Internet Censorship, Blacklisting, And Blocking A Taste Of Things To Come

December 10, 2011

For a while now, we have been telling you about the Copyright protection movement, a noble cause, as we do not advocate piracy, or stealing…in any form. But the fact of the matter is that these seemingly simplistic, harmless protections for copyright holders are dangerous. The U.K.’s blocking order of Newzbin and Newzbin2 became infectious, even in light of the workaround the developers came up with so quickly, and the powers that be went after NZB’sRus. But that order was short lived, too.

In order to give people a realistic look at the extent that censorship can go, we have decided to tell you about a few of the places that have a high level of censorship, and the penalties that can potentially be imposed on those that break them.

  • Thailand “ They have a very comprehensive Computer Crimes law that, when combined with their laws against speaking anything foul against the throne, can get you placed in prison for up to 15 years for simply doing a œLike on Facebook. They censor harmful websites and content, like the Wall Street Journal, and N.Y. Times, and are reportedly using the new law enacted just this month to charge hundreds with what they deem as œCyber Crimes.
  • Bahrain “ Their Ministry Of Education expelled 63 student from school for peacefully protesting inhuman acts. The Ministry conducted a lengthy investigation and in the end showed the students their activities on FB, and Twitter and duly charged many with offenses ranging from peacefully protesting, to doing likes on Facebook. Earlier this year there were several bloggers that were arrested and jailed for some of the same supposed crimes.
  • Vietnam “ It is a cool fact that Professor Pham Minh Hoang had his sentence reduced from 3 years to 17 months, but the ugly fact remains that many bloggers that wrote about the exact same human rights violations, (freedom of speech, and the attacking of human rights,) are serving much more severe sentences.
  • Syria “ American built technologies help this countries government maintain tabs on virtually every form of internet communication, and use them to hit the protesters hard. Many protesters have been jailed, beaten and tortured for their participation in protests against anything their government deems œGood. One Italian company was invited to upgrade and modernize the systems, but pressure from the human rights community has made them back out.
  • Myanmar/Burma “ The pioneer of countrywide internet blackouts. This happened in 2007 when a peaceful protest turned ugly due to the governments objection to it. It is suspected that American technologies are assisting their government in their heavy censorship endeavors.

We wish we could tell those folks among us that their copyrights protections are really protecting them. But when evidence like this is considered, and the fact that there are better ways to protect these same rights, many are wondering why is it correct to invade the rights and freedoms of the average internet user. After all, there are quite literally billions of average users, while the copyrights protections may only protect the rights of a few hundred thousand.

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