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Protect Internet Freedom: Open Letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein
by Raging Grannies Action League ( info [at] raginggrannies.com )
Wednesday Jan 11th, 2012 11:41 PM
The internet is in serious danger if the Protect IP Act passes in the US Senate. Senator Feinstein is a co-sponsor of the bill.

Dear Senator Feinstein:
Our beloved internet is in serious danger…and so is freedom of speech.

The Raging Grannies are closely following the “PROTECT IP Act” (PIPA) and House version, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA). We understand that you are a co-sponsor of PIPA.

The primary purpose of PIPA (along with the SOPA) is to help Hollywood keep rolling in the profits. Passage would mean that so-called “rogue” websites could be censored when they infringe on copyright law.

However, the language in both of these bills is written with a very broad paintbrush. Their passage would have a huge impact on the work of human rights advocates who speak out against injustice on sites that could easily be labelled “rogue” websites. It’s a slippery slope when censorship reigns.

Open publishing websites such as the indymedia network would be subject to censorship, defeating the very purpose of their existence. Similar platforms created to provide anonymity to whistleblowers could become major casualties of these bills.

All to save Hollywood’s bottom line?

It’s not often that Raging Grannies align with the likes of internet giants like Facebook and Google. But, as we are sure you know, they TOO have come out AGAINST these Hollywood generated bills.

Most of the Raging Grannies of the SF Bay Area reside on the peninsula with some in the South Bay, and are represented by Congresswomen Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren. Both of them are soundly NO on SOPA. Rep. Lofgren said that SOPA "would mean the end of the Internet as we know it". PIPA is only a slightly watered down version of SOPA. We don't want to head in that direction.

Senator Feinstein, you have disappointed us before. You may have heard some of us, protesting outside your San Francisco office, standing with many other seniors calling out to save Social Security. We were hoping you'd stand strong for "no cuts" to Social Security benefits. Please don't disappoint us again. The future of free speech is at stake.

Our friends at the Electric Frontier Foundation and Save the Internet have written extensively about the threat of PIPA and SOPA. We proudly stand together with them against censorship, and FOR internet freedom. We hope you will too.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by E
Thursday Jan 12th, 2012 9:37 AM
Don't worry, Feinstein will add an amendment saying PIPA doesn't change existing law, and the government has always had the right to shut down the internet without judicial oversight.
by Internet Activist
Thursday Jan 12th, 2012 11:21 AM
Really? Ya think that will make everything ok? See Senator Wyden deliver a floor speech on the motion to proceed to Protect IP. He reaffirmed his promise to filibuster the bill when it is brought to the floor in late January. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK145BSPAj4. Forget amendments...stop PIPA and SOPA in their tracks!
by Jeff E. Brown
Thursday Jan 12th, 2012 1:15 PM
"The government has always had the right to shut down the internet without judicial oversight" (says E in first comment).

SOPA has gotten our attention--it is BAD NEWS, but PIPA has yet to attract similar levels of negative attention. It’s scheduled for a Senate floor vote on Jan. 24. It could easily squeak by. Spread the word that PIPA is the big threat!
by indyradio.nu
Monday Jan 16th, 2012 10:40 AM
she deserves to go the route of Jane Harman, who was replaced by a real progressive Democrat just last year in a special election. Find a candidate for the next primary, unfortunately, there's plenty of time - during that time, the protests need to be ramped up.
hey what were you thing....we elected you to speak on our behave, All you can come up with is this shit STOP with the removal of our rights to do what we as a people what. Get fenstine out before she screwes something elaes up . leave the internet and all that it stands for aloan... Before someone ( we the people ) voate you out , Just you think about it.......?
by Madeleine Borthwick
Saturday Jan 21st, 2012 2:25 PM
Ms. Feinstein:
It is largely due to politicians such as yourself that most of us think that politicians will Lie Through Their Teeth, say anything they think the voters want to hear, and blow smoke up our collective ass to get into office and once there, become selectively memory-impaired.
How completely typical.
you co-sponsor a bill that threatens our freedom of speech.
BE ADVISED. when this ill-advised piece of shit rears its ugly head again, I along with thousands of other people who oppose this abomination fully intend to yell for its demise just as loudly.
I suggest you cover your ears.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Madeleine Borthwick, wife, mother of 3, and grandmother of 2
(yeah bitch, I'm Fighting for my grandkids rights too. DO. NOT. FUCK.WITH.MY.GRANDBABIES.
by G_Corral
Saturday Jan 21st, 2012 10:28 PM
Thanks Grannies!! Seriously, you rock. I hate the way things are going these days and the internet is truly the last frontier. I am Gen X and to see you who have lived before the television stand up for our rights is truly inspiring. Yall some whipper snappers, keep it coming i'll do the best on my end. Thanks.
by nsmith1111
Monday Jan 23rd, 2012 9:54 AM
My mom's about your age and she was going along with all this, until I sat her down to read these bills, along with reading all the many comments written by young people who honestly believe there's nothing wrong with piracy. Along with explaining to her exactly what this type of attitude is enabling. These pirates make huge profits from these illegal activities, and so do internet corporations, such as Google, Twitter, etc.

