[IRP] Letter about PROTECT IP Act for Sign On

Ermanno Pietrosemoli ermanno
Tue Jan 17 17:00:10 EET 2012

Fundacion EsLaRed endorses and signs the letter.


On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 5:47 PM, Jochai Ben-Avie <jochai at accessnow.org>wrote:

> Hi All,
> Just wanted to let you know that *we're pushing the deadline for sign on
> to the letter about PROTECT IP to tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9 AM EST (GMT-5)*
> .
> Lots of big news over the weekend. The White House released a very strong
> statement against this legislation over the weekend (
> https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/response/combating-online-piracy-while-protecting-open-and-innovative-internet), and
> there have been some positive moves from the Chairs of the Senate and House
> Judiciary Committees around removing some of the provisions around DNS
> filtering over the last few days. However, DNS filtering isn't out of the
> bills yet (and on the Senate side, they're only talking about delaying
> implementation and doing a study).
> So all the more reason for us to send this letter which we hope will serve
> as a strong statement that this legislation violates human rights. Again,
> if your organization would like to sign this letter, the deadline is 9 AM
> EST tomorrow.
> I also want to add a big thank you to those who have signed already. Any
> help in spreading the word further would be greatly appreciated! Here's the
> current list of signatories:
> Access
> Amnesty International
> Asociatia pentru Technologie si Internet (ApTI)
> Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
> Bits of Freedom
> Bytes for All Pakistan
> Centre for Internet and Society
> Creative Commons Guatemala
> Derechos Digitales
> Digitale Gesellschaft e.V.
> Eduardo Bertoni on behalf of iLEI/CELE UP (Iniciativa Libertad de
> Expresi?n en Internet, Centro de Estudios en Libertad de Expresi?n,
> Universidad de Palermo, Argentina)
> European Digital Rights (EDRi)
> FoeBuD
> Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII)
> German Working Group against Internet Blocking and Censorship
> (Arbeitskreis gegen Internet-Sperren und Zensur, AK Zensur)
> Index on Censorship
> Instituto Nupef
> Guardian Project
> La Quadrature du Net
> MayFirst/People Link
> Net Users Rights Protection Association (NURPA)
> Open Rights Group (ORG)
> Palante Technology Cooperateive
> Reporters Without Borders
> Vrijschrift
> wlan slovenia, open wireless network
> Cheers,
> Jochai
> On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 11:59 AM, Jochai Ben-Avie <jochai at accessnow.org>wrote:
>> Hi friends and colleagues,
>> Hope that everyone?s new year is off to a good start. Over the holiday
>> break, the PROTECT IP Act (or PIPA, the Senate companion legislation of the
>> Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House) has been heating up, and is
>> coming up for a major vote on January 24th. If they win the vote, this
>> terrible legislation will almost certainly become law in some form.
>> Problematically, PIPA is seen as the compromise bill. Worse still, many
>> people in DC are saying that they haven?t heard any opposition to PIPA (a
>> lot of opposition has been directed at SOPA), and making claims that there
>> are no human rights implications ?because this bill only deals with piracy.?
>> The letter that we wrote about SOPA a few months back (
>> https://www.accessnow.org/sopa-letter) was delivered to the members of
>> the House Judiciary Committee and at a meeting with the White House IP
>> Coordinator, a member of the President's Council on Economic Advisors, and
>> the Deputy CTO of the US. We were told by many people that it had a real
>> impact and helped to push the discourse in the right direction, so much so
>> that we've written another letter on behalf of the human rights community
>> about PIPA (which is attached and below).
>> **If your organization is interested in signing this letter, please let
>> me know no later than Monday at midnight EST (GMT-5).**
>> I?ll be down in DC with reps from a few other organizations to deliver
>> the letter in person to a number of senators over the next two weeks. If
>> your organization has someone in DC and would like to be a part of these
>> meetings, let me know.
>> This letter has already been reviewed by many organizations, and given
>> the very quick turnaround that's needed on this, this is going to have to
>> be the final draft. If there are serious issues that would prevent your
>> organization from signing, please reach out to me off list.
>> Thanks,
>> Jochai
>> P.S. If you?re interested in learning more about the PIPA cloture vote on
>> the 24th, check out this post:
>> http://www.publicknowledge.org/blog/pipa%E2%80%99s-january-24th-vote-and-how-filibuster-w
>> Here's the letter:
>> Dear Majority Leader Harry Reid,
>> As human rights and press freedom advocates, we write to express our deep
>> concern about S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and the threat it poses to
>> international human rights. Like H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act
>> (SOPA), PIPA requires the use of internet censorship tools, undermines the
>> global nature of the internet, and threatens free speech online. PIPA
>> introduces a deeply concerning degree of legal uncertainty into the
>> internet economy, particularly for users and businesses internationally.
>> The United States has long been a global leader in support of freedom of
>> speech online, and we urge the Senate not to tarnish that reputation by
>> passing PIPA.
>> Today, some of the world?s most repressive countries, like China, Iran,
>> Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Syria use DNS filtering as a means to silence
