posted by Howard Fosdick on Thu 17th Nov 2011 08:05 UTC
A New York Times guest editorial titled Stop the Great Firewall of America says "China operates the world's most elaborate and opaque system of Internet censorship. But Congress... is considering misguided legislation that would strengthen China's Great Firewall and even bring major features of it to America." The culprit is the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act. Sounds good until you read that "The bills empower the attorney general to create a blacklist of sites to be blocked by Internet service providers, search engines, payment providers and advertising networks, all without a court hearing or a trial." Rather like the Department of Homeland Security's seizure of websites for copyright violations without the constitutionally-required court orders. If you're not an American citizen, why should you care? Read this Techdirt article telling how the U.S. seized a Spanish domain name that had already been declared legal by the Spanish courts.