Posts tagged PIPA

MegaUpload files may be deleted soon

The files on MegaUpload servers might be deleted even before the extradition hearing of MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom begin.

According to the US Attorney’s Office leading the prosecution, the companies hosting Megaupload data might begin deleting data on 2nd February 2012. The prosecution have searched the servers and copied selected files required for the case. They did not take the server into custody and the servers are still with the hosting companies Carpathia and Cogent.

And since MegaUpload’s assets were frozen by the US Department of Justice, they are unable to pay the hosting companies. As a result, the hosting companies have the rights to delete the data.

This seems to be bad news for the defendants. MegaUpload need to prove to the court that there are legitimate use case for their service and majority of the files on MegaUpload are legal. With the files deleted, it is going to be difficult for the lawyer to prove their case.

And this also mean bad news for those with legitimate files on MegaUpload. Looks like you can kiss your files goodbye. Hope you guys have backups.

US Department of Justice shut down MegaUpload

The United States Department of Justice has taken MegaUpload.com down. Founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, and 3 MegaUpload executives were arrested in Auckland, New Zealand at the request of US government under provisional arrest warrants. About 70 police, some armed, raided 10 properties and seized millions of dollars worth of assets.

Not sure if the DOJ have a case here. After all, MegaUpload is just a tool. They aren’t the ones who uploaded pirated materials on their site. It’s their users. MegaUpload might be protected by Safe Harbor.

And it is ridiculous to shut down the entire site just because people are using them for piracy. There are also legitimate files like Creative Commons and Open Source stuff on MegaUpload. Is it fair to shut down the service completely?

In response to the take down, hacker group Anonymous retaliated by attacking DOJ, RIAA, MPAA and Universal Music websites. Some of the websites were unaccessable during the attack.

Now, if only US Department of Justice spend more time and effort cracking down hackers, their site won’t be taken down today. In fact, it would be good if DOJ spend more time and effort on far more important stuff like Malware, Hacking, Identity Theft, Online Privacy etc….

Defend our freedom to share

OK, the one day protest against SOPA and PIPA in US is over. I know the protest created some inconvenience to some people. I never realized that I relied so much on Wikipedia until yesterday.

Some people criticized Wikipedia’s 24 hours blackout. But I think the Wikipedia blackout bring awareness to the issue to the general public. Most of the tech savvy and social media people know the damaging effect of SOPA/PIPA. But we are the minority. A lot of people don’t know about SOPA/PIPA until yesterday’s Wikipedia blackout. I have a few friends asking me about SOPA after they discovered that Wikipedia was blocked.

The SOPA/PIPA protest yesterday is, in my own opinion, quite successful. I understand that several SOPA supporters in US Congress have changed their stand after yesterday’s event. A lot more people are aware of the damages that SOPA/PIPA will do if implemented. But the battle is not over.

Some people asked why didn’t I take part in the SOPA/PIPA protest. There are a number of WordPress plugins readily available to blackout your page during the protest period. I thought of taking part but decided that it is useless.

Firstly, most of the people who read my blog already know that SOPA/PIPA are bad. There is no point for me to preach to those who are already enlightened. Also, as a Singapore citizen, the US Congress won’t give a damn about what I feel about SOPA/PIPA. So why bother?

But although this is a US bill, the effects of SOPA/PIPA will be worldwide if implemented. Cause if SOPA/PIPA are approved in US, chances are other countries will implement a similar law. Last weekend, our Singapore law minister said this at some Intellectual Property event.

“For example, in the US, they tried the voluntary regime. It’s not as effective as people wanted it to be, and so there’s legislation pending before Congress, to give powers to block sites. But that legislation is facing intense criticism, you can understand why – it raises wider concerns.

It’s something we’re all trying to work on, because we believe our next phase of development and growth in Singapore has got to support creativity. And in order for creativity to be supported, you need a legal framework where you protect creative work.”

I’m worried about the additional legal framework that will be implemented. What if they are just as bad as SOPA/PIPA? Do we, Singapore citizens, have the power to stop our parliament from implementing something like SOPA/PIPA? I doubt so. But if ever something like SOPA/PIPA is being mentioned in Singapore parliament, we have to speak up the same way everyone did yesterday.

Here’s an excellent TED video by Clay Shirky on why SOPA is a bad idea.

Get ready. Because more is coming.

Wikipedia going offline to protest against SOPA

Several websites will be going offline this coming Wednesday (US Time) to protest against SOPA and PIPA. Sites like Reddit, Boing Boing, ICanHasCheezburger and many more have announced that their site will be taking part in the protest.

The latest site to take part in the protest is Wikipedia. Wikipedia announced today that the English language Wikipedia site will be unavailable for for 24 hours beginning midnight (EST) on 18 January 2012.

That means Wikipedia will be unavailable from 1pm 18 January to 1pm 19 January Singapore time.

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This blackout is expected to affect millions of people worldwide. I think most people can live 1 day without Reddit discussion or cute kitten pictures. But Wikipedia is a very important resource on the internet. Unable to access it for 24 hour is going to be very disruptive to many people worldwide.

But I respect Wikipedia’s decision to take part in the protest. Right now, only the social media and Tech savvy people knows about SOPA and PIPA. This move can bring awareness to the general public. Perhaps this is a bitter medicine that we all need to take for the future of internet.

If Wikipedia is an important part of your work/study/life, you might want to download Wikipedia and access it offline during the blackout. Alternatively, you can also use Google Cache.

Update: If you need to access Wikipedia during the blackout, try using the mobile site. http://en.m.wikipedia.org

Boycott GoDaddy over their support of SOPA

I’ve been hearing a lot about Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) from all the US Tech podcast that I’ve been faithfully following everyday. Like most people in the tech community, I am against SOPA. But then, as a Singaporean, I won’t be too affected by SOPA. And SOPA is now being debated by US Congress and I don’t think anyone of them would care about my opinion regarding this stupid law.

If you haven’t heard about SOPA, check out this video to find out why so many people are against it.

The US House of Representatives’ judiciary committee recently released a list of SOPA supporters. Among the list are mostly broadcasting and publishing companies which we all expect would be pro-SOPA. But shockingly, GoDaddy, one of the largest domain name registrars, is also pro-SOPA.

A lot of GoDaddy customers are planning to boycott them on 29 December 2011. Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger, said on Twitter that he will be moving their 1,000 domains off GoDaddy.

A boycott GoDaddy site has been setup to collect pledges.

I have a domain on GoDaddy currently. I’m not using it. Just parking. Although my one little domain means nothing, I will be joining the Boycott GoDaddy movement on 29th to show my support to the Tech community in US.

If you have domain on GoDaddy, I urge you to join in the Boycott and transfer your domain away from GoDaddy on 29 December 2011.

If you need help on transferring your Domain, check out this blog posting.