[opensource] EFF's anti-censorship campaign

Brian Swaney swaneybr at opensource.osu.edu
Wed Dec 8 13:45:37 EST 2010


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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has posted a call to action
<https://eff.org/r.5uT>, asking webmasters to post a button/link on
their websites standing up against internet censorship. For those who
do not know, EFF is a respectable non-profit organization that has
long supported the open source community and academic research. They
have made very important strides in areas ranging from defending
security researchers who get sued by embarrassed corporations to
successfully lobbying for a DMCA fair use exemption to make
jailbreaking ("hacking") your cell phone legal. With the recent
controversy and press surrounding Wikileaks and national security,
there is a very real threat to making the internet in the U.S.
centrally controlled, much like China, under the guise of "protecting
national security" from sites like Wikileaks (or possibly
thepiratebay.org).

I feel this is an issue we need to decide on as a club. This is a very
heated issue right now, which has the potential to reach well into our
region, whether it be censoring the next AACS master key, taking down
software projects the powers-that-be feel could be used to "support
terrorism", or just plain anti-competition when the precedent
inevitably gets abused, this may very well be the start of what will
decide whether our internet access becomes akin to China -- everything
we do being centrally controlled by one authority -- or whether we can
truly continue to have free and open exchange of information. With 2
key bills, ACTA and COCIA, making rounds in Washington, and
politicians looking to use Wikileaks as an example of why these
broad-reaching powers of censorship are necessary, now is the time to
make the decision.

This IS a grassroots political campaign, which could be considered
spam, or even out of line with the anti-bureaucratic policy of our
constitution, so I'm posting this as an issue for the club to decide
on as a whole -- it's not my website to make the decision. I feel that
if we are to decide on it, as a club, we will need to decide quickly,
even before our next meeting in January. This is quite possibly the
kind of thing politicians can push through the house/senate on an
extremely short timeframe, and could even be the basis for a new
censorship law by the time we have another meeting. So, I created an
online poll. Log in with your website account or register with your
name.n at osu.edu e-mail address to vote. I apologize that this issue is
introduced during finals week, a most inconvenient time to decide on
such an issue, so the poll will remain open until Wednesday NEXT WEEK
at 1 am. When the poll closes, I will tally the votes, and if the
majority says yes, there will be a button pointing to EFF's campaign
page on our website.

- -- 
Brian Swaney
Open Source Club at
Ohio State University
Website Administrator
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