Good news! Your favorite politicians and bureaucrats have been busily working on even more ways to
"defend your freedom" oppress you.
Just like all corrupt, failing regimes throughout history, the Washington, DC regime hates your freedom. Passionately. Especially free speech. C'mon, it's hard to lie and control the narrative when the serfs can speak freely.
The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) -- even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they're carried out. H.R. 313, the "Drug Trafficking Safe Harbor Elimination Act of 2011," is sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and allows prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA, the massive federal law that prohibits drugs like marijuana and strictly regulates prescription medication.
"Under this bill, if a young couple plans a wedding in Amsterdam, and as part of the wedding, they plan to buy the bridal party some marijuana, they would be subject to prosecution," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for reforming the country's drug laws. "The strange thing is that the purchase of and smoking the marijuana while you're there wouldn't be illegal. But this law would make planning the wedding from the U.S. a federal crime."
The law could also potentially affect academics and medical professionals. For example, a U.S. doctor who works with overseas doctors or government officials on needle exchange programs could be subject to criminal prosecution ... If interpreted broadly enough, a prosecutor could possibly even charge doctors, academics and policymakers from contributing their expertise to additional experiments like the drug decriminalization project Portugal, which has successfully reduced drug crime, addiction and overdose deaths.
"Just when you think you can't get any more cynical, a bill like this comes along. I mean, it just sounds like an abomination. First, there's no intuitive reason for an American to think that planning an activity that's perfectly legal in another country would have any effect on America," [attorney and author Harvey Silverglate] says. "So we're getting further away from the common law tradition that laws should be intuitive, and should include a mens rea component. Second, this is just an act of shameless cultural and legal imperialism. It's just outrageous."
Conspiracy laws in general are problematic ... They give prosecutors extraordinary discretion to charge minor players, such as girlfriends or young siblings, with the crimes committed by major drug distributors. They're also easier convictions to win, and can allow prosecutors to navigate around restrictions like statutes of limitations, so long as the old offense can be loosely linked to a newer one. The Smith bill would expand those powers.
After a centuries long battle, the natural rights of man are officially being squashed under the false pretenses of a "War on Drugs" ... in the supposed "Land of the Free."
Modern day Rome gnashes, claws, and flails as the illusion of its control is shaken. A new bill ... sponsored by Texas Republican and Judiciary Committe Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith. This speech law, effectively, would criminalize any talk or intent by Americans abroad pertaining to controlled substances, but not the actual possession or consumption of them therein, effectively expanding drug conspiracy law enforcement against U.S. citizens to a global level.
Americans could face the threat of being convicted of a crime predicated merely upon speech alone. [Got free speech?] And it is worth stressing that the Judiciary Committee is vying for a felony charge (federal crime) here: no paltry misdemeanor, as three felonies alone can be used to lock someone up for a life sentence.
Not-so-coincidentally, the nascent proposal comes simultaneously as the Obama administration is engaging in a new effort to target California medical marijuana dispensaries.
So much for the First Amendment, eh? Political Correctness down the barrel of a gun.
They're going after the Internet too.
The E-Parasites Act, a contrived acronym for Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation, seeks to give the attorney general broad power to create a blacklist of websites that "induce" copyright infringement. Service providers would then be legally compelled to block these websites.Let's say you're using an online digital locker service like Dropbox to store your Microsoft Word files. Someone else on the site, however, is using it to house illegally downloaded MP3s. The record label finds out, approaches a judge and says, "Dropbox is inducing its users to commit copyright infringement. We request you block it, or we'll go to MasterCard — which handles Dropbox's money matters — or the site's advertisers and legally demand that they stop facilitating the site's inducement of copyright infringement."
The law can either shutter a website until it removes copyright-violating material or financially ruin it. In either scenario, your Word files are gone.
In effect, the law would create a separate, "America-approved" Internet, just like the kind found in China with its Great Firewall. The move would "send signals to oppressive regimes around the world that censoring the Internet is OK so long as it's done in the name of intellectual property," said McSherry.
