Monday, January 23, 2012

Interesting Times

The news has been very "interesting" of late.

I've been a Computer Geek for the vast majority of my life (learned to program when I was 13yo, started using the Internet in 1980, yadda) and as you might surmise, I'm one of those crazy liberal anti-censorship "the internet wants to be free!" kind of people. So I've been watching with interest as the "War For The Internet" heats up, with the (apparently successful) "blackout" protest of SOPA / PIPA:

SOPA / PIPA stalled

Which (I can only hope) may have backfired into the MPAA's face:

Online Petition Targets SOPA Comments from MPAA Chief Chris Dodd on Fox News

(And I'd urge you to join the fun by signing the petition yourself. I like the idea of us "free Internetters" going on the offensive versus simply responding to threats as they appear.)

That said, it looks like the government is fighting back:

MegaUpload raided, founder arrested; Anonymous launches mass DDoS against entertainment companies and US law enforcement

And it's got some people running scared:

Cyberlocker Ecosystem Shocked As Big Players Take Drastic Action

But on the bright side, there's been some good news in the Civil Rights arena:

Supreme Court rules warrant needed for GPS tracking

And there's this not-overly-reported tidbit:

DOJ urges judge to side with plaintiff in Baltimore police taping case

"The right to record police officers while performing duties in a public place as well as the right to be protected from the warrantless seizure and destruction of those recordings, are not only required by the Constitution," Justice Department attorneys wrote in a "statement of interest" filed Jan. 10 in the case. "They are consistent with our fundamental notions of liberty, promote the accountability of our governmental officers, and instill public confidence in the police officers who serve us daily."

Hell yes!

And finally:

US Senator Rand Paul refused a TSA pat-down

I would dearly love to see the TSA get their wrist slapped. Hard.

Alas, SOPA and PIPA are just two of a number of pieces of legislation that threaten the freedom of the 'net. ACTA is yet another, and you could do worse than sign the petition against it. And H.R. 1981, the deceptively-named "Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011" is yet another.

But I'm happy to see Things Happening. And some of them are even Good Things. I'm keeping my fingers crossed about the future, it might be bright.

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