Censorship

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US House Committee Announces Oversight Hearing on DNS and Search Engine Blocking

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa today announced that the Full Committee will hold a hearing on January 18 to examine the potential impact of Domain Name Service (DNS) and search engine blocking on security, jobs and the Internet community. The Committee will hear testimony from cybersecurity experts and others from the technology community. more»

2011 Domain Name Year In Review: Top 10 Biggest Domain Stories

Who would have ever believed that .XXX would finally be approved AND launched, total domains registrations would continue to grow at 10% year over year, ICANN would be in the process of preparing for the launch of new gTLDs in the face of harsh criticism, and that both Go Daddy and Group NBT would be acquired by private equity firms. As we look back over the past year, here are the top 10 biggest domain stories of 2011. more»

The Myth of the Unintended Infringer in SOPA and PIPA

In a recent op-ed piece in TheHill.COM, some friends and I described the futility of mandated DNS blocking as contemplated by the SOPA (H.R. 3261) and PIPA (S. 968) bills now working their way through the U.S. Congress: No Internet user is required to use the Domain Name servers provided by their ISP. And if millions of American citizens who for whatever reason want to engage in online piracy can no longer do so because Congress has passed this law and their ISP is now filtering the citizen's DNS lookups... more»

Over 80 Internet Inventors and Engineers Send Open Letter to US Congress

A group of 83 Internet inventors and prominent engineers sent an open letter today to the members of the United States Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively. more»

Stopping SOPA's Anti-Circumvention

The House's Stop Online Piracy Act is in Judiciary Committee Markup today. As numerous protests, open letters, and advocacy campaigns across the Web, this is a seriously flawed bill. Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Darrell Issa's proposed OPEN Act points out, by contrast, some of the procedural problems. Here, I analyze just one of the problematic provisions of SOPA: a new"anticircumvention" provision more»

ISOC Joins Opposition to Stop Online Piracy Act

In a letter released on Monday, the Internet Society Board of Trustees has expressed concern with a number of U.S. legislative proposals that would mandate DNS blocking and filtering by ISPs to protect the interests of copyright holders. "Policies mandating DNS filtering undermine the open architecture of the Internet and raise human rights and freedom of expression concerns," says Internet Society (ISOC). more»

European Court of Justice: Courts in EU May Not Order ISPs to Filter Out P2P

The European Court of Justice has ruled that content owners cannot ask ISPs to filter out illegal content. The ruling could have implications for the creative industries as they attempt to crack down on piracy. The court said that while content providers can ask ISPs to block specific sites, wider filtering was in breach of the E-Commerce Directive. more»

Taking the Anti-SOPA Message to the People

It was fascinating last week to read coverage of congressional hearings around the SOPA bill, or Stop Online Privacy Act. The bill has strong support from the Motion Picture Association of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and big pharmaceutical companies. It's opposed by most technology and telecom companies, plus consumer advocate groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge. more»

ICANN: The Stakes in Registrar Accreditation

Law enforcement demands to domain name registrars were a recurring theme of the 42d ICANN public meeting, concluded last week in Dakar. The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) took every opportunity at its public meetings with GNSO and Board, and in its Communique to express dismay, disappointment, and demands for urgent action to "reduce the risk of criminal abuse of the domain name system." more»

ISOC Issues Statement in Response to Increasing Internet Access Restrictions by Governments

The Internet Society (ISOC) has addressed human rights issues related to Internet access stating "[t]he increasing pressure to limit access to the Internet has escalated the sense of urgency in addressing this situation." ISOC, in the announcement, reaffirmed its policy area and its work to bring attention to the impact of Internet freedom on other aspects of human rights. more»

U.S. Pushes China to Explain Extensive Blocking of Internet Services

The United States is pressing China to explain why its "national firewall" extensively block U.S. companies from providing Internet services in the country. "Having a presence on the Internet that is visible in China is increasingly a critical element for service suppliers aiming to reach Chinese consumers and business," Ambassador to the World Trade Organization Michael Punke said in a letter on Monday to his Chinese counterpart. more»

Europe Drafting Charter for Internet Users, Denouncing Overregulation

The Council of Europe plans to establish an Internet user charter to guarantee the rights of consumers in an era of increasing government attempts to seize control of the Web, its deputy secretary general said on Tuesday. "We want to emphasize the development, perhaps in the form of a charter on the rights of Internet users so they can claim openness, universality, access and affordability and possibly to know who to turn to if these principles are not respected," Maud de Boer-Buquicchio said. more»

EFF: Court Refuses to Return Seized Domain Name

Corynne McSherry from EFF reports: "In a cursory opinion issued today that left us scratching our heads, a federal judge has ruled that the government does not have to return a domain name seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), because its seizure did not create a substantial hardship. ... Puerto 80, the Spanish company behind popular sports streaming sites Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org, which were both seized by U.S. ICE earlier this year -- even though a Spanish court found they did not violate copyright law -- had filed a petition to have the sites released pending a trial on the merits of the case." more»

Minding the GAC and the Heckler's Veto

ICANN meetings sometimes congeal around a single theme. In San Francisco the theme was captured on clever t-shirts bearing the iconic symbol of the London Underground with the words, "Mind the GAC." Here was a succinct and timely plea for the ICANN Board to pay serious attention to the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)'s concerns about new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), rather than to risk undermining the long-term viability of the multi-stakeholder model. more»

Editorials Against PROTECT-IP

First the Los Angeles Times, now the New York Times have both printed editorials critical of the PROTECT-IP bill. Both the LAT and NYT support copyright - and announce as much in their opening sentences. That doesn't mean we should sacrifice Internet security and stability for legitimate DNS users, nor the transparency of the rule of law. more»