Regarding the US Senate panel passes bill against piracy websites article
US Senate Senate Judiciary Committee has passed the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act bill on a 19-0 vote. The bill is designed to give Washington more power over foreign websites, essentially allowing the Obama administration to compile a blacklist of sites they do not want the American public to access.
Although the bill is intended for use against online pirates and illegal file-sharing services like Limewire and ThePirateBay, there are little provisions protecting any website from the ire of the government's magical eraser. Sadly, the cynicism in me projects that this bill will be abused of its substantial power, allowing the American government to ban sites that leaves a bitter taste in its mouth. With America holding big influential powers to other countries, a domino effect could soon occur whereby other governments would create their own censorship law.
It is not too far-fetched to assume that Wikileaks would promptly be added to this said blacklist. You want Big Brother? They don't even need a court order to shut a domain down.
The Internet is hailed as a cornerstone for free speech, allowing anyone's voice, not matter how small, to have a global presence and impact. This may no longer be the case for America, an ironic twist for the land of the free.
We have a situation on our hands. Not only for supporters of Wikileaks, but anyone who holds an unpopular view in the eyes of the government of the United States of America.
[ Update 2010-11-19 ]
Apologies, I miswrote US Senate, it meant to be Senate Judiciary Committee.
Good news! One of the members of the senate, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), has denounced the bill as, a bunker-buster cluster bomb aimed at the Internet and pledged to, do everything [he] can to take the necessary steps to stop it from passing the U.S. Senate.
Because the senator has announced his opposition to the bill, it is very likely that it will be dead this year. The new congress in the new year will probably introduce the bill again, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has stated that she is uncomfortable with the bill as well.