Monday, January 23, 2012

World War Internet 2012

The net is dawning it's darkest hours as the bills stack up behind each other to declare war against our #1 power of speech. The internet is the fine tread that separates freedom from control on our planet today, and now a near unstoppable force threatens to dominate it.

Many felt the battle was over after many congressmen swiftly pulled out in support of SOPA when some major websites protested (sites like Google and Wikipedia), thinking SOPA and PIPA was defeated, when in fact the bills were simply shelved for further revision. But the bills and acts to "fight piracy" keep coming adding more threats of internet censorship.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement or ACTA is a secret bill which is in negotiation between 39 different countries (including the US) to end counterfeiting world wide. The dissensions made will implement and enforce of new laws fighting product counterfeiting, piracy and even generic knockoffs. This will give companies the power to ban products, decide what medications you receive, allows service providers to make choices about what you do online and even could hold you criminally responsible for even linking to a site with copyrighted material. ACTA will censor the content on the net, and attack file sharing networks and monitor all activity essentially destroying the most popular form of sharing information. Learn more about ACTA Here and Here.

The issue is piracy, and the federal government has taken some sudden and surprising actions to stop it. Friday the popular MegaUpload site was removed by the Justice Department and it's site founder Kim Schmitz was indicted. The FBI also ceased some of Schmitz's assets. Megaupload was allegedly responsible for criminal levels of piracy making practice of paying users for uploading copyrighted material. The site was shut down Friday leaving paid customers out of their service, and their money.

"I Used MegaVideo to steam my comedy videos on my website because they had good prices and a legit player," said Thomas Schultz from DeceptiveStudioz.com, "Now we're rushing to replace everything with our YouTube videos which looks less professional, and now I don't know if we're just 'out of our money' now or what?" He also added that the other MegaVideo customers he has spoken to, have also received no notification about their accounts.

But MegaUpload isn't alone in it's extinction, others sites were also closed or blocked due their alleged criminal activities, such sites included Uploaded and Filesonic. Other sites that are in threat and/or under FBI investication include VideoBB, MediaFire, UploadStation, FileServe, FileJungle, and FilePost. Some are wondering if sites like YouTube, FaceBook and popular news and image boards are subject to threat as well?

The actions taken by our government against such sites has triggered some retaliation from the group known as Anonymous. Several websites were breached and unavailable including the FBI website which was down for an entire day. Handles taking credit for the attacks report more then 5,000 participants worldwide in those events alone. New rumors and videos have popped up across the net promising a new course of action to fight these continued attacks on the free internet.