>> their citizens. As over 80 human rights organizations recently wrote in a
>> letter opposing SOPA, ?institutionalizing the use of internet censorship
>> tools to enforce domestic law in the United States... creates a paradox
>> that undermines its moral authority to criticize repressive regimes.?# In
>> fact, PIPA would send an unequivocal message to other nations that the use
>> of these tools is not only acceptable, but encouraged.
>> DNS filtering is a blunt form of censorship that is ineffective at
>> achieving its stated goal, while causing collateral damage to online
>> communities on a massive scale. But while DNS filtering is trivial for
>> users to circumvent, this technology would fundamentally undermine the
>> integrity of the global internet, making users more vulnerable to
>> cybersecurity attacks and identity fraud. Additionally, any legislation
>> that mandates filtering of websites is prone to unintended consequences,
>> such as overblocking. For example, in early 2011, when the Immigration and
>> Customs Enforcement agency seized the domain mooo.com, it accidentally
>> removed the web addresses of 84,000 (almost exclusively legal) connected
>> domain names.# Moreover, once the technical infrastructure enabling
>> censorship is in place, it allows future governments (and private actors)
>> to block virtually any type of content on the web, making the provisions of
>> this bill prone to mission creep.
>> The attempts at due process provisions in this bill do not respect the
>> global nature of the internet. The network effects of the internet are
>> realized when users and innovators are able to connect around the globe.
>> However, creating a mechanism that requires a representative of a website
>> to make a court appearance in the U.S. in order to defend themselves
>> against an allegation of infringement would disproportionately impact
>> smaller online communities and start-ups based abroad that do not have the
>> capacity to address concerns in the United States. These websites would
>> risk losing access to advertising services, payment providers, search
>> engine listings, and their domain name. Together, these pieces of the
>> bill would drive international innovators away from depending on U.S.
>> services as a hedge against legal threats, while missing what should be the
>> target of this legislation: preventing large-scale commercial infringement.
>> PIPA further creates a double jurisdiction problem, whereby
>> non-U.S.-based sites must determine whether a site is legal in both the
>> country it is operating in and the United States. This raises serious
>> concerns about the scope of the bill, as foreign websites falling under
>> PIPA?s definition of infringement may be perfectly legal in other
>> jurisdictions. For example, the domain of a Spanish site, rojadirecta.org,
>> was seized in early 2011 by U.S. authorities without adequate due
>> process, notification to the site?s owners, or an option to defend
>> themselves, despite having been declared legal by two Spanish courts.#
>> The definition of ?information location service? is overly broad and
>> would have a chilling effect on online speech. PIPA would make nearly every
>> U.S.-based actor on the internet, including not only blogs, chat rooms, and
>> social networks but users as well, potentially subject to enforcement
>> orders of the bill. Additionally, the requirement that these service
>> providers act ?as expeditiously as possible to remove or disable access? to
>> an allegedly infringing website imposes an unprecedented burden on any
>> service that contains links, incentivizing the screening and removal of
>> content in order to avoid being caught up in legal proceedings. Further,
>> even if an accused website is later found to be innocent, links to that
>> website could have effectively disappeared from the web, having been
>> permanently removed when the court notice was served.
>> PIPA is also vague with respect to how links would be defined, including
>> if all links associated with a domain or subdomain would be required to be
>> blocked and if this would apply to future attempts by users to post
>> content. This provision could potentially be interpreted in a way that
>> would force services that allow users to post links to proactively monitor
>> and censor the activities of their users, dramatically altering the role of
>> these platforms in promoting free speech and setting a dangerous precedent
>> for other countries.
>> We understand the pressure that lawmakers face in passing copyright
>> enforcement legislation, and agree that protecting the rights of creators
>> is an important goal. However, enforcement should not come at the expense
>> of free speech or due process. This bill is fundamentally flawed due to its
>> wide range of restrictive and potentially repressive measures. Even if
>> individual elements of the proposal, such as DNS filtering are modified,
>> postponed or amended, the legislation as a whole represents a precedent
>> that is a real danger for human rights on the internet. We must remain
>> conscious of the fact that the internet is a key enabler of human rights
>> and innovation, and decisions over its governance should not be made
>> hastily and without full consideration of collateral consequences.
>> We strongly urge the Senate to stand for human rights, defend the open
>> internet, and reject the PROTECT IP Act.
>> Sincerely,
>> Access
>> ...
>> --
>> Jochai Ben-Avie
>> Policy Director
>> Access | AccessNow.org
>> P: +1-347-806-9531 | S: jochaiben-avie | PGP: 0x9E6D805F
> --
> Jochai Ben-Avie
> Policy Director
> Access | AccessNow.org
> P: +1-347-806-9531 | S: jochaiben-avie | PGP: 0x9E6D805F

Ermanno Pietrosemoli
Fundaci?n Escuela Latinoamericana de Redes (EsLaRed)
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