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25 November 2011

Save the Internet

Dear friends,



Right now, Congress is debating a law that would give them the power to censor India's Internet -- creating a blacklist that could target YouTube, WikiLeaks and even Avaaz! Now if we stand with key members of Congress, we can defeat this attempt at global Internet censorship. Click here and help build a national outcry calling for a free and open Internet:

Right now, the US Congress is debating a law that would give them the power to censor India's Internet -- creating a blacklist that could target YouTube, WikiLeaks and even groups like Avaaz!

Under the new law, the US could force Internet providers to block any website on suspicion of violating copyright or trademark legislation, or even failing to sufficiently police their users' activities. And, because so much of the Internet's hosts and hardware are located here in the US, their blacklist would clamp down on the free web for all of us here in India.

We only have days before the vote but we can help stop this -- champions in Congress want to preserve free speech and tell us that a global outcry would strengthen their hand. Let's urgently raise our voices from across India and and build an unprecedented global petition calling on US decision makers to reject the bill and stop Internet censorship. Click below to sign and then forward as widely as possible -- our message will be delivered directly to key members of the US Congress ahead of the crucial vote:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet_india/?vl

For years, our government has condemned countries like China and Iran for their clampdown on Internet use. But now, the impact of these new censorship laws could be far worse -- effectively blocking sites not only in the US but also to every Internet user across the globe.

Last year, a similar Internet censorship bill was killed before reaching the Senate floor, but it's now back in a different form. Copyright laws already exist and are enforced by courts. But this new law goes much further -- granting the government and big corporations enormous powers to force service providers and search engines to block websites based just on allegations of violations -- without a trial or being found guilty of any crime!

Free speech advocates have already raised the alarm, and some key Senators are trying to gather enough support to stop this dangerous bill. We have no time to lose. Let's stand with them to ensure our lawmakers preserve the right to a free and open Internet as an essential way for people in the US and around the world to exchange ideas, share communication and work collectively to build the world we want. Sign below to stop censorship, and save the Internet as we know it:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet_india/?vl

In the past months, from the Arab Spring to the global Occupy Movement, we've seen first hand how the Internet can galvanize, unify and change society. Now, if we stand together, we can stop this new attack on Internet freedom. We've done it before -- in Brazil and Italy, Avaaz members have won major victories in the fight for a free Internet. Let's mobilize here in the US to defeat the most powerful censorship threat that the Internet has ever seen.

With hope,

Luis, Dalia, Diego, Emma, Ricken, Aaron, Antonia, Benjamin and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:

Op-Ed: Blacklist Bill allows Feds to remove websites from Internet (Digital Journal)
http://digitaljournal.com/article/313463

Disastrous IP Legislation Is Back – And It's Worse than Ever (EFF)
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/disastrous-ip-legislation-back-%E2%80%93-and-it%E2%80%99s-worse-ever

Silicon Valley legislators oppose online piracy act (SFGate)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/15/BUO81LV0KI.DTL

House Hearing on Stop Online Piracy Act Scheduled (PC World)
http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/243659/house_hearing_on_stop_online_piracy_act_scheduled.html

Growing Chorus of Opposition to "Stop Online Piracy Act"
https://www.cdt.org/report/growing-chorus-opposition-stop-online-piracy-act

The stop online piracy act: summary, problems, and implications
https://www.cdt.org/files/pdfs/SOPA%202-pager%20final.pdf

Why Is Justin Bieber So Pissed Off?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timothy-karr/why-is-justin-bieber-so-p_b_1071055.html

Stop Online Piracy Act
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr3261ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr3261ih.pdf

PROTECT IP Act
http://leahy.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/BillText-PROTECTIPAct.pdf

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