SOPA Threatens Free Speech and Jeopardizes Internet Security

Would you be outraged if the Department of Justice shut down The Foundry without any warning and blocked access for more than a year?

That’s exactly what happened to a hip-hop blog called Dajaz1.com, which was falsely accused of criminal copyright infringement. The blog posted music from artists promoting their work. But federal authorities viewed it differently. They seized the domain name, then shared virtually no information with its owner for more than year. Only recently did they quietly drop the case.

The government’s handling of this hip-hop blog is fueling fears about legislation moving quickly through Congress that addresses copyright infringement and online piracy.

The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA as it’s known in the House, and the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act would give the U.S. attorney general the power and authority to block criminal enterprises from trafficking in illegal products online.

Their cause is a noble one. Business incur significant losses when Americans buy counterfeit items. Consumers must also be increasingly vigilant about purchases they make online. Federal authorities shut down more than 150 websites just last month for pirated goods.

But the two bills making their way through Congress are the wrong solution. They pose serious threats to freedom of speech and expression and raise security concerns. With the Senate possibly voting on the PROTECT IP Act in January and the House moving forward with hearings on SOPA, Americans should understand what’s at stake.

As the case with Dajaz1.com illustrates, the federal government already has the ability to shut down U.S.-based websites. A growing number of so-called “rogue sites” are located outside the United States, however, limiting the government’s ability to block them.

SOPA would give Attorney General Eric Holder and individual intellectual property holders the ability to sue these rogue sites if they were “dedicated to theft of U.S. property.” The government, through a court order, could take these four steps:

  1. Require Internet service providers to prevent subscribers from reaching the website in question;
  2. Prohibit search engines such as Google from providing direct links to the foreign website in search results;
  3. Prohibit payment network providers, such as PayPal or credit card firms, from completing financial transactions affecting the site; and
  4. Bar Internet advertising firms from placing online ads from or to the affected website.

“The legislation addresses a legitimate problem,” wrote Heritage’s regulatory policy expert James Gattuso, “but it may have unintended negative consequences for the operation of the Internet and free speech.”

Free speech: The legislation gives the government the authority to tamper with Internet search results by requiring firms like Google to block links to infringing websites. Placing this limit on information providers is troubling and arguably a violation of the First Amendment. Besides, Washington’s appetite for power is uncontrollable, and this would almost certainly lead to a slippery slope of unwanted interference in the future.

Internet security: Criminals would almost certainly discover new ways to circumvent the government’s measures. But the most glaring security problem with SOPA is the damage it would cause to DNSSEC, the new Internet system designed to limit certain crimes. This would jeopardize security across the Internet, potentially creating new challenges.

“The federal government needs to protect intellectual property rights,” Gattuso concluded in his analysis. “But it should do so in a way that does not disrupt the growth of technology, does not weaken Internet security, respects free speech rights, and solves the problem of rogue sites.”

The debate over SOPA is already among the most intense and polarizing taking place in Washington — and rightfully so. With concerns about free speech and Internet security taking center stage, lawmakers would be wise to look at alternatives when they return in January.

Quick Hits:

The Obama “Justice” department is anxious to put this piece of work into effect ASAP! To silence opponents who keep exposing the layers and layers of corruption within the administration, “Justice” department, DOE, .. well, virtually all the Obama mechanisms now preying on the US citizenry.

The year in Obama scandals — and scandal deniers

The year in Obama scandals — and scandal deniers

Michelle Malkin – Syndicated Columnist – 12/28/2011 9:45:00 AMBookmark and Share

Michelle Malkincolumnists archives buttonWith 2011 drawing to a close, it is time to account. As an early-and-often chronicler of Chicago-on-the-Potomac, I am amazed at the stubborn and clingy persistence of President Barack Obama’s snowblowers in the media. See no scandal, hear no scandal, speak no scandal.

 

Dartmouth College professor Brendan Nyhan asserted in May — while Operation Fast and Furious subpoenas were flying on Capitol Hill — that “one of the least remarked upon aspects of the Obama presidency has been the lack of scandals.” Conveniently, he defines scandal as a “widespread elite perception of wrongdoing.”

So as long as left-wing Ivy League scribes refuse to perceive something to be a scandal — never mind the actual suffering endured by the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, whose death came at the hands of a Mexican cartel thug wielding a Fast and Furious gun walked across the southern border under Attorney General Eric Holder’s watch — there is no scandal!

