The mainstream media is not really shouting loudly about the horrible tyranny in Belarus – which does not mean that we should simply sweep what is going on there under the rug. We must stand up for human rights of all people – even far away in a forgotten corner of Europe…
Like Mr. Hannan, I think we should stand up and condemn what is going on there and lend moral – if not more – support to those who are actively working to improve civil liberties in Belarus.
First step, of course, is education.
If you live in Ottawa or its environs, you will soon have an excellent opportunity for educating yourself about the situation in Belarus. On th 25th of April, 2012, at 7 pm, the Freethinking Film Society is going to host an information evening about Belarus at the National Archives Library in Ottawa, where they will be screening ‘Europe’s Last Tyrant’:
For those on the other side of the pond, it will also be screened at the London Film Festival on April 15, 2012 in Shortwave (10 Bermondsey Square, London SE1 3UN). For ticket info, see here. (Sorry about the late notice – just found this out myself).
For the rest: keep your eyes open for a screening in your area. This is not something we should remain ignorant about!
Of course, CISPA does not replace SOPA, it is a separate thing altogether. The backroom negotiations to re-introduce SOPA are already underway…
From an email from OpenMedia:
Instead of listening to you and the other 117,000 Canadians who demanded an end to the Online Spying bill, the government is going on the PR offensive with a one-two punch.
You won’t believe this: With one side of their mouth, they’ve leaked stories1 falsely suggesting that they are standing down. With the other, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has shot back with op-eds2, misleading mass emails3, and speeches in Parliament that aggressively defend the bill4.
There’s only a small window of opportunity for MPs to put a stop to warrantless online spying.
Over 117,000 Canadians from across the political spectrum have signed the Stop Online Spying petition, and many of you took to Twitter to raise your voices. Because of your efforts, the opposition parties and several Conservative MPs5 have come out against the costly online spying plan.
Yet Vic Toews has still not apologized for misleading Canadians; he’s even continued to use our children as political cover for this poorly thought-out legislation.
We know from experience that MPs get the message when contacted by local constituents. It makes sense: they’re acutely aware that elections are won riding by riding. This means that together, as a wide-reaching grassroots community, we have power.
Our efforts together have so far forced the government to delay their online spying plan. Let’s take the next step.
For the Internet,
Shea and Lindsey, on behalf of your OpenMedia.ca team
P.S. Thanks to all of you who contributed when we asked for help in scaling up our campaign. The tools and actions we’re offering now are only possible because of your generous support. We’ll send all of you contributors a special report back soon to show what you made possible. If you haven’t chipped in yet, you can still do so here.
 See our press release, Government to Stall the Online Spying Bill
 Find one of Toews’ more recent op-eds, which he submitted to Postmedia News, here.
 See Mythbusting the mythbusting: Our response to Vic Toews’ email to Canadians
 Watch Vic Toews’ February 28th speech in the House of Commons here, and our video mash-up debunking his points here.
 Source: National Post. Conservative MPs who have expressed concerns with the online spying bill include New Brunswick MP John Williamson, Calgary MP Rob Anders, and Ontario MP David Tilson.
Here is another example of the Western governments’ war on its citizens.
This creates precisely the type of environment where hacker-vigilaties will be not just tolerated, but positively embraced by a population that feels increasingly under attack by the very institutions created to ensure their individual rights.
Let’s not make any mistakes about it: it is not Twitter and Google who are increasingly censoring us, the members of online communities. Even though they facilitate access to the virtual world of the web, they are themselves physical corporations which exist in the real world, very much subject to the whims of real-world governments.
As such, they are subject to the arbitrary rules which various governments impose on corporations operating within their physical boundaries.
It is unreasonable for us to expect that these corporations will put the freedom on the internet above their ability to physically survive…
So, you may blame them for buckling – but don’t blame them for imposing the censorship itself: the blame lies directly with our governments, our regulating bodies, and us, the citizens, who permit this encroachment!
We must all fight to prevent all governments from usurping jurisdiction over the internet, the way they have been doing!
I don’t know. Yes, I have been thinking about this for a long time, but there simply is no clear answer.
The easiest solution I suspect would be to continue the efforts to create alternatives to the ‘pipelines’ that ISPs use to deliver internet connections, but the more people try to solve this, the more actual attempts there are to make the web truly uncontrollable and impossible to be regulated by anyone or anything anywhere, the better chance there is of success.
So – keep your elective representatives responsible – and keep hacking!
Two related stories from TorrentFreak update us on what has been happening in Sweden in the Pirate Bay saga.
First, the founders have not been permitted to appeal their case, so their conviction stands. (This should put fear into all of us, because what they were doing was legal under Swedish law – they were only charged and prosecuted because of pressure from the US movie industry.)
Second, now that their court case is concluded, they have changed their domain from .org to .se in order to prevent seisure.
If you don’t know the back story, perhaps you should ‘Steal This Film’:
Gary McHale is fighting our fight!