20.1.12

Arrests, Anonymous, SOPA

We all survived the Wikipedia blackout, hopefully that has kick-started the learning curve for anyone left who was still confused about SOPA (which is currently shelved) and PIPA (which isn't shelved and needs to be in the spotlight NOW).   What you may not have been aware of is that the U.S Federal agents have been flexing their muscle in  the last couple of weeks without the help of either of these acts, using current copyright infringement law.

First up,  the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has seized the domain for a U.K website called TV Shack.  Richard O'Dwyer, a 23 year old college student is facing extradition to the U.S to face charges.   Note that no British citizen has ever been extradited to the U.S before, but no one is playing nice or fair anymore.  Something is going on here, which brings us to;

Megaupload has been taken down in New Zealand.  Kim Dotcom and others have been arrested in New Zealand at the request of U.S officials.  So that means the United States is now exercising its capability to request that foreign governments arrest their own citzens?  I'm sure they e-mailed a mountain of evidence to New Zealand to justify this course of action. However, if they can get to the Kiwis, I can only hope when America comes knocking at Australia's door Julia Gillard is as tough as she looks and won't let bloggers and domain owners be dragged across the Pacific without asking at least a few questions.

Revenge has been served by Anonymous.  Hackers associated with the group have taken down the Department of Justice, Universal Music, MPAA and RIAA websites.


The draconian crackdown on these sites in the midst of the blackouts, petitions, protests and call for a presidential veto doesn't make anyone feel much sympathy for the pushers behind these bills, and will only hinder their cause.  Barack Obama's campaign could be affected by his consideration of the veto. A rather sad statement on how deeply entrenched lobbyism has become when Hollywood can make threats towards the President of the United States (however hollow those threats may be).

If this is a preview of the SOPA/PIPA future, any person in any country who provides links on their website that can be linked to copyright infringement (oh yes, I am so screwed) can be arrested by the United States of America and your own government might just do it on their behalf.   This is arguably a fair enough practice if we're dealing with terrorists roaming the globe with WMDs, but for college kids and Swiss Beatz?! 

Links to get you up to speed

Anonymous Declares WAR 
How SOPA Could Mess With the Education Revolution
Jon Stewart on Congress's Use of "Nerd" 
Throwing Youtube Into The Mix - Why Anonymous Hit Universal
We ARE Winning - Congress Getting Cold Feet
FallOut from The Wiki Blackout - Just How BIG was it?
YOU Are Helping Anonymous - Simple as that

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