[NA-Discuss] Fwd: EFF calls for signatures from Internet Engineers against censorship

Joly MacFie joly at punkcast.com
Wed Dec 14 10:55:35 UTC 2011

I am seeing a bit of a backlash against this on the NANOG list as being
overly propagandistic.


---------- Forwarded message ----------

Last year, EFF organized an open letter against Internet censorship
legislation being considered by the US Senate
(https://eff.org/deeplinks/2010/09/open-letter).  Along with other activists
efforts, we successfully delayed that proposal, but need to update the
for two bills, SOPA and PIPA, that are close to passing through US Congress

If you would like to sign, please email me at pde at eff.org, with a one-line
summary of what part of the Internet you helped to helped to design,
implement, debug or run.

We need signatures by 8am GMT on Thursday (midnight Wednesday US Pacific,
US Eastern).  Also feel free to forward this to colleagues who played a role
in designing and building the network.

The updated letter's text is below:

 We, the undersigned, have played various parts in building a network called
 the Internet. We wrote and debugged the software; we defined the standards
 and protocols that talk over that network. Many of us invented parts of it.
 We're just a little proud of the social and economic benefits that our
 project, the Internet, has brought with it.

 Last year, many of us wrote to you and your colleagues to warn about the
 proposed "COICA" copyright and censorship legislation.  Today, we are
 writing again to reiterate our concerns about the SOPA and PIPA derivatives
 of last year's bill, that are under consideration in the House and Senate.
 In many respects, these proposals are worse than the one we were alarmed to
 read last year.

 If enacted, either of these bills will create an environment of tremendous
 fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the
 credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet
 infrastructure. Regardless of recent amendments to SOPA, both bills will
 risk fragmenting the Internet's global domain name system (DNS) and have
 other capricious technical consequences.  In exchange for this, such
 legislation would engender censorship that will simultaneously be
 circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties'
 right and ability to communicate and express themselves online.

 All censorship schemes impact speech beyond the category they were intended
 to restrict, but these bills are particularly egregious in that regard
 because they cause entire domains to vanish from the Web, not just
 infringing pages or files.  Worse, an incredible range of useful,
 law-abiding sites can be blacklisted under these proposals.  In fact, it
 seems that this has already begun to happen under the nascent DHS/ICE
 seizures program.

 Censorship of Internet infrastructure will inevitably cause network errors
 and security problems.  This is true in China, Iran and other countries
 censor the network today; it will be just as true of American censorship.
 It is also true regardless of whether censorship is implemented via the
 proxies, firewalls, or any other method.  Types of network errors and
 insecurity that we wrestle with today will become more widespread, and will
 affect sites other than those blacklisted by the American government.

 The current bills -- SOPA explicitly and PIPA implicitly -- also threaten
 engineers who build Internet systems or offer services that are not readily
 and automatically compliant with censorship actions by the U.S. government.
 When we designed the Internet the first time, our priorities were
 reliability, robustness and minimizing central points of failure or
 We are alarmed that Congress is so close to mandating censorship-compliance
 as a design requirement for new Internet innovations.  This can only damage
 the security of the network, and give authoritarian governments more power
 over what their citizens can read and publish.

 The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open
 Internet, both domestically and abroad.  We cannot have a free and open
 Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the political
 concerns and objectives of any one government or industry. To date, the
 leading role the US has played in this infrastructure has been fairly
 uncontroversial because America is seen as a trustworthy arbiter and a
 neutral bastion of free expression. If the US begins to use its
 central in the network for censorship that advances its political and
 economic agenda, the consequences will be far-reaching and destructive.

 Senators, Congressmen, we believe the Internet is too important and too
 valuable to be endangered in this way, and implore you to put these bills

Peter Eckersley                            pde at eff.org
Technology Projects Director      Tel  +1 415 436 9333 x131
Electronic Frontier Foundation    Fax  +1 415 436 9993

Joly MacFie  218 565 9365 Skype:punkcast
WWWhatsup NYC - http://wwwhatsup.com
 http://pinstand.com - http://punkcast.com
 VP (Admin) - ISOC-NY - http://isoc-ny.org

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