Please read these bills for yourself and stop believing what you are reading about them on the internet. They will not break the internet, nor will they destroy freedom of speech. They won't stop piracy either, and are intended instead to drive it underground, just like other criminal activities. They will also prevent Google, Twitter, and other internet corporations from continuing to earn huge profits from piracy -- in the form of the advertising, both directly and indirectly. This is the real reason these internet sites are protesting.

I urge you, please more research regarding the other side of this issue before making up your mind.
by Heather P
( asterbills [at] gmail.com ) Monday Jan 23rd, 2012 12:32 PM
Why and how does Google / Twitter make money from pirating websites when pirating websites don't charge money?
by Mr. Perlin
( rockstardom17 [at] gmail.com ) Monday Jan 23rd, 2012 5:16 PM
It is unspeakable that our government would seek to limit our already diminishing freedoms further. Do all of the people in political based government positions need to read the constitution again--if in fact they have at all?

I think politicians are typically persuaded by the masses, which is why--for now--the bills are on hold. However, it's a shame that they lack the foresight to see fundamentally flawed ideals to begin with!!!
by kristvet
Tuesday Jan 24th, 2012 2:34 PM
Ok. So here's my situation. Prices of goods and services are sky rocketing. People are either unemployed or are not making enough to cover necessary costs let alone luxuries. The average American cannot afford $30-40 on a night out at the movies, or $25 on one dvd, etc. Honestly, I can't even afford a few dollars to rent a movie. I can't even afford cable television with the prices companies want. The luxury of watching a movie or television show is becoming too much of an expensive luxury for some. Hollywood is making millions of dollars on entertainment and are crying because they can't rape the public for every last cent they have. What happened to "art for art's sake"? I guess it went the way of "art for money's sake." I don't download things and share them. I don't charge people to come to my house and have a premier party. I don't burn movies and sell them on the corner like Chinatown. I liken watching something on my computer to borrowing a movie I want to see from a friend. Which is why alot of people enjoy P2P sharing. However, some people would call me a "pirate". Really? I prefer Robin Hood instead of pirate. There is a very good piece of literature that supports the ideals that governing powers will create a society in which you first force people into crime and then punish them. Congress should be required to read and write an essay on Utopia by Thomas More.
by ...Watch yo'self
Wednesday Jan 25th, 2012 1:06 PM
Saying "Shame on you" to Raging Grannies will earn you negative karma. Watch the ageist attitude.
by nsmith1111
Thursday Jan 26th, 2012 8:59 AM
The "Raging Grannies" are the ones who put their age out there in naming their group, so in saying "shame on you" I am actually responding to their "age elitism". And yes, I feel that with they should be able to draw on the wisdom gained through the experience of their age.

How does google and other internet sites profit piracy? Just a few short months ago, Google paid $500 million (dollars) to the federal government to settle charges of not only having "aided and abetted" the sale of illegal drugs through their site, but also profiting by accepting advertising money from foreign pharmacies, who were using Google to peddle their illegal drugs to U.S. citizens, without requiring any doctor's prescription whatsoever.

We're not talking the necessary medications that U.S. Citizens have been buying from foreign pharmacies simply to reduce the cost, but rather dangerously addictive narcotics, such as Oxycotin and Ritalin. For those not familiar with these drugs, Oxycotin is derived from opium, as are heroin and morphine, and just as addictive. While Ritalin isn't just for children with ADD anymore, in test studies, addicts could not tell the difference between Ritalin and Cocaine. Oxycotin and Ritalin have become very popular street drugs, used to get "high", and many users don't even realize how dangerously addictive they are.

Google can no longer profit from the sale of these illegal drugs, and shouldn't be permitted to continue profiting from piracy either.. I don't believe for a single second that Google has been leading this protest out of a concern for anything other than protecting their own profits.

