Dear MoveOn member,
I just had a meeting with Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, our champion fighting against Internet censorship. He asked me to thank you for all the hard work you've done to help stop Internet censorship.
We can be thankful this holiday season that the Internet as we know it is safe. We stopped lobbyists from big record and movie companies and the Chamber of Commerce from giving themselves the ability to demand that the government shut down websites they're uncomfortable with without due process.
But this fight is not over. The big corporations that want this legislation rammed through are still going to push hard for it in early 2012.
MoveOn members, along with other progressive organizations, entrepreneurs, tech companies, and free speech advocates, created tremendous public pressure to block this legislation. The House version of the Internet Censorship Act stalled during its House Judiciary Committee hearing last week.1 The Senate version has been punted to next year, and Sen. Wyden has reaffirmed his promise to filibuster the legislation.2
We've got to stay committed to protecting the Internet. In early January we'll need to go to bat for this again to stop Internet censorship with more action and energy.
In the meantime, enjoy the Internet, and thanks for all you do.
–Garlin, Daniel, Elena, Stefanie, and the rest of the team
1. "Stop Online Piracy Act Vote Delayed," Wired, December 16, 2011
2. "Wyden Delivers Floor Speech on the Motion to Proceed to Protect IP," Senator Ron Wyden, December 17, 2011
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 MoveOn.org.1 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.
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.
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?" SaveTheInternet.com, 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, http://pol.moveon.org/. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. This email was sent to eddie alfaro on December 22, 2011. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.