Collective Action, Politics, and Protests
Last class we learned about SOPA, and the fear that it engendered in many Internet commentators. Today we’ll start by looking at how anti-SOPA activists were mobilized on the Internet to effectively stop the implementation of this legislation. This will serve as a touchstone for other reading about use of the Internet in collective action, political protests, and the role of private corporations in protecting and facilitating this discourse across the globe.
We will be joined in the beginning of class by Oluwaseun "Egghead" Odewale, a fellow at the Berkman Center and an expert on West African elections and civil affairs.
- Yochai Benkler, SOPA/PIPA: A Case Study in Networked Discourse and Activism (approx. 16 mins., watch all)
- Zeynep Tufekci, #Kony2012, Understanding Networked Symbolic Action & Why Slacktivism is Conceptually Misleading
- Yochai Benkler and Aaron Shaw, A Tale of Two Blogospheres: Discursive Practices on the Left and Right
- Jillian York, Policing Content in the Quasi-Public Sphere (focus on the Introduction, and “Social Media: Privacy Companies, Public Responsibilities”)
Videos Watched in Class
This may be more suited to the subject of the last two classes, but I feel since the general subject of this entire class is Internet regulation I believe it is relevnt.
Having read several times Andy Sellers artful and very information article entitled "The In Rem Forfeiture of Copyright-Infringing Domain names several things strike he hard, bsaed in part of my own experiences as a political scientist and criminal and constitutional trial and appellate lawyer.
First of all our government seems really ticked off to reduce this to simple language that the Internet has taken away our imperialistic policies going back before the Monroe Doctrine. We always believe our way is the the best way and they try to communicate "It is our way or the highway," except the Information Highway is not what they mean. This highway takes away sovereign and imperialistic powers all the countries of the world try to impose on their own people and each other.
The government's faulty and frivolous attempt to control the behavior of the rest of the world through Internet control is almost a case of 21st century McCartyism. There efforts are like throwing away the baby with the bathwater. In criminal caes many states, particularly CA where I practiced have a process where a preliminary hearing is held to determine if there is probable cause to try an alleged criminal in a higher court. But the in rem process to shut down websites by enforcing forfeiture procedures is very different. Here on evidence that would not even be admitted into evidence at a preliminary hearing is allowed to not only justify prosecution, but to try in absentia the alleged perpertrators and even their victimes without benefit of any enforcement of equal protection or due process.
Americans are blessed with "inalienable rights" that few, if any other peoples have. Yet because we do not have control of those in those other societies we penalize our own people by taking property and putting restraints on them other people do not have. We give a competitive economic advantage, just as we do to companies that circumvent American labor and environmental laws who are allowed to hire individuals and companies in less restrictive countries. Our labor forces and manufacturers are penalized because they cannot compete.
The Internet has taken away the powers of the American law enforcement officials and even the United States Supreme Court because they have no jurisdiction over foreign jurisdictions and people. Here again, it is a matter of those who design new technologies racing to benefit from it with little attention given to the effect of poor planning, The FDA works in the exact opposite way when certifying food or drugs by making the process so slow that by the time they certify a drug thousands who could have been free of pain or even having their lives saved lose out as it is too late. We need a happy medium. As long as technology means not the advancement of the society, but to those privileged few who benefit financially from it the entire society will crumble. Rich 13:05, 13 March 2013 (EDT)