Sunday, January 28, 2007

Prison Threatened For Bloggers Under Bills Proposed By McStain & Vitter

In a nutshell: The Regime is planning to force bloggers who criticise Congress and organise grassroot causes to register themselves or face jail time. According to, under Section 220 of S. 1, the lobbying reform bill currently before the Senate, bloggers who have more than 500 readers will have to register and report quarterly to Congress just like lobbiests or go to jail.

The amendment is currently on hold.

This latest attack on bloggers comes hot on the heels of Republican Senator John McCain's proposal to introduce legislation that would fine blogs up to $300,000 for offensive statements, photos and videos posted by visitors on comment boards.

McCain's proposal is presented under the banner of saving children from sexual predators and encourages informants to shop website owners to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who then pass the information on to the relevant police authorities.

In recent months, the chorus of propaganda intended to demonize the 'Intertubes' and further grease the skids toward strict, intrusive, official control has risen to a crescendo in establishment organs, worldwide:

During an appearance with his wife Barbara on Fox News last November, George Bush senior slammed Internet bloggers for creating an "adversarial and ugly climate."

- The White House's own recently de-classified strategy for "winning the war on terror" targets Internet conspiracy theories as a recruiting ground for terrorists and threatens to "diminish" their influence.

- The Pentagon recently announced its effort to infiltrate the Internet and propagandize for the war on terror.

- In a speech last month, Homeland Security director Michael Chertoff identified the web as a "terror training camp," through which "disaffected people living in the United States" are developing "radical ideologies and potentially violent skills." Chertoff pledged to dispatch Homeland Security agents to local police departments in order to aid in the apprehension of domestic terrorists who use the Internet as a political tool.

- A landmark legal case on behalf of the Recording Industry Association of America and other global trade organizations seeks to criminalize all Internet file sharing of any kind as copyright infringement, effectively shutting down the world wide web - and their argument is supported by the U.S. government.

- A landmark legal ruling in Sydney goes further than ever before in setting the trap door for the destruction of the Internet as we know it and the end of alternative news websites and blogs by creating the precedent that simply linking to other websites is breach of copyright and piracy.

- The European Union, led by former Stalinist and potential future British Prime Minister John Reid, has also vowed to shut down "terrorists" who use the Internet to spread propaganda.

- The EU also recently proposed legislation that would prevent users from uploading any form of video without a license.

All this on top of the vacillation of chief advocates of net neutrality in the US Congress leads one to the conclusion that the full frontal and flanking asaults on the "Nets" as a source for democratizing public communication proceeds apace. I persist in my pessimism about the future of the WEB: if it survives this decade in anything like its current, semi-anarchic, democratic, interactive form, I shall be pleasantly surprised.


ronan said...

Just a (rather important) correction: the bill requiring bloggers to register as lobbyists, is not just triggered by 500 readers. The blogger must also receive or make $25,000 per quarter ($100,000 per year) for their blogging activity. In other words, this bill only applies to blogs that are funded by organizations that ought to be registering as lobbyists anyway.

I am not saying that I like the bill, but some attempt to flag 'astroturfing' campaigns would be welcome and appropriate.

Ruth said...

I'm waiting for the NSA to contact me any day about my insistence that I will not call w by the title he doesn't deserve which begins with a 'p'.