Internet censorship, net.warfare, and the balkanization of the Net.

It seems like every time we turn around, somebody else is trying to enact another scheme to make the Internet a little less open, a little less useful, and more of a surveillance tool for people who can't quite make out what the writing on the wall seems to say.

The latest, and possibly most frightening salvo in the as-yet undeclared War On the Internet is something called the PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act). In a real sense, it's COICA v2.0 in that it still allows the US …

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Indian film industry brings out the big guns.

For a bit over ten years now, the movie industry has been complaining that piracy has been running rampant (it has) and cutting into their profit margins (even though they've been reporting record earnings consistently). There are more means of getting hold of illegal copies of anything than you have fingers: public and private websites, BitTorrent, other peer-to-peer file sharing services, FTP sites, your friends handing you copies... the list goes on and on. To date, aside from grabbing the IP addresses of the downloaders, running them to ground, and launching lawsuits not a whole lot has been done to …

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Writing about music now considered identical to pirating it.

It seems like everything is being steadily reduced to one of three categories these days: terrorism, child pornography, or piracy. Mention of any of them will stop intelligent discourse with the rapidity of a falling watermelon striking the ground, and within the halls of government will derail legislation as surely as 1+1=2. When the categories begin to blur, however, is when the trouble really starts. In the past week that I know of (and probably a bit before, because this sort of shitstorm takes a while to ramp up) blogger.com was forced to delete six music blogs …

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MPAA sets up fake file sharing sites!

It seems that the Motion Picture Association of America is adding some new tricks to its arsenal to use in its war against movie piracy: They've started to set up phony file-sharing sites to sucker people. The idea is that you sign up for the site (giving them both e-mail and IP address) and go about your business while the web server records everything that you do. Eventually, they'll have enough evidence to come after you in court for movie piracy.

The site mentioned in the article has gone down since the story broke, but the question is now, "How …

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