19. No Internet Censorship

No Censorship of the InternetThe theft of intellectual property and online piracy should be prohibited.  However, in 1983, approximately 50 corporations controlled all news media outlets in the United States. Today, ownership of the news media and virtually all content has been concentrated in the hands of about six powerful corporations which are often parents or subsidiaries of corporations that sell their products through the mainstream media. This limitation and control of traditional media outlets highlights the critical importance of an uncensored Internet accessible to all of humanity.

The Internet and its related technologies foster free speech, innovation, and foster a global human consciousness. We believe that the Internet and its related technologies are the joint property and work-product of humanity, and as such, it must not be censored without the consent of the people who utilize and contribute to its vitality.

We therefore demand the immediate withdrawal or repeal on passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act or “SOPA” (H.R. 3261) and the Protect IP Act  or “PIPA” (S. 968). While the theft of online intellectual property must be prevented, these bills, if enacted into law, will grant the government and internet service providers broad new powers to curtail speech on the Internet, block domain names, track internet protocol (“IP”) addresses, dramatically increase the cost of using content on the internet, and ultimately chill innovation and creativity of web entrepreneurs in favor of a few media corporations that already own or control most media content. The Internet is the last outlet of free speech available to the 99%.

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John Lockette commented 2012-02-19 21:35:19 -0500 · Flag
@ chuck gregory – I disagree that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were merely stating what was unacceptable and they did not propose or state any solutions. In fact, they advanced two major solutions – elevating the colonies to the level of free and independent states and dissolving all ties to the British monarchy. At the same time, however, I agree with your sentiment that getting too specific in advancing too many solutions could create roadblocks in terms of gaining support for the cause.

Therefore, I suggest that we should stick to two or three paramount issues. I would argue that eliminating the influence of money in politics, instituting terms limits, and reforming some of our election practices are the bare minimum. All the other areas can be fixed if we the 99% can regain control of our democracy and our government through the enactment of new rules in those three areas. Essentially, that means going with #’s 2, 4, and 17.
chuck gregory commented 2012-02-19 06:44:48 -0500 · Flag
There are a few themes that underlie all of the proposed reforms at this site. It would be more effectively presented to the public if the Declaration of the 99 focused on those themes rather than solutions. For example, it is much more clear to the public that there is a danger to Internet freedom when this particular page addresses the corporate concentration of ownership. The underlying theme for this specific solution— corporate conglomeration— also applies in banking and political lobbying.

When the revolutionaries drafted the Declaration of Independence, they did not propose specific solutions; using a radical philosophical framework, they stated what was unacceptable . If they had demanded a federal system of government, the United States would never have happened; they would have been abandoned by the public as they sank into a quagmire of quibbling over details. While the goal is admirable, to propose solutions instead of defining the problem (as the Declaration of Independence did) is to undercut the purpose of the movement. They

If you want people to rally to your side, do as was done in the Declaration of Independence and clearly state the problem rather than offer the solution. Solutions are much better after people deal first with defining the problem.
chuck gregory followed this page 2012-02-19 06:44:44 -0500
Hikaru Maxwell commented 2012-02-19 03:43:28 -0500 · Flag
should add: We also demand immediate withdrawal from the international trade agreement ACTA, as it has been found to be incompatible with the Human Rights Convention and the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union (which mirrors the constitutional and civil rights of US citizens, as well as the Human Rights outlined in the UN), as well as the circumstances surrounding it’s inception for the United States being unconstitutional. Any future agreements of this type must be constitutionally sound, sent before Congress as per that governmental body’s Article 6 powers, and also not be in direct conflict with the Human and Civil Rights of US AND non-US citizens (such as the rights to free speech, due process, privacy and protection of their personal effects and correspondence which includes internet communications).
Nathan Duncanson commented 2012-02-18 02:37:39 -0500 · Flag
We may need to go further and require that all media companies be split into small, independant companies. Then prohibit anyone from owning or controlling more than one media company at a time. That should enable newspapers, T.V. and radio news companies to properly perform their watchdog role over government and large corporations.
Maria Cadwallader commented 2012-02-17 20:01:45 -0500 · Flag
Have always supported this position. Continue to do so.
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