, comprehensive trade agreement for the Asia-Pacific region. Negotiators from Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore will pore over draft treaty text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, an agreement to cover all aspects of commercial relations between the countries, from competition and customs to e-commerce, rules of origin and labor, from textiles and apparel to telecommunications and intellectual property. The intellectual property chapter for the TPP will lay out lengthy, highly detailed, coverage of all aspects of IP enforcement and protection between the nine countries.
Anti-ACTA protests have begun around Europe after the secret treaty was signed in Tokyo last Friday. Activists have planned larger protests for Saturday 11 February. The European Parliament will formally consider ACTA in June. (previously) [more inside]
The Cost of Knowledge lets scientists register their support for a boycott of all Elsevier journals for their support of SOPA, PIPA (tag) and the Research Works Act (previously, WP, MLA, UK, Oz, etc.). It appears the boycott was inspired by Field's medalist Tim Gowers' recent comments describing his personal boycott of Elsevier journals. [more inside]
With surprising candor, Chris Dodd tells Obama that the Hollywood purse strings are about to get tight. Angry over the Obama administration's siding against SOPA and PIPA, Dodd says openly that the money the Democratic party regularly counts on Hollywood for might not be there this election cycle. One view is that Hollywood considers that it bought something very specific with it's money, and it's angry it's not getting it. Should Obama be worried about this? Perhaps not. The guys from Freakanomics say that our assumption that money is the most important factor in deciding elections is a fallacy.
SOPA and PIPA dropped by Congress. The ideas present in both SOPA and PIPA may return, but both bills in their present form—and with their present names—are probably done for good.
Megaupload has been shut down. Four people, including the founder Kim Schmitz, have been arrested for violation of piracy laws. Two more are named as defendants in the indictment. 18 domain names have been seized, warrants have been issued in 9 countries. Given that Megaupload took the fight to Universal Music Group in December and is on record as being vehemently against SOPA, one wonders if this crackdown is a retaliation of some sort. Given that industry insiders accuse MegaUpload of being responsible for at least $500 Million in lost revenue for the music industry, it's ironic that its current CEO is Swizz Beats, noted major-label rapper and hip-hop producer.
Chris Dodd responds to the SOPA/PIPA protest and blackout on the official MPAA blog calling it an "abuse of power".
The Obama White House formally speaks out against SOPA, PIPA. The Obama White House has come out against the Stop Online Piracy Act. The move has -- unsurprisingly -- drawn responses from the MPAA, RIAA, and other interested parties.
"Because we don't know how to make a wheel that is still generally useful for legitimate wheel applications but useless to bad guys."
Cory Doctorow's 28C3 talk The Coming War on General Purpose Computation (abstract, transcript) warns that "the coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race." [more inside]
Get your censor on. GYWO creator David Rees takes on the Stop Online Piracy Act. Meanwhile, a group of 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills (previously).
On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
American Censorship Day is an internet protest against the oft-renamed Stop Online Piracy Act. [more inside]
The U.S. House of Representatives has drafted their version of Senator Leahy's Protect IP Act, renaming the bill the E-Parasites Act. Among other changes discussed previously, the bill now makes internet service providers and websites liable for activities of their users that infringe upon copyrights, effectively overturning parts of the 13-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Senator Leahy's Protect IP Act would require that U.S. ISPs impose an 'internet death penalty' upon domain after merely a preliminary injunction from a U.S. court that suspects the site of being 'dedicated to infringing activities', even if the domain's owner had never been notified and was not subject to U.S. jurisdiction. There is concern that the legislation would fragment the DNS system and facilitate DNS spoofing by obstructing DNSSEC (pdf). There is also an open letter opposing the bill signed by 108 Law Professors who study intellectual property law. [more inside]