Other internet sites also earn huge profits through affiliate advertising programs, and the "google ad" links they place on their webpages. This is how all these internet corporations profit from piracy, and the protection of these profits is the "hidden agenda" behind protesting these bills.
by Frances Griffin
Thursday Jan 26th, 2012 1:36 PM
The internet relies on a free exchange of information. Democracy relies on information which is increasingly hard to get as newspapers disappear and media is controlled by a few mega corporations. Censorship is a slippery slope. There are many examples of patent laws being used to prevent sharing of important information.
I vote for democracy over industry profits. Young or old, the Grannies have got it right.
by janice gonzales
Thursday Jan 26th, 2012 7:57 PM
i am all for stopping pornagraphic sites on the internet, it is demoralizing to the young people of today and the older people that would watch it . as far as stopping the internet , that is not necessary there has to be another way to stop the bad things that are happening on it. like the fraud. make it a prison offense no matter who does it, and if a foreign country is responsible find a way to stop them from using it in our country, with the innovations of todays computer geeks i am sure they can find a way to do this without stopping all the rest of our freedoms, by that i mean the regular people that use it with no intention of commiting crimes on it. there has to be away to fix it without making laws that stop places like Craigslist or Ebay .
by K. Watkins
Thursday Jan 26th, 2012 8:26 PM
I'm done with Feinstein and Boxer. I'm voting third party from now on. To hell with these saleouts.
by L. Felty
( yadamore44 [at] yahoo.com ) Saturday Feb 4th, 2012 7:59 AM
I thought I lived in America. Land of the free. So why is our goverment stepping into the roll of head of our households. These people don't no me personally so what gives them the right to tell me what i can and can't do on my own personal time and where i can go with it. My parents taught me morals and values and i don't visit alot of web sites by choice but i have the right too as a free American to visit any of em i want, if i want. The goverment needs to get folks workin and get our infestructure repaired. Not tell us what we can read, eat, watch, feed our kids, how much we should weigh, how we should behave in out vehicles, what words we can and can't say. WTF. U wanna be HOH? FINE. Censor our America. But take resposibility for what your actions produce. A country of people who can't be indipendant cause u say we can't. OH, and since u have chosen to be head of Americas household, your grandson has run amuck and has court next week. U need to have him there by 9:00am. Glad u took my authority to parent my way. Now u can reap what u have sown. HAPPY NOW? Cause u seem to have screwed that up too. And one more thing, i was taught at a young age not to LIE. Where were u all at when your folks taught that lesson? STAY OUT OF OUR PERASONAL LIFE AND PERSONAL BUSINESS and do what ever it is u r supposed to really do in the job we elected u to do. And if this is the best u can do then only one thing to do, YOU'RE FIRED!!!!!!!!
Seriously, nsmith1111? Do you really believe this is about stopping piracy? Electronic transfer of media isn't the way of the future, it is the way things have been for a while, and piracy exists for all mediums. It's why copyright laws were first put in place. You must realize, however, that one of the main reasons for copyright law is, in fact, to protect authors from some of the abuses being visited on them by supporters of these bills. The issue isn't dead now that this particular vote is off the table - old, fat entertainment giants will continue to abuse their position to attempt giving legal teeth to their industry in a desperate attempt to protect their outdated business models.

I am not advocating piracy. I am, myself, a published author and composer, and am due payment for every copy of my work used. But for me to attempt to lock down any medium because there are thieves is ludicrous. Rather, I must find innovative ways to protect my material in the new environment. There aren't more thieves than before, just more attention to them. Surely you made cassette copies of your vinyl records? I did, as backups. I made "mix tapes" so I could conveniently carry my favorites with me. These same entertainment corporations that so badly want government involvement in how people consume their entertainment tried to block mp3s, and before that, the recordable CD; before that, the casette tape; and before that, consumer-grade wax recorders.

Supporting any legislation which would allow governments to filter, censor, or otherwise control a free flow of information simply caters to large corporate control of all information and of the government itself, and is, therefore bad by its very nature.
by ratlady
Friday Jun 8th, 2012 9:40 PM
Well, are you? You've got to be kidding - you actually expect the government to find a way to clean things up, put people in prison, make sure that none of us waaaay over the age of consent be demoralized by watching *oh my* porn on the web, get all foreign governments on board, AND be nice to the rest of us while they do it? Yeah, look around - our freedoms are being slowly stripped away on a daily basis. We have the largest prison population in the world, and you want to suggest that add even more reasons to incarcerate someone? You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to acknowledge the fact that we are on the brink of marshal law and civil war. The internet WAS the last frontier. I want to keep as much of that as is possible, and I DO NOT want even MORE government involvement in my business. You are living in a dreamworld - I hope you wake up soon.....
by Seraievo Nicosia
Sunday Aug 5th, 2012 10:44 AM
Great job Google and other internet provider services company and thumbs up to the masses to get off their tush and so something about PIPA and SOPA threat. I just wish as much effort would have been shown when congress passed with easy the Patriot act which is nothing but a "rights taken away from the citizens" bill with a deceiving title.
by Mister Grin
Friday Sep 14th, 2012 1:56 PM
Power to the PEOPLE!