Self-serving much?

Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum likewise proclaimed: “Obama’s presidency has so far been almost completely free of scandal.”

This after the year kicked off in January with the departure of lying eco-radical czar Carol Browner. In backroom negotiations, she infamously bullied auto execs to “put nothing in writing, ever.” The previous fall, the White House’s own oil spill panel had singled out Browner for misleading the public about the scientific evidence for the administration’s Draconian drilling moratorium and “contributing to the perception that the government’s findings were more exact than they actually were.”

The Interior Department inspector general and federal judges likewise blasted drilling ban book-cooking by Browner and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who falsely rewrote the White House drilling ban report to doctor the Obama-appointed panel’s own overwhelming scientific objections to the job-killing edict.

In February, federal judge Martin Feldman in Louisiana excoriated the Obama Interior Department for defying his May 2010 order to lift its fraudulent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Gulf. He called out the administration’s culture of contempt and “determined disregard” for the law.

This spring saw rising public anger over the preferential Obamacare waiver process (which I first reported on in September 2010). Some 2,000 lucky golden ticket winners were freed from the costly federal mandates — including a handful of fancy restaurants in Aloha Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district, the entire state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Nevada, and scores of local, state and national Big Labor organizations, from the Service Employees International Union and Teamsters on down. Meanwhile, as The Hill newspaper reported last month, other not-so-lucky Republican-led states seeking waivers, such as Indiana and Louisiana, were rejected.

But it wasn’t just Republicans objecting to the president’s arbitrary Obamacare fiats. In July, congressional Democrats turned on the monstrous federal health bureaucracy known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The constitutionally suspect panel — freed from normal public notice, public comment and public review rules — would have unprecedented authority over health care spending and an expanding jurisdiction of private health care payment rates.

Obama’s health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, faced separate legal questions over her overseer role in a hair-raising document-shredding case when she served as governor of Kansas. In October, a district judge in the Sunflower State suspended court proceedings in a high-profile criminal case against the abortion racketeers of Planned Parenthood. Bombshell court filings showed that Kansas health officials “shredded documents related to felony charges the abortion giant faces” and failed to disclose it for six years.

That same month, Bloomberg News columnist Jonathan Alter gushed: “There is zero evidence … of corruption. Where is it?”

Alter’s declaration of the “Obama Miracle” came just weeks after the politically driven half-billion-dollar Solyndra stimulus “investment” went bankrupt, prompting an FBI raid and ongoing criminal and congressional probes of the solar company funded by top White House bundler and visitor George Kaiser.

As Solyndra and an avalanche of other ongoing green subsidy scams erupted, so did the LightSquared debacle — a federal broadband boondoggle involving billionaire hedge fund managers and Obama donors Philip Falcone and George Soros. In September, two high-ranking witnesses — William Shelton, the four-star general who heads the Air Force Space Command, and National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Director Anthony Russo — exposed how the White House had pressured them to alter their congressional testimony and play down concerns about LightSquared’s interference threat to military communications.

The White House continues to block efforts to gain information about the Federal Communications Commission’s approval of a special waiver for the company, even as new government tests this month showed that the company’s “signals caused harmful interference to the majority of … general purpose GPS receivers.”

The Obama White House closed out the year with Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri demanding a probe of the smelly $443 million no-bid smallpox antiviral pill contract with Siga Technologies — controlled by big lefty donor Ron Perelman. Then there was the small matter of massive voter fraud in Indiana, where a Democratic official resigned amid allegations that “dozens, if not hundreds,” of signatures were faked to get Obama on the state primary ballot in 2008. And while Americans busied themselves with the holidays, White House and Democratic campaign officials were dumping more than $70,000 in contributions from another deep-pocketed contributor — scandal-plagued pal and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who oversaw the collapse of MF Global.
All this — and so much more — yet erstwhile “conservative” journalist Andrew Sullivan of Newsweek/The Daily Beast scoffed, “Where are all the scandals promised by Michelle Malkin?”

There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

 

COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM

The evidence of Obama administration corruption is so compelling, and so widespread, (and so ignored by the fawning press) it makes one better understand how someone like Germany’s Hitler was able to take control of the political landscape of a country. His Socialist regime (NAZI’s) promised many of the same goodies that the current Obama administration promises.. to a nation that has been softened by 2 generations of leftist indoctrination by government schools.

