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[ih] Fwd: [IP] EFF calls for signatures from Internet Engineers against censorship

Looks like the open letter at EFF is now public.


Hopefully those on this list and some others with credible experience 
will prevail in turning lawmakers away from what seems pretty bad law.


>> From: Peter Eckersley
>> Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
>> Subject: EFF call for signatures from Internet Engineers against =
>> censorship
>> To: David Farber<dave at farber.net>
>> (For the IP list)
>> 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 letter
>> for two bills, SOPA and PIPA, that are close to passing through US Congress
>> now.
>> 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, 3am
>> 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 that
>> 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 DNS,
>> 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
>> control.
>> 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
>> aside.
>> --
>> Peter Eckersley                            pde at eff.org
>> Technology Projects Director      Tel  +1 415 436 9333 x131
>> Electronic Frontier Foundation    Fax  +1 415 436 9993
>> -------------------------------------------