The End of the Free Internet – Panel tomorrow

Tomorrow evening (Wednesday, Dec 8, 2010) at 8:15pm EST, Rebecca ParsonsTim Bray and Marc Rotenberg will participate in a panel discussion hosted by The Real News and moderated by Paul Jay. The discussion will focus on these questions:

  • What does the cut off of service to WikiLeaks mean for the future of the Internet?
  • Will digital journalism be less protected?
  • Was WikiLeaks afforded procedural protections before its website and DNS entries were shut down? What process should be required?
  • The Internet is vulnerable to internal threats. What technical innovations are needed?
  • Can leaks ever be stopped? Is it worth the price?
If you have an interest in the impact of the recent events on the future of a free and open Internet, I urge you to come watch!
For more information and a link to the actual broadcast, go here.

Boycotting Amazon and PayPal

After the events the last week I see no other alternative but to boycott Amazon and PayPal. I wanted to just very quickly make a note here that I have closed my accounts with both, and explain why.

Amazons decision to stop hosting WikiLeaks is said to have been based on terms-of-use violations, however – these violations didn’t stop Amazon from hosting WL the last two times – and there are many other web sites on Amazon that have likewise questionable content. If anyone where to write a book based on the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables, would Amazon not sell it then? I can’t help but believe that the real reason Amazon stopped hosting WikiLeaks had to do with pressure applied from Joe Lieberman and the US Government. As far as outside observers can determine, there seems to have been no legal process – but rather just a phone call from Liebermans department. It sets a very dangerous precedent when a large company and a de-facto common carrier folds like this from Government pressure.

Very quickly after Amazon folded, Tableau Software decided to do the same without any contact from Liebermans department.

On Saturday, it was announced that PayPal had decided to follow suit and cancel WikiLeaks donation account.

For many reasons, these three incidents have convinced me that I have to make a moral stand and boycott Amazon and PayPal – I have cancelled my accounts. I urge you to do the same if you feel that the last few days events have been a dangerous precedent.