[opensource] EFF's anti-censorship campaign

Brian Swaney swaneybr at opensource.osu.edu
Mon Dec 13 14:56:36 EST 2010

You visit the website poll at
https://opensource.cse.ohio-state.edu/oppose-censorship to vote. The
website is the only official way to vote on this issue. To vote, you
must sign in with a verified account to place your vote; completely
anonymous voting is not possible, as that would allow multiple votes per
person, but your vote will not be shared with anybody or tied to you. If
you don't have a verified account, then register with your @osu.edu
e-mail address and either I or one of the officers will approve it (we
get an e-mail alert as soon as someone registers). If you did that
already and never got approved, fill out the contact form. If you forgot
your password, you can reset it from the "Request new password" link.

If you are a current student, regardless of which department you're
from, then you are eligible to vote. We're a student organization. I
copied the mailing list on my reply, since it's quite possible other
people are asking themselves same question, but I stripped out your name.

It seems I left out the link in my initial e-mail (but responded with
one), and also forgot to include a link in this e-mail.

Brian Swaney
Open Source Club at
Ohio State University
Website Administrator

On 12/13/2010 02:39 PM, <snip> wrote:
> Hi Brian,
> I actually don't know if I'm considered a member of this club, so feel
> free to disregard this email if I'm not.
> I'm a 4th-year PhD student in computational linguistics at OSU, who's
been a
> advocate, user, & developer of Free software for 10 years.
> I'm glad to see this club taking a stand for this issue, and I support
> your initiative. Inasmuch as I have a vote here, I vote in support of
> this.
> One recommendation: I wasn't exactly sure how one votes on this: do I
> respond to this email, or do I go to some web poll? This could have
> been a little clearer in your email.
> Cheers,
> <snip>
> On Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 12:21:41PM -0500, Brian Swaney wrote:
>> I hate to bother everyone with yet another e-mail, but I just wanted to
>> post a friendly reminder since this was announced at an inconvenient
>> time. The poll for whether or not to endorse EFF's anti-censorship
>> campaign <https://eff.org/r.5uT> with a button/link on our site as shown
>> at <https://www.eff.org/pages/say-no-to-online-censorship>. Since the
>> time I first announced it on the mailing list, not a single person has
>> voted on the poll, and only one person registered (not signing back in
>> once the account was approved). Before that, only 2 people have voted,
>> which I know is not representative of the club as a whole. For the
>> record, if you are unsure of what to vote and worried about changing
>> your mind, you can always change or cancel your vote on any poll until
>> it closes, and your vote (or THAT you voted) will not be disclosed to
>> anyone. The poll will remain open until THIS Wednesday, and will
>> automatically close at 1 am.
>> Although I know this is inconvenient timing for everyone, waiting just
>> this long may be kind of pressing our luck. If I understand correctly,
>> congress is still in session until this Friday and there is a decent
>> chance they will use Wikileaks as an excuse ("national security" and
>> all) to hastily pass otherwise unpopular internet legislation, just as
>> they passed the PATRIOT act in 2001 (not to imply that putting a single
>> link on a website would make that critical of a difference or anything,
>> but it wouldn't do any good if we didn't decide until it was too late).
>> On 12/8/10 1:45 PM, Brian Swaney wrote:
> 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
Opensource mailing list
Opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu
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