Thursday, December 15, 2011

Internet Death Feared Tomorrow

New Music: Saving Internet Freedom of Speech.
1. "Firewall" (Don't Let Our Government Ruin The Internets) by Leah Kauffman
2. "SOPA Cabana" by Dan Bull
Thanks to New 'Firewall' song protests SOPA copyright bill (Q&A) Declan McCullagh CNET News

Enjoy your last Internet freedom today because after tomorrow it will be gloom and doom online. The Internet you freely enjoyed will henceforth be grated only unto those whom watch Hollywood movies and dance to big label music hits released in America. The day in history when the world will wake up to the darkest day online.

“On Thursday, December 15 at 10:00 a.m. (EST) the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary will meet to markup and potentially vote in committee on H.R. 3261, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” or SOPA. This egregious bill, introduced in October by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), not only threatens the future of the Internet as we know it, it jeopardizes protections currently enjoyed by individual citizens, as well as libraries. The bill has the potential to do significant damage in a number of ways – including the possibility of criminal prosecution of a library for streaming, censorship of internet activity, invasion of privacy rights, and even threatens national cyber security, among others.” publishes

An excessive application of traditional copyright law(written for the analogue era) on internet digital media content has become the new tool to criminalise use of the Internet. Beware the internet, by its architectural design, makes a local (cached) copy of the viewed online content on the user's computer - a reason sufficient enough to get all its users jailed for 'copyright infringement' under analogue copyright regimes. You need not even be online content sharing student to risk infringement extradition.

Bid goodbye to a hitherto generative internet and prepare for much worse that await.
Websites slowly start fading and falling off the web, slowed internet-enabled innovation, blogs shut down, sacrificing your free expression online, dwindled access to information, diminishing consumer choice in a gradual return to dark days of tightened society control rewarding oppressive regimes with a new lease of life.

And its only a matter of time before google is unable to return complete list of all online search results “Revised 'Net censorship bill requires search engines to block sites, too” arstechnica earlier reported.

Tomorrow could mark the day the whole world was terrified on realisation of the death of the Internet. Killed by a handful of rich legacy content producers unimaginative for new business models with their globally established traditional news and information distribution networks. Rendering them irrelevant towards extinction after internet-enabled innovation unleashed new content, producers and online distribution networks that robbed them their earlier global monopoly on entertainment, news and information distribution to promote the same.

United in shooting democracy in the foot are US lawmakers pressed to restore Hollywood's past blockbusters glory, music record label companies used to hot releases distributed via old established networks promoted songs through old media information dissemination networks. Industries intent on regaining old relevance by cutting off global public access to new online content, news and information by confining audiences to their chosen tracks and movies – they way things used to be before 'spoiler Internet' came around.

On a video at the 2009 IGF in Egypt, moderator Ian Peter closed the session by saying, "the Internet is under threat, especially from old, dying empires," citing Rupert Murdoch's publishing businesses as one example, "that are putting up their last struggle to change things back to the way back to the it used to be."

These rich old content business model business lobbyists engaged innovation corruption tactics (or 'institutional corruption , remixed') to have the US lawmakers to enforce laws reclaiming their old gone empires two new legislations with global jurisdiction - Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect-IP Act (PIPA) in the House and Senate, respectively all the world nation states shall be forced to abide to else their online presence will be switched off-due process not needed!

ICANN Civil Society Letter to Washington D.C.

Today, 14 December, 2011 the Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC), which is part of the multistakeholder model of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and represents more than 250 individuals, users, non-commercial and non-profit organizations from around the world has written a letter to House Committee expressing profound concern with the proposed PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would mandate the blocking and filtering of the Domain Name System (DNS) to protect the interests of the US copyright industry.

In particular, NCUC is very concerned with the provisions in both Bills relating to Domain Name System (DNS) filtering. As identified by numerous technical, legal and policy experts:

  • DNS filtering is often proposed as a way to block illegal content consumption by end users. Yet policies to mandate DNS filtering will be ineffective for that purpose and will interfere with cross-border data flows and services undermining innovation and social development across the globe.

  • Filtering DNS or blocking domain names does not remove the illegal content – it simply makes the content harder to find. Those who are determined to download filtered content can easily use a number of widely available, legitimately-proposed tools to circumvent DNS filtering regimes. As a result, DNS filtering encourages the creation of alternative, non-standard DNS systems.

  • DNS filtering a blocking raises human right and freedom of expression concerns, and often curtails international principles regarding the rule of law, due process and justice. Some countries have employed DNS filtering and blocking as a way to restrict access to the global Internet and to curb free speech.

  • The United States has historically advocated for freedom of expression and has been a strong proponent of online Internet freedoms. The United States Government has a significant responsibility to balance its domestic obligations and their potential global impact, especially with respect to Internet policy. Given its commitment to global Internet freedom, it would be detrimental to the global Internet if the United States were to insist on such an approach.

  • NCUC explained that the implications of legislation, like PROTECT IP Act and SOPA, will have a negative impact upon the Internet’s design and can potentially create serious international political and legal problems. Compromise Internet freedom held dearly by various organizations and institutions, like the OECD, the European Parliament, the Internet Society and the Council of Europe – all of whom have committed to preserve this freedom and requested the United States to commit as well to preserving this freedom.

    Ending with an appeal to the Committee to consider their viewpoints also expressed by a multitude of actors and organizations and not support legislation that undermined the global Internet.