» Another Record-Breaking Federal Register? Federal Regulations Surge in 2011 – Big Government

Another Record-Breaking Federal Register? Federal Regulations Surge in 2011

by

Wayne Crews


The Federal Register is the daily depository of all proposed and final rules and regulations, as well as presidential documents, executive orders, agency internal directives and other notices.

This morning’s edition topped out at a rather incredible 81,245 pages for the year, with three days left for Uncle Sam to rack up still more mandates in 2011.

This is notable, because nominally, tomorrow’s Federal Register stands to surpass last year’s all-time high of 81,405. Each year I assemble such facts and figures about the regulatory state in Ten Thousand Commandments, and nothing is improving, at a time in our economic history when things need badly to improve.

Last year’s Register actually contained 82,480 pages, but there were 1,075 skipped or blank pages among them, so I net those out.

Later we’ll determine the number of skips in the 2011 edition, but regardless it seems we’re record-bound.  Stand by.


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Posted Dec 27th 2011 at 12:59 pm in Economy, Regulation, Uncategorized, crony capitalism |
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Is this tsunami of new regulations “sustainable”? Is it desirable? Does this massive additional overhead insure the destruction of the private “wealth building” sector? At some point, sane people must recognize that the Administrative State produces absolutely nothing but a lower standard of living for all but the few politically connected “insiders”. This is the well worn path to Tyranny .. proving once again that you’re doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past when you set aside the lessons of history.

Focus on the Family Community: Finding Home: VIDEO: Carols of Christmas – Part III

VIDEO: Carols of Christmas – Part III

Posted by Jim_Daly on Dec 21, 2011 5:05:20 AM

History isn’t just dry dates and statistics. History is human. History can be a great source of strength and affirmation, an aide to navigation, especially in dark and dangerous times. And the words and music we love that have stood the test of time mean still more when we know their story.

       David McCullough, American historian and author

JOY TO THE WORLD

Isaac Watts published the words for this hymn in 1719. He had written his first hymn in 1692 at the age of 18 as a protest against what he thought was the low quality of songs in Anglican hymnals.

 

A nonconformist pastor and prodigious author of theological and philosophical books (about 60) and hymns (about 700), Watts (1674-1748) is most remembered for the extraordinary hymns, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “Our God Our Help in Ages Past,” and “Joy to the World!” The renowned nineteenth-century English author Matthew Arnold considered “When I Survey” to be the best hymn in the English language. “Our God” has been described as “England’s second national anthem,” and “Joy” ranks in the very top level of Christmas songs.

 

 

 

Though the triumphant words “Joy to the world” exemplify the Christmas feeling, this familiar text is actually a translation based on five verses from Psalm 98 in the Old Testament.  Isaac Watts, the English hymnist and cleric, published his Psalms of David, which contains these verses, in 1719. More than a century later, in 1839, American composer and music educator Lowell Mason decided to set them to music modestly including the phrase “From George Frederick Handel,” apparently to honor his idol, the composer of Messiah and many other masterpieces. For nearly l00 years, the world accepted this ascription, until musicologists pointed out that not a single phrase in the music can be said to have come straight from any work of Handel’s.

 

While the initial stanza announces that “The Lord is come,” it is the only stanza that is related to Christmas and the birth of Jesus. The other stanzas could easily be appropriate for any season of the year.

 

There is no mention of Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the manger or the wise men. Yet, who would deny this hymn a choice place among the traditional carols?The exuberant joy that permeates the psalm as it lauds the God of the Old Testament is present in the hymn but in praise of Jesus Christ.

 

Of all the sacred carols, “Joy” is perhaps the most positive and uplifting declaration of the message of Christmas. The exclamation point almost universally inserted by carol editors after the initial line, “Joy to the world!,” powerfully punctuates the exhilarating effect that this carol has had for the past century and a half.

But let me ask you:

 

What’s your favorite carol – and why?

 

Excerpted from: HymnsandCarolsofChristmas.com

 

 

ALSO THIS WEEK:  Monday: Once in Royal David’s City  Tuesday: Angels from the Realms of Glory

 

Dan Lungren questions Paul Stockton- Assistant Defense Secretary for Homeland Defense: – YouTube

This is the sort of waffler that is in “charge” of our homeland defense. Politically Correct thought is paramount for this fellow.. and must be supposed that his organization toes the line. Feel better about our “security”? Makes me wonder who really pays this fellow for his “contribution” to America’s insecurity.

