ALTAVISTAGOOGLE: Where is Harper’s Firewall?

Remember when S. Harper worked for the Fraser Institute and wrote that Alberta needed a great firewall to protect it from the federal government?Well, here are some measures enacted by the Harper Conservative government that clearly infringe provincial jurisdiction. -The transit tax credit (a huge advantage to suburban train takers of Witby, the finance minister’s riding).-The sports ta…

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Informed on Information: Ars Technica, Wired: "The Real Internet Censors: Unaccountable ISPs?"

“…a new report suggests that nations are slowly turning ISPs into the off-duty information cops of the world. Eager to placate politicians in order to achieve their own goals (like the selective throttling of data), networks are cooperating with governments looking for easy, informal solutions to difficult problems like copyright infringement, dangerous speech, online vice, and child pornography.

Network and content providers are ostensibly engaging in “self-regulation,” but that’s a deceptive phrase, warns the European Digital Rights group. “It is not regulation — it is policing — and it is not ’self-’ because it is their consumers and not themselves that are being policed,” EDR says.”

“…Bottom line: 70 percent of the providers in the experiment took down the content without scrutinizing either it or the complainant.

All this is central to the censorship ecosystem that European Digital Rights fears, and it worries that this sort of extrajudicial censorship could get much larger in the near future. The group wants more debate “to assess the scale of the policing measures being entrusted to Internet intermediaries, the cost for the rule of law and for fundamental rights, as well as the cost for effective investigation and prosecution of serious crimes in the digital environment.””

Ars Technica, Wired – “The Real Internet Censors: Unaccountable ISPs?”

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Image credit: neweurasia.net – Internet censorship: Kyrgyzstan blocks independent web-sites

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punditman: "What’s Disgusting? Union Busting!" Chant Wisconsin Crowds That Swell to 30,000; Key GOP Legislators Waver

This is beginning to look a lot like Egypt. Peacenik knows some rightwing whacko first suggested this but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily untrue. Or that there is something wrong with comparing a mass protest in Wisconsin to a mass protest in Egypt. Protests are going to be a way of life around the world very soon. The good news is that the protesters in Wisconsin are not being tasered, and shot at with rubber bullets. This is a beginning in Wisconsin. Regular people are standing up to Tea Party bullies. It is a good beginning.

by John Nichols

“I have never been prouder of our movement than I am at this moment,” shouted Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt, as he surveyed the crowds of union members and their supporters that surged around the state Capitol and into the streets of Madison Wednesday, literally closing the downtown as tens of thousands of Wisconsinites protested their Republican governor’s attempt to strip public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights.

Where Tuesday’s mid-day protests drew crowds estimated at 12,000 to 15,000, Wednesday’s mid-day rally drew 30,000, according to estimates by organizers. Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, a veteran of 27 years on the city’s force, said he had has never see a protest of this size at the Capitol – and he noted that, while crowd estimates usually just measure those outside, this time the inside of the sprawling state Capitol was “packed.”
On Wednesday night, an estimated 20,000 teachers and their supporters rallied outside the Capitol and then marched into the building, filling the rotunda, stairways and hallways. Chants of “What’s disgusting? Union busting!” shook the building as legislators met in committee rooms late into the night.

Read on…

Update: Chomsky weighs in.

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