Threats to the Open Net: May 13, 2011

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* US lawmakers are preparing to introduce the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP Act), which, among other things, will allow private citizens to "obtain a court order to prevent payment providers and ad-networks from doing business with sites that allegedly facilitate copyright infringement." The act will also require search engines to censor results for offending sites. Meanwhile, the US State Department has announced a $30 million program to fight Internet censorship worldwide.

* In Syria, a government newspaper has accused Facebook of "conspiring" against the country. The accusations come after Facebook shut down a page for the Syrian Electronic Army, which has coordinated digital protests against "foreign intervention" in Syria. The page has also been used to distribute DDOS and hacking software to members and to organize attacks on opposition websites.

* Google has issued a memo in response to new Internet regulations in India. The memo objects to language that would ban companies from hosting or publishing offensive content.