Big Soros Money Linked to “Occupy Wall Street”

Labor unions, communists, “community organizers,” socialists, and anti-capitalist agitators have all joined together to “Occupy Wall Street” and protest against “greed,” corporations, and bankers. But despite efforts to portray the movement as “leaderless” or “grassroots,” it is becoming obvious that there is much more going on behind the scenes than meets the eye.

Billionaire financier George Soros’ fingerprints, for example, have been all over the anti-Wall Street campaign from the very beginning. And this week, the infamous hedge-fund boss publicly announced his sympathy for the protesters and their complaints about bailouts — despite the fact that he lobbied for even greater unconstitutional handouts to bankers in 2009.

“Actually I can understand their sentiment, frankly,” he told reporters while announcing a large donation to the United Nations. “I can sympathize with their grievances.”

But Soros’ support for the protesters goes far beyond his tepid public statements. In fact, the original call to “Occupy Wall Street” came from the magazine AdBusters, an “anti-consumerist” publication financed by, among other sources, the Soros-funded Tides Foundation.

Other Soros-backed outfits promoting big government — some with myriad ties to the Obama administration — are also publicly driving the occupation campaign. MoveOn.org, for instance, has received millions of dollars from the billionaire banker. And now, the group is urging its supporters to join the Occupy Wall Street movement as well.  

“Over the last two weeks, an amazing wave of protest against Wall Street and the big banks has erupted across the country,” MoveOn said in a recent e-mail to supporters, praising the “brave” demonstrators. “On Wednesday, MoveOn members will join labor and community groups in New York City for a huge march down to the protest site — the biggest yet.”

On top of supplying activists to join the demonstrations, MoveOn is also staging what it calls a “massive ‘Virtual March on Wall Street’ online.” The Internet-based demonstrations are a collaborative effort with another radical and well-connected outfit tied to Soros called Rebuild the Dream.

Led by self-described communist and former Obama administration czar Van Jones, the “Dream” movement is a partnership between a host of Soros-financed “progressive” groups. Big Labor and even Planned Parenthood — the largest abortion provider in America, which receives hundreds of millions of tax dollars each year — are partners, too.

“Together, we’ll add hundreds of thousands of voices of solidarity from the American Dream Movement for the protests across the country and show just how widespread outrage at the Wall Street banks really is,” MoveOn boasted in its e-mail.

Other groups working with Rebuild the Dream are also publicly hyping the demonstrations. And more than a few of them are on the Soros payroll as well. Some examples include People For The American Way, Planned Parenthood, Campaign For America’s Future, Democracy For America, Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, Common Cause, Public Campaign, and many more.

Soros, of course, has a long history of financing organizations targeting the American system of government. He has also served on the board of the immensely influential global-governance-promoting Council on Foreign Relations.

Just last year, Soros claimed that the brutal communist dictatorship ruling mainland China should lead what he calls the “New World Order.” The Chinese tyrants, meanwhile, have also been touting Occupy Wall Street through the regime’s propaganda organs.

But Soros does not love the despots in Beijing for their commitment to “equality” or “democracy.” As The New American reported, behind Soros and his tens of billions lies even more wealth and power: the unimaginably vast Rothschild banking empire.   

One of the richest men in the world today, Soros has been in legal trouble for corruption before — in France, for instance, he was fined more than $2 million for his illegal scheming. So, critics noted, it might seem ironic that the textbook example of a “corrupt financier” would finance a protest supposedly aimed at corrupt financiers. But the irony hardly ends there.     

Union bosses and others intimately linked to President Obama — whose top campaign contributors included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and other big banks — are also playing a key role in the Wall Street protests. The protesters are even recycling administration talking points such as the old “the rich should be forced to pay their ‘fair share'” — despite the fact that the “Buffett rule” tax proposal being advanced would almost exclusively soak what remains of the middle class.

But that might be the point. According to reports and analysts, the whole anti-Wall Street movement has been carefully orchestrated by the Obama-linked anti-capitalist union titans and tax-funded “community organizers.” A troubling plot to essentially finish off capitalism was exposed earlier this year, and at the time it was blasted as “economic terrorism.” Even more disturbing: It was uncannily similar to the growing Wall Street demonstrations.  

Community organizer Stephen Lerner of the SEIU, a regular White House guest, was caught on video in March discussing the scheme to “bring down the stock market” and “destabilize” the nation — all with the stated goal of “redistributing wealth.” And while the whole conspiracy was not revealed because Lerner suspected police were present, the strategies he mentioned included civil disobedience and mass anti-banker protests.

