Friday, 20 January 2012

We Just Slowed Them Down

Well done to everyone who spread awareness through the Blogosphere about SOPA/PIPA. I personally think that the protest on the 18th went exceptionally well. The media knows we're not going to take this nonsense and so many people are now educated about this.

But it appears our efforts may have been in vain, or rather, we just delayed the inevitable.

Love, Censorship.

For those you unaware, MegaUpload was taken down by the US yesterday. Many suspect it's a response to the SOPA/PIPA protests the day earlier. MegaUpload is one of the largest (if not the largest) file sharing sites available. Many legitimate accounts and individuals use it on an daily basis where large file transfers are not viable by other methods. Associated sites such as MegaVideo, one of the largest streaming sites, was also taken down.

What's more disturbing is that it was taken down without notice or warning, and 4 workers were arrested, from NEW ZEALAND. And what's worse is that MegaUpload is based in HONG KONG.They claim the shut down and arrests are appropriate because MegaUpload was potentially infringing on copyrights.

"Allegedly".

So many people are now asking, then what was the point of the SOPA/PIPA protests if the government is able to shut down sites anyways? How SOPA worked was that it would allow large corporations to point their finger at a site and go "Potential copyright infringement" and the site would shut down immediately.

BUT without it they need to go through the courts first. Turns out MegaUpload case has actually been secretly going on for about a year now before they were able to bring the site down and make the arrests. I personally feel that by having the shut down so conveniently scheduled after the protest it's the government's way of saying "We're not done yet".

Also, everyone from Asia is a Martian.

So what can we do now? Big Brother from 1984 is flexing his arms so to speak. The hackivist group known as Anonymous has gone on a Distributed Denial of Service attack (or DDoS for short) and temporarily brought down many of the sites associated with MegaUpload's removal. But that's the keyword, the damage is temporary. What they're doing is like running into someone's room, tearing down a poster, and running away. You can always put the poster back up later.

Unfortunately, no one else has any better ideas. No one expected a response from the government so soon and not such a drastic response either. The government has heard our protest, and they replied "So what? We do what we want.".

This is a problem that affects all of us. I'm currently looking into what an ordinary individual can do and so far I don't have much. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated because I'd rather not sit and watch this play out.

80 comments:

  1. This is the part I don't get: Even if SOPA gets passed, why does America suddenly get jurisdiction to shut down websites that are based in different countries and arrest people who aren't even in the States?

    What the hell gives the USA rights to censor the world?

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  2. That's quite scary. Surely MegaUpload should have been notified if there was pending legal action against them, otherwise they cannot represent themselves and cannot guarantee a fair trial.

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  3. This is all very scary because it starts with site like MegaUpload, then it will trickle down to others. The canary in the mineshaft. I don't know what I can do, but I'll look into it as well. Maybe we can share ideas.

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  4. Unforchantly all I can think of right now is tell as many people, keep spreading the word, and contact your government!

    Have you heard about Bill C-11? It might be SOPA for Canadians?

    (Canadians [like us] tend to focus on USA matters so much we don't realize when it happens to us!)

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  5. It's the most frightening news I heard all day. I'm very worried, but I don't know what we can do. M'sia banned a few sites too recently, and I thought back then - huh, only in Malaysia. With this SOPA/PIPA as well as bringing MegaUpload down, I don't know what to think anymore.

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  6. Things are all really heating up in this censorship issue and in all honesty all I want is to see the whole thing go away. I think SOPA and PIPA will ultimately be rejected but it seems this whole thing is just a matter of time, let's hope we're both wrong on that account mate.

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  7. Well, I think delaying the vote is better than nothing. It shows protesting had somewhat of an effect...

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  8. Good night, sweet princess. :(

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  9. I live in Hong Kong and, NOT A FUCK WAS GIVEN. We can't use Megaupload :P. Though the process which Megaupload was taken down was certainly alarming in itself, anon is right, government don't need no SOAP and PIPES to censor.

