A new copyright bill proposed in the House would give governments and private corporations unprecedented powers to remove websites from the internet completely, on the flimsiest of grounds, and would also force internet service providers to play the role of copyright police or face penalties.
Any lingering fantasies of the web as a no-man’s land where content is free from the restraints of geographical boundaries probably should be put to rest. Google released a treasure trove of data relating to content-takedown requests, showing that requests are up and Google often complies.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo talked about the company’s recent growth during an interview at the Web 2.0 conference, but he also made some strong statements about Twitter’s commitment to free speech and to defending the rights of its users against governments in Britain and the U.S.
A Wall Street Journal columnist says that blocking access to social media during emergencies isn’t a big deal, and that “techno-utopians” are over-reacting. But are they? Or are these kinds of moves a step on a slippery slope that leads to Chinese-style control over information networks?
It seems totalitarian states like Egypt aren’t the only ones struggling with the impact of social media and the desire to muzzle services like Twitter and Facebook. Britain says it’s considering a ban on social media in the wake of the riots in London.
A new voluntary effort by the major U.S. Internet service providers to help enforce copyright restrictions and protect content owners from pirates, parodists and cheap teens who are sharing files could result in some folks losing access to their broadband.
Amazon has refused to remove a book from its Kindle store despite criticism from hundreds of commenters on the self-published title, which advocates pedophilia. The retailer says it doesn’t believe in censorship, and that customers should be free to buy such books if they wish.