As most of you must be aware of it, the dooms day for the Internet is about to come very soon if, we are not united together for what is going to happen. There had been a bill passed in the US, which will enable the government of US to censor the internet just like China does, for its citizens.
This bill has been signed by many powerful senators of both Republican and Democrats, which will expand the US governments vast regime, to further censor the Internet. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced on September 2010 and there will be a hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee this Thursday.
If passed, this law will allow the government, under the command of the media companies, to censor the internet as they see fit, like China and Iran do, with the difference that the sites they decide to censor will be completely removed from the internet and not just in the US.
How It Will Work?
COICA will be creating two blacklist of Internet domains. The ruling court Courts can add sites to the first list; the Attorney General would have control over the second. Internet service providers and others (everyone from Comcast to PayPal to Google AdSense) would be required to block any domains on the first list. They would also receive immunity (and presumably the good favor of the government) if they block domains on the second list.
The list would contain sites which are booked for infringing activity. But here's the catch, don't even think that this would only include websites catering Pirated or underground materials, but that's defined very broadly -- any domain name where counterfeit goods or copyrighted material are "central to the activity of the Internet site" could be blocked.
An example of what that reflects in practice is: sites like and not bound to YouTube could be censored in the US. Copyright holders like Viacom often argue copyrighted material is central to the activity of YouTube. But under current US law, YouTube is perfectly legal as long as they take down copyrighted material when they're informed about it -- which is why Viacom lost to YouTube in court.
But once COICA passes, Viacom wouldn't even need to prove YouTube is doing anything illegal to get it shut down -- as long as they can persuade the courts that enough other people are using it for copyright infringement and the whole site could be censored or its lifeline could be pulled off
More worser than above is that even if Viacom couldn't get a court to put censorship of a YouTube or a similar site, the DOJ could put it on the second blacklist and encourage ISPs to block it even without a court order. (ISPs have many reason to abide the will of the powerful DOJ, even if the law doesn't formally need them to do so.).
Th e pass of Act S.3804 or COICA would be a major blow to the growth and development of the Internet world, and also curtail the freedom of speech on the internet world. However there had been a progress from the side of the users as the Senate Judiciary Committee postponed the scheduled markup of the Internet censorship bill went home for the October recess.
How To Submit A Petition Against It?
You can just sign up in the below website and they will send your voice to Washington. Please do register in it if you are a US citizen.
Also if you are an US citizen, you can send a petition to your senator form the below link.
Please do tweet and spread this post as it requires a great deal of attention. Once the bill is passed, the internet will be moving to a dark age.