Another conspirator said to be pulling the strings, disgraced ACORN founder and union boss Wade Rathke, was advocating massive “Day of Rage” protests targeting bankers earlier this year. And he is also closely tied to Obama, who actually used to work for Rathke’s “community organizing” outfit.

ACORN, of course, was recently exposed engaging in widespread criminal activity while receiving millions of federal tax dollars. But after the organization filed for bankruptcy, its tentacles are taking over under new names — and still receiving government handouts.

Rathke is also a founding board member of the Soros-funded Tides Foundation, a key source of money for AdBusters magazine (which first called for the Wall Street occupation) and countless other anti-business groups. And he is directly tied to more than a few unions including the SEIU.

Beyond Big Labor and Soros “front groups,” as critics call them, is also a vast collection of socialist and Marxist organizations supporting the demonstrations. The Socialist Party USA, the Marxist-oriented Workers World Party, the International Committee of the Fourth International, and the Communist Party USA-affiliated People’s World are all publicly and openly backing the movement.

While the occupation movement purports to be “leaderless,” in reality, critics say its leaders and financiers are barely concealed. According to analysts, the protests — which are quickly spreading to cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe — actually represent a well-orchestrated operation being used by the very same elite “one percent” supposedly being protested against.

The “official” goals remain murky so far, almost certainly not by chance. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that liberty and honest money are not among the demands. Rather, bigger government, higher taxes, and an end to what remains of the free market system seem to be at the top of the list.

Related articles:

Police Brutality, Mass Arrests Draw Attention to “Occupy Wall Street”

Unions, Socialists Join Forces to “Occupy Wall Street”

“Day of Rage” Wall St. Occupation Sparks Fears

George Soros Funded by the House of Rothschild

George Soros Touts China as Leader of New World Order

Former SEIU Union Official Exposes Plot to Collapse U.S. Economy

Union Leader Describes Plan to Destroy Capitalism

Union Leader Proposes Economic Terrorism — Where Is the DOJ?

ACORN Keeps Members’ Dues After Bankruptcy

Fed Manipulations in the Crosshairs

Photo: Protesters from Occupy Wall Street walk past the New York Stock Exchange dressed as “corporate zombies,” Oct. 3, 2011, in New York: AP Images

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busy

What? You mean Soros and his corruptocrats are financing the “spontaneous” Occupy theater of the absurd? Gee.. I had no idea. Very few people are actually involved, but Alinsky tactics are involved in all this.. make yourself seem much larger than you actually are… capture the imagination of the media (that’s easy to do).. Make outrageous, personal attacks. Alway, always, always claim to be a victim..

The fingerprints seem to always point to a small circle of “puppet masters”..

Is the First Amendment “Relevant” today?

To better understand the intentions and objectives of the founders who drafted our constitution, it would do us well to read the historical record.  When you read the actual documents along with the record of remarks, letters, and supporting documents, you get a full sense of the meaning and intentions that brought about the Constitution, Amendements, and Bill of Rights.  

The historical record is something the “Progressive Left” has worked hard to “revise”, suppress, and willfully discredit for many decades. President Obama is simply the most recent politician to insist that we have “moved beyond” the limitations built into the American Constitution (Obama review).  But for those who are persistent, and insist on finding he truth ( despite today’s “official indoctrination”)  we find that the original record is still intact and available for us to examine. Destruction and revision of a county’s history is a key goal among those who embrace Marxism.  The communist manifesto is clear about that.

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

I would hazard to say that very, very few of today’s students have been exposed to the strongly held beliefs embraced by our founders- And this effort to deceive is intentional..

“While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

-President John Adams, Letter to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts, 11 October 1798

 —

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”


-President George Washington, Farewell Address, 17 September 1796

While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”


-General George Washington, General Orders 2 May 1778


These are but a fragment of the rich and extensive references to the founding principals and foundation upon which the country was formed.  Today’s history “teacher” does his best to hide and discredit the facts.. in order to aid those who desire to turn their back on all that has made America the “Lampost on the Hill”, shedding light and hope in a world consumed by darkness.


Who are these people who are working to revise our past-and “fundamentally change” our future?.. Let’s start with George Soros and the dozens of tentacles he has funded to the tune of more than 5 Billion dollars…Among them being “People for the American Way”, “MoveOn.Org .. The Tides Organization.. and the list goes on…