    Global big media infotainment interests

    The role of the media, according to the book Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, Manfred B. Steger, Oxford University Press (2003) wrote:-

    “To a large extent, the global cultural flows of our time are generated and directed by global media empires that rely on powerful communication technologies to spread their message. Saturating global cultural reality with formulaic TV shows and mindless advertisements, these corporations increasingly shape people's identities and the structure of desires around the world. During the last two decades, a small group of very large TNCs[Transnational Corporations] have come to dominate the global market for entertainment, news, television, and film. In 2000, only ten media conglomerates - AT&T, Sony, AOL/Time Warner, Bertelsmann, Liberty Media, Vivendi Universal, Viacom, General Electric, Disney, and News Corporation - accounted for more than two-thirds of the $250-275 billion in annual worldwide revenues generated by the communications industry. In the first half of that year, the volume of merger deals in global media, Internet, and telecommunications totalled $300 billion, three times the figure for the first six months of 1999.

    As recently as 15 years ago, not one of the giant corporations that dominate what Benjamin Barber has appropriately called the 'infotainment telesector' existed in its present form as a media company. In 2001, nearly all of these corporations ranked among the largest 300 non-financial firms in the world. Today, most media analysts concede that the emergence of a global commercial-media market amounts to the creation of a global oligopoly similar to that of the oil and automotive industries in the early part of the 20th century. The crucial cultural innovators of earlier decades – small, independent record labels, radio stations, movie theatres, newspapers, and book publishers - have become virtually extinct as they found themselves incapable of competing with the media giants.

    The negative consequences of this shotgun marriage of finance and culture are obvious. TV programmes turn into global 'gossip markets', presenting viewers and readers of all ages with the vacuous details of the private lives of American celebrities like Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kobe Bryant. Evidence suggests that people all over the world - but especially those from wealthy countries of the Northern hemisphere - are watching more television than ever before. For example, the daily average viewing time per TV home in the United States has increased from 5 hours and 56 minutes in 1970 to 7 hours and 26 minutes in 1999.

    That same year, TV household penetration in the US stood at a record 98.3%, with 73.9% of TV households owning two or more sets. Advertisement clutter on US television reached unprecedented levels in 2000, peaking at over 15 minutes of commercials per prime time TV hour, not including the frequent cutaways for local ads. The TV advertisement volume in the US has increased from $3.60 billion in 1970 to $50.44 billion in 1999. Recent studies show that American children at age 12 watch an average of 20,000 TV commercials a year, and 2-year-old toddlers have already developed brand loyalties.

    The values disseminated by transnational media enterprises secure not only the undisputed cultural hegemony of popular culture, but also lead to the depoliticization of social reality and the weakening of civic bonds. One of the most glaring developments of the last two decades has been the transformation of news broadcasts and educational programmes into shallow entertainment shows.

    Given that news is less than half as profitable as entertainment, media firms are increasingly tempted to pursue higher profits by ignoring journalism's much vaunted separation of newsroom practices and business decisions. Partnerships and alliances between news and entertainment companies are fast becoming the norm, making it more common for publishing executives to press journalists to cooperate with their newspapers' business operations. A sustained attack on the professional autonomy of journalism is, therefore, also part of cultural globalization.”

    What Next?

    First, the State Department will thereafter lose face and the moral authority to preach internet freedom to the world while expected US laws imposed to the rest of the world mean the complete opposite.

    After October last year's Department of Homeland Security's unilateral disabling of domain names accused of IPR infringement U.S. Government Seizes BitTorrent Search Engine Domain and More alternative DNS systems are contemplated.

    The move could backfire even further. Internet users may opt for alternative domain name registrars threatening over 130 million US global leadership on domains names registration business and hosting services business worth over US$ 10 billion dollars estimated - excluding costlier web hosting revenues earned by US web hosts companies.

    Domain name and hosting business migration to non-US countries would be a further blow to hurting US economy and jobs migrating elsewhere. Emergent new hosting countries, for a start, will begin chipping away US relevance on content and its hosting industries.

    Plausibly triggering a global rebellion to Hollywood content thus defeating US lawmakers, big studios, music industry content and big media regaining control and monopoly over entertainment and other information dissemination – counter to stated objectives to make more money with US content.

    If India's Bollywood and Nigeria's Nollywood be examples, “Otherwood” phenomenon could catch on now with different content, domain names and hosting business and Internet users that “Want Nothing US”- leaving a disastrous end game triggered by SOPA and PIPA devastating an otherwise recovering US economy.

    Meanwhile, African governments whom had heavily spent their citizens taxes promoting the spread, use of and for Internet-enabled innovation are now forced back on the drawing board for strategies on how to counter threats to their national interests and peoples online presence should the proposed American legislations be made law.

    There can never be a simpler illustration of internet fragmentation - courtesy of Hollywood, big US music label companies, multinational media corporations and a few IP Industry sharks eagerly waiting to cannibalise off Internet fragmentation beyond their fill.

    Had the Internet been patented?

    Let's appreciate the shared wisdom and foresight of it's inventors,"Then the question was would it be something that could be rolled out to the rest of the world? We didn't know for sure but when we worked on it, we decided not to patent, not to copyright, not to control, but to share everything we knew about the Internet design to the general public all around the world." Vint Cerf

    Vint Cerf/Wikimedia

    For further reading consider:

    Founder of Internet Fears 'Unprecedented' Web Censorship From SOPA
    SOPA: The New American Censorship?
    How SOPA Could Ruin My Life
    How SOPA 2.0 Sneaks In A Really Dangerous Private Ability To Kill Any Website

    [Please Note: This was blog post was composed and uploaded amidst suddenly unexpected DNS challenges. The author may, in due course, update it for better contextual accuracy, linguistic, phraseology and layout. Thank you for understanding]

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