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  10. The whole situation is scary. I did hear the same theor this morning on the radio. It's hypocritical of the American consitituion.

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  11. Hmmmm it's always the same. They can't take it that people stood up to them and now have to prove they have the power and make themselves feel good.

    Only thing I can think of is actually bringing down these sites for good. Not that I could ever do that, but if we were able to hit back with force, they may stop this garbage.

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  12. I don't think IRL protests/riots are for off really. There isn't a great deal we can do with just our web, and soon people are going to realise this, and they're going to do more. The same happened with the OWS movement, and it's going to happen here too, but I can see it being a lot dirtier. One thing that majorly pisses me off about MU is that it was based in Hong Kong, by New Zealanders, and the AMERICAN government said "Nah, we're turning that shit off." What right do they have to do that? I don't see this ending well either for us little guys on the web, or for government. Someone is coming out of this hurt.

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  13. good read. This is a real problem thats going to get outta hand extremely quickly.

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  14. There has to be some way to combat copyright infringement and piracy without impeding internet freedom.

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  15. Riot in the streets would be nice start.

    Government cant do shit with 300,000,000 people protesting.

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  16. Yes, quite a big problem. But nothing we can't overcome.

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  17. I didn't hear the MegaUpload story, I'm horrified, that's pure evil. Piracy has to live if we are to beat the capitalist world!

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  18. Gotta keep fighting the good fight! They always "postpone" voting... we don't want voting postponed, we want you to vote no on it, you sneaky congress folk!

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  19. lol, I wrote a blog post about this just before coming here. Although yours was quite a bit more thoughtful...

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  20. Meh, government should just stfu and listen to the people. They ain't got nothing to bring in against our arguments, but no, they just won't hear it.

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  21. I also heard that several of those arrested were held without bail. It's crazy. Absolutely crazy.

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  22. I dont understand why if this passed in the US why would people in other countries be arrested for whatever? if its a USA only bill then how can it possibly affect other countries and people who are not native to the USA?

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  23. Very informative, thank you.

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  24. Maddox from the best page in the universe suggested getting to the source and boycotting the major influences. I dug what he thought about it. Google it, if you feel so inclined.

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  25. As long as SOPA/PIPA doesn't pass, the current procedure is probably all they'll get then.

    I mean, 5 people just have to be willing to make a boatload of money, enjoy life for a couple years, then spend 10 in a white collar jail for copyright infringement. I'm sure the battle will continue.

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  26. the government always tries to keep ppl stupid so they can control them easier.

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  27. The SOPA/PIPA Internet blackout has delivered a message to at least one elected official in Washington, DC.

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  28. Anonymous writes my favorite quotes! Anonymous wrote my favorite secular music after the Holy Roman Empire, and hacking! :P

    We might have to think of different names for Anonymous. :P

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  29. Fight the power! Just don't get caught fighting the power.

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  30. The MU thing was a big shock, I still think it's because of the SOPA protests.

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  31. We just need to build our own network, have DNS servers that are controlled by the people not governments.

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  32. If I remember correctly, all file hosting sites like MegaUpload aren't exactly supporting piracy. It's against their terms of service to upload copyrighted content but users all over the globe still use them to share copyrighted materials. It can't be MegaUpload's fault so why arrest the site owner? That's like taking down YouTube for hosting copyrighted shows.

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  33. This whole thing is frustrating... thanks for clearing it up a bit for me!

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  34. Wish they would just get it through their heads that we don't want them to touch our internet.

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  35. Oh boy, SOPA and PIPA, and guess what, ACTA is now resurfacing. We can't even get a break here.

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  36. Hopefully things will even themselves out soon enough considering all the protest that's been happening globally. I don't think we get access to MV here in the UK anyway, but this roving shutting down is unfair. xxx

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  37. Yikes...I hadn't heard of this!

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  38. we may have one the battle but the war is not over!

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  39. I guess we just can't get apathetic.

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  40. Keep vigilant, and remember the people that had to be "convinced" and vote them out. Change is the only way you get rid of the entrenched congress critters that are just a bag of dicks.

