Here is how hypocrisy works.
During a two-day conference on digital freedom sponsored by Google and the Dutch government, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that stifling online voices was a threat to basic freedoms and human rights.
"When ideas are blocked, information deleted, conversations stifled and people constrained in their choices, the Internet is diminished for all of us," Mrs. Clinton said. She added: "There isn't an economic Internet and a social Internet and a political Internet. There's just the Internet."
Mrs. Clinton and others cited examples in which autocratic countries -- often with the assistance of international technology corporations -- cracked down on access to the Internet or the use of it, including Syria, Iran, China and Russia. But increasingly some democratic countries have tried to restrict information, a development that underscores the complexity of controlling an essential part of modern life.
While these lovely things are being said, the U.S. Government will be passing SOPA, a censorship law that will allow the government to shut down any website it deems as breaking the law -- just like what happened to the Dajaz1.com website. Dajaz1.com was seized after being accused of posting copyrighted material:
The Dajaz1 case became particularly interesting to us, after we saw evidence showing that the songs that ICE used in its affidavit as "evidence" of criminal copyright infringement were songs sent by representatives of the copyright holder with the request that the site publicize the works -- in one case, even coming from a VP at a major music label. Even worse, about the only evidence that ICE had that these songs were infringing was the word of the "VP of Anti-Piracy Legal Affairs for the RIAA," Carlos Linares, who was simply not in a position to know if the songs were infringing or authorized. In fact, one of the songs involved an artist not even represented by an RIAA label, and Linares clearly had absolutely no right to speak on behalf of that artist.
Despite all of this, the government simply seized the domain, put up a big scary warning graphic on the site, suggesting its operators were criminals, and then refused to comment at all about the case. Defenders of the seizures insisted that this was all perfectly legal and nothing to be worried about. They promised us that the government had every right to do this and plenty of additional evidence to back up its claims. They promised us that the government would allow for plenty of due process within a reasonable amount of time. They also insisted that, after hearing nothing happening in the case for many months, it meant that no attempt to object to the seizure had occurred. Turns out... none of that was true.
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