Friday, December 16, 2011

RE: The end of the Internet?

Dear MoveOn member,

Today the House version of the Internet Censorship Act is being marked up in the House Judiciary Committee. 

The pressure we've put on Congress to say NO to Internet censorship is working. The House is now considering lots of amendments to improve the legislation. Thanks to our efforts and the work of a broad coalition of organizations, the Senate now won't consider its version until next year.

Rep. John Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, needs to vote NO on this legislation. He was an early supporter of the bill, and continues to back it. But the more calls he receives today from the progressive community, the more likely we will be to change his position.

Call Rep. Conyers today and tell him to reject Internet censorship.

(202) 225-5126

Then, please report your call by clicking here:

Thanks for all you do.

–Daniel, Garlin, Elena, Stefanie, and the rest of the team

P.S. You can watch the markup live at

Click here to sign your name:
"The government must not be allowed to censor the Internet at the request of powerful lobbyists. Say NO to Internet censorship."

Sign the Petition!

Dear MoveOn member,

As soon as this week, Congress will start debating whether to give the government the power to turn off parts of the Internet. If that sounds like a terrible recipe for abuse of power, that's because it is.

If enacted, a new law would make it so a simple allegation of copyright infringement—with no review process—could lead to the shutdown of sites from YouTube to Wikipedia to Any website, foreign or U.S.-based, could be wiped out on suspicion and made unavailable to everyone in the world.

For example, if you (or Justin Bieber) wanted to post a video to YouTube of yourself singing a Beatles song, a record company could force the Department of Justice to shut down YouTube. Really.2

But as you may have guessed, Congress didn't come up with this tragically terrible idea on their own. Lobbyists representing Comcast, Pfizer, record and movie companies, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce3 have been pushing Democrats and Republicans to pass bills to allow this new kind of Internet censorship. And they're close to getting their way.

But a small number of Democrats are standing strong and saying "No" to these powerful special interest groups. They need our help.

Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon is one of our champions. He has promised to start a historic filibuster of the Internet Censorship Act where he'll read the names of every person that signs a petition against Internet censorship.4 It's the perfect opportunity for 5 million Internet-connected progressives to visibly add their voice to a Senate debate. The more of us that sign, the stronger this effort to block this terrible law will be.

Click here to add your name and say NO to Internet Censorship.

We know that the Internet's openness, freedom, and lack of censorship are what make it a bastion of infinite possibility, continued innovation, and job creation. Innovative companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Mozilla, and Yahoo have spoken out against this law, saying: 

We should not jeopardize a foundational structure that has worked for content owners and Internet companies alike and provides certainty to innovators with new ideas for how people create, find, discuss, and share information lawfully online.5

Internet venture capitalists say that the legislation is "ripe for abuse,"6 and leading law professors reject it because it will "allow the government to block Internet access to websites."7

We condemn censorship overseas when it happens in China or Iran. But today, we need to stand up for freedom of speech on the Internet here at home.

Click here to add your name and say NO to Internet Censorship.

Thanks for all you do.

Daniel, Garlin, Elena, Stefanie, and the rest of the team


1. "House Version of Rogue Websites Bill Adds DMCA Bypass, Penalties for DNS Workarounds," Public Knowledge, October 26, 2011

2. "Why Is Justin Bieber So Hackin Mad?", November 2, 2011

3. "Five things to know about SOPA," The Washington Post, November 16, 2011

4. "Wyden to read petition names during copyright filibuster," The Hill, November 21, 2011

5. "SOPA opposition from tech heavyweights Google, Facebook," CBS News, November 17, 2011

6. "The PROTECT IP Act Will Slow Startup Innovation," Union Square Ventures, June 23, 2011

7. "Law Professors' Letter on SOPA," Electronic Frontier Foundation, November 15, 2011

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PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to eddie alfaro on December 16, 2011. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.

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