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  41. Replies
    1. Thats what I was going to mention. Also, HR 1981 is in the works as well, that has some interesting language behind its apparent noble cause.

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  42. that poor little cat. He doesn't suit tinfoil at all

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  43. I don't like SOPA. Megaupload though was a filesharing service, which encouraged its users to upload copyrighted material, so it was legitamite, that they needed to go.

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  44. we should all move to ToR and darknets and hope the bandwidth to improve... Whats there to control if no one uses the surface net ^_^... now just gotta learn how vpn and tor work xD

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  45. The whole situation sucks (and I know that the UK will just blindly go along with whatever the US wants) but I hope it doesn't come to mass protests, that'll lead to rioting and stupidity and then being a human will suck a little more than it already does.

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  46. I like how your blog post seemed to be the next step from mine lol! Very nice post and very informative. Right now the only thing I know we can do to stop this from continuing is contacting our Senators!

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  47. Sorry if this is a double post but mine seemed to vanish after I hit publish...anyways I was saying I like how this seems to be the next step from my blog post! The only thing I know to do now is to contact our Senators!

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  48. We all did a good job about SOPA, but now we need to focus on HR 1981. What a dick move, by the way - since it didn't pass before, they're sneaking the SOPA language (but worse) into a bill about combating child pornography. That's so sleazy.

    Thanks for writing about this.

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  49. Eh now there's bill 1981 to worry about

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  50. The most we can do is keep up the pressure and revitalize awareness of the issues, lest we succumb to a new era of corporate cyber-imperialism.

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  51. Wasn't SOPA and the other bill (sorry I can't remember all these acronyms!) postponed? So that's something - well it's a small success anyway - but it's on the right track!

    Take care
    x

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  52. haha this photos make my day :D great ! :D

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  53. Actually I think one of the long-term benefits of the SOPA/PIPA blackout will be the increased awareness of upcoming legislation by the younger generation of voters

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  54. agree with dreadnaught
    we have to take this to the streets not just a 'protest' from behind the screens

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  55. We continue to protest against it, but nothing happens. We are told SOPA is brough to a close, yet more sites are continuing to be shut down.

    It's ridiculous.

    GM x

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  56. Its an election year for you guys...make it the only issue of the presidency!

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  57. Hopefully many are aware of this and we've stopped it! :)

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  58. i can't believe this has happened..

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  59. I can't believe this is happening, I've been seeing so many people on twitter with the profile pictures with CENSORED on across their faces.

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  60. I heard mediafire might be next! :O

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  61. I think we gotta get into the streets. Start organizing our own political groups (with like minded friends etc.) and writing to your representatives... Then we can become a huge force to be reckoned with.

    We need the internet to communicate, so please keep it free and open!

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  62. absolutely agree dear!
    love the pictures (lol)

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  63. I just found out that after MegaUpload's fall, other file hosting service changed policies and proceeded to removing files and making them private only. IT BEGINS!!

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  64. I don't even know where to start on all of this... I just have to say I'm not a happy camper about it.

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  65. I'm not sure I buy that that fellow or his kitty are Asian. Fuck censorship.

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  66. Yeah discovering MegaVideo has been "seized" by the government pretty much ruined my day yesterday. I can see both sides of the SOPA thing, even if I don't agree with the censorship of it. But like you said, I'm not sure what an individual can do. :/

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  67. It is scary that MU was taken down (seemingly) so fast. I was proud that people stood up against SOPA the way they did. It makes one remember the power the "little people" can have. Nice poster analogy, too.

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  68. Haha that cat is like, "I...hate....everyone..."

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  69. Love the tinfoil hats.

    There's nothing to unite the entire populace like threatening our internet. With Google on our side, we have a chance.

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  70. They already have the power to shut sites down but SOPA makes it that much easier and prevalent. I fear it is inevitable as well as much as I hate it.

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  71. A friend of mine had a great comparison to this whole control issue: prohabition. And we all know how well that went.

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