Internet Censorship

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Internet Censorship

When printed press, radio and television were developed, they promised to revolutionize public access to a diversity of unaltered information. However, they all faced consolidation and monopolization that restricted their freedom of speech, as they eventually ended up under the indirect control of the government. Today Internet remains the only free, unrestrained mean of communication providing all of its users with a vast variety of information. But for how long? Internet Censorship - the control or suppression of the publishing and accessing information on the Web is round the corner. While governments support that it will decrease piracy, worldwide people are vigorously protesting against SOPA[1], PIPA[2] and ACTA[3] which amongst others threaten us with restriction of civil rights and privacy.

The original idea of all three laws is to protect intellectual copyright. Firstly PIPA was introduced to the US Senate in May 2011 by Senator Patrick Leahy. Its goal stated that it would have given the US government and copyright holders additional capabilities to restrict access to websites involved in copyright infringement and distribution of counterfeit goods. Secondly, in October 2011 another bill called SOPA was introduced by US Representative Lamar S. Smith. Its full cause stated: “to promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation by combating the theft of US property.” And last but not least, ACTA – “a multinational treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property right enforcement.” In simple words the agreement aims to establish an international legal framework that will help prevent trademark counterfeiting, safeguard medical research, support journalists and artists and fight infringement on the Internet.

And this all sounds great, but there’s a “behind the scenes” part that only few may know. The most controversial aspect of PIPA bill was that it enabled the DNS[4]...
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