Internet Censorship Bills
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Internet Censorship Bills (SOPA/PIPA) – The Future?

The Future of Internet Censorship Bills

Internet censorship bills at a standstill? With the tragic and sad death of the young Internet activist and founder of Reddit, Aaron Swartz, what will happen to the future of the Internet Censorship Bills (SOPA/PIPA)?

While I don’t necessarily agree with everything Aaron Swartz advocated, I do think that his campaign against Internet Censorship led the way for more interesting dialogue and more equitable balance in favour of open access and copyright holders.

Swartz was arrested for accessing and downloading articles from the academic database JSTOR from September 24th, 2010 to January 6, 2011. Swartz was arrested by MIT and Cambridge police on charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony. Interestingly, the prosecution insisted on pursuing Swartz even though JSTOR decided not to pursue charges. He was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Congress Support of Internet Censorship Bills

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT-IP or PIPA) progressed through Congress in January 2012.  However,  major public interest groups such as Mozilla, Reddit and Wikipedia protected by having an Internet “blackout” day.  On January 18, 2012, around 100,000 websites went dark or feature a protest on their front page.  As a result, the bill’s support from many senators was withdrawn.

U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC)

The Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) announced an initiative on July 15, 2013, where major internet advertising company agrees to cut out advertising for websites that infringe copyright or trademarks.  It provided a notice and counter-notice procedure to allow websites to respond to accusations of infringement.

Policy Papers from Congressional Research Service

The Congressional Research Service has prepared many nonpartisan reviews of current policy issues.  The following are some reports that may be helpful:

Data Privacy

NAS Surveillance Leaks:  Background and Issues for Congress

Promoting Global Internet Freedom:  Policy and Technology or HERE.

In-Car Location-Based Services: Companies Are Taking Steps To Protect Privacy, But Some Risks May Not Be Clear to Consumers.

Internet Domain Names

Internet Domain Names:  Background and Policy Issues

Digital Advertising

The Shift to Digital Advertising:  Industry Trends and Policy Issues for Congress

Responsibilities of First Parties for Notice of Third-Party Data Collection for Online Behavioral Advertising on Their Websites


Copyright Small Claims:  A Report of the Register of Copyrights

Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy

Copyright Filings with the US Government

Copyright Law and Guidance


Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions (June 2013)

The 2013 Cybersecurity Executive Order: Overview and Considerations for Congress (November 2013)

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources (December 2013)

Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Executive Order 13636: Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework

Thompson Coburn LLP Internet Twists and Turns has some good articles.

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