Threats to the Open Net: January 27, 2012

  • After Wikipedia went dark for a day to protest SOPA and PIPA, the bills lost support, with 19 senators backing out. PIPA co-sponsor Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for "pushing forward with a flawed bill that still needs much work."
  • Twitter revealed that it is now able to censor content on a country-by-country basis. Following in Google's footsteps, the company will transparently alert users when their content has been blocked and will provide information about the reason for the censorship.
  • The European Commission proposed the "right to be forgotten," a law that would allow users to ask Internet companies to delete their data and other personal information. The Commission argued that the law would help young adults and teenagers manage their online reputations.
  • Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and head of the Digital Agenda in Europe, came out against SOPA this week by tweeting, "Glad tide is turning on #SOPA: don't need bad legislation when should be safeguarding benefits of open net." At the same time, critics have remarked that the European Commission-backed ACTA would also have implications for Internet censorship.

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