Friday, November 18, 2011


For years, our government has condemned countries like China and Iran for their clampdown on Internet use.  Right now, Congress is debating a law that would give them the power to censor the world’s Internet — creating a blacklist that could target YouTube, WikiLeaks and even groups like Avaaz and individuals with “suspect” content.  Not good.  No internet company should have the power to censor me or any group they don’t happen to like for whatever reason.  It is far too tempting to censor stuff they personally don’t like that has nothing to do with terrorism or copyright infringement. . We already have copyright laws in place. The FBI monitors for terrorist related content. If a problem exists,  it can be settled in the courts. This broad-based law is over-kill.
Nor should internet companies be expected to police me. Let me give you a taste of the type of censorship we deal with because we blog for the San Francisco Chronicle, one of the most liberal, (supposedly), newspapers in the country.  If I misspell Peninsula, as Penisula, which I did one time, My blog could not be published for using the word Penis. I used the phrase tit-for-tat.  Oh, no! Bad word body part. And, honky tonk. Oops. Honky is a racial slur. And if you mention selling short your fellow-man, or that you saw something for sale that was silly, you are not allowed to advertise and sell in your blog content.  Obviously a broad mechanical censorship of the internet is frought with problems. Nor do I want a two dollar an hour employee from India, who doesn’t understand our culture, or a ten dollar an hour U.S. employee of an internet company to decide if what I say is suspect.
Why should the government  be leaning on corporations to police websites and arbitrarily close them down for “reasons unknown to us”?
To help keep the bill from passing, click on the following link and sign against this horrible bill and let congress know they’ve overstepped on our freedom of speech: 
AVAAZ accepts no corporate or government donations. They are a citizens advocacy group.

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