Then there's the technical side to consider. To block "rogue" websites, the proposed law interferes with the technology that translates easy-to-remember website names into their actual numbered addresses. (Do you really trust Washington bureaucrats with one of the Internet's most vital technologies?)
We all know where this is heading. It's a backdoor into shutting down websites for political speech. Think Wikileaks. How long before the U.S. State Department copyrights cables in order to give themselves greater prosecutorial powers?
The legislation has received the backing of Hollywood and the music industry but has come under fire from digital rights and free speech groups.
It also came in for criticism on Monday from the powerful Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and NetCoalition, whose members include Google and Yahoo!.
"As currently drafted, we believe SOPA is an alarming step backwards" that would create a "litigation and liability nightmare for Internet and technology companies and social media," the letter said.
"In short, this is not a bill that targets 'rogue foreign sites.' Rather, it allows movie studios, foreign luxury goods manufacturers, patent and copyright trolls, and any holder of any intellectual property right to target lawful US websites and technology companies" ... The Stop Online Piracy Act is the House version of a bill introduced in the Senate in May known as the Theft of Intellectual Property Act or Protect IP Act.
Corporatism and security theater run amok.
- Patent Trolls Cost The Economy Half A Trillion Dollars since 1990
- Absurd Arguments for IP
- Drugs and Copyright: A Fable
Of course the One World Government types are all over this too. It's all about power and control.
It's reportedthat officials from 60 countries will join Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Tudou.com (Chinese video sharing site), as well as cyber crime agencies, and computer security firms at the London Conference on Cyberspace. The London summit is hosted by Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who said the purpose is to "discuss ideas and expected behaviour in cyberspace".
To which he claims the goal is bring together major players to determine how "collectively, we should respond to the challenges and opportunities which the development of cyberspace presents."
A few days before the conference, Council on Foreign Relations members Adam Segal and Matthew Waxman wrote that the conference presents those calling for a global Internet treaty with "a step in that direction."
They also pointed out that NATO allies have already essentially agreed to a treaty; "June 2011, NATO defense ministers agreed to a collective vision of cyber defense, and the United States and Australia recently announced that their mutual defense treaty extends to cyberspace."
Meanwhile, in September of this year, an alliance between Russia, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan collaborated on cybersecurity by introducing The International Code of Conduct for Information Security to the U.N. Secretary General.
This alliance views "information security" to mean combating the dissemination of certain types of information which "undermines other countries' political, economic and social stability, as well as their spiritual and cultural environment." In other words, if passed, political dissent on the Internet would be censored by U.N. decree.
And there you have it ... political dissent is a crime.
In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove videos that show protests and other examples of citizens simply asserting their rights, while also deleting search terms by government mandate.
The latest example is You Tube's compliance with a request from the British government to censor footage of the British Constitution Group's Lawful Rebellion protest, during which they attempted to civilly arrest Judge Michael Peake at Birkenhead county court.
The British government doesn't want this kind of information going viral in the public domain because it is scared stiff of a repeat of the infamous poll tax riots of 1990, a massive tax revolt in the UK that forced the Thatcher government to scrap the poll tax altogether because of mass civil disobedience and refusal to pay.
Anyone who swallows the explanation that the videos were censored in this case because the government was justifiably enforcing a law that says scenes from inside a court room cannot be filmed is beyond naive. Court was not even in session in the protest footage that was removed, and the judge had already left the courtroom.
The real reason for the removal is the fact that the British government is obviously petrified of seeing a group of focused and educated citizens, black, white, old and young, male and female, go head to head with the corrupt system on its own stomping ground.
In their efforts to keep a lid on the growing populist fury that has arrived in response to rampant and growing financial and political tyranny in every sector of society, governments in the west are now mimicking Communist Chinese-style Internet censorship policies in a bid to neutralize protest movements, while hypocritically lecturing the rest of the world on maintaining web freedom.
Washington, DC, like all the other capitals in the world, is a vast cauldron of corruption and incompetence. They also know you're catching on.
They have guilty consciences. They know they've been caught. So they attack your free speech out of fear. They fear your very thoughts.