Are the days of a free and open internet over?

There’s a backlash underway against supporters of the Stop Online Privacy Act – known as SOPA.

The legislation – which is currently stalled in Congress until next month – would give the federal government – working with major entertainment industries – the power to take down websites that may be displaying copyrighted material.

Domain registrar publicly supported SOPA – and now has seen more than 120,000 domain names transferred from its services thanks to a groundswell of Internet activism calling for boycotts on GoDaddy.

Meanwhile – two main proponents of the Internet censorship legislation – Republican Senator Bob Corker – and Republican Representative Paul Ryan are being target in an online campaign calling for people to dig up dirt on them and ruin their political careers.

Sadly, the days of a free and open Internet will be numbered if SOPA becomes law.


Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 5 weeks ago

Wow!!! Dr Richards! Thanks for that web site. This video should be seen by everyone. It blows the lid off of the SOPA scam. I think it is the same kind of tactics that led to the current bankster/wall street scandals. They sucker you in, providing what appears to be honest and legitimate actions, then when you bite, they make you feel like you did something dishonest, and they sue you for all your life's savings and then some. Be sure to see this video before they ban it. It is that good! It is that damaging to the powers that are trying to get SOPA law passed. See the video!! and make sure everyone you know sees it!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 5 weeks ago

This stop SOPA video, also seen here:
has 3/4 million viewers and 14,090 commenters just in the last week.

edayres's picture
edayres 11 years 5 weeks ago

Certainly, Congress should be criticized for its hypocracy on this issue but this notion the work of others who try to make a living providing content should be available for free to everyone has become pervasive and should stop. People invest large sums to educate themselves and years acquiring skills to do this kind of work and deserve to be compensated. To do otherwise is just a continuation of the devaluation of work taking hold in this world. Entertainment has always been a difficult way to earn a living. When some use or "aggregate" the material of others everyone who partipated in the arduous work of its creation gets screwed. If the real problem is giant entertainment companies increasingly owning things there should a way to address it without penalizing the working stiffs.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 11 years 5 weeks ago

Oh yeah, let me guess what will happen: I won't go online anymore, because this doggoned www will be nothing but dull business. The blogger scene, those wonderfully crazy people who work without pay, will be gone. Same goes for Wikipedia: Who would be so dumb and work without pay there, if it wasn't free anymore, huh? So why would I have a netbook any longer, huh? Why not go back to the good old typewriter, huh? In case I wanna buy something and therefore look for product information: This doesn't happen very often, so I will be okay with using a computer in a library HAHAHA!

Oh well, I'll have more time to play music and actually meet people in real life. ***YAAAAAWN***

tomas.savage's picture
tomas.savage 11 years 5 weeks ago

it is inevitable. the government will eventually seize full control of the internet (and anything resembling a free and open forum of information exchange).

to do this, expect some kind of hegelian dialectic; thesis, antithesis, synthesis... or as david icke likes to put it, problem, reaction, solution:

the government will stage some kind of attack on the internet, internet users will be horrified and terrorized, the government will 'suggest' increasing security measures. the people will gladly give up their former liberties for increased security.

the only solution to this is to delete the government. all power must be removed from the control of the few "representatives." the time of the republic is over, it's time for a directed democracy: where the people don't have a government because the people _are_ the government.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 5 weeks ago

So, as per the above mentioned video (if you even bothered to watch it), who do you suppose is really at fault for hard working entertainers not getting their due? The people downloading it, who have been driven by the rich into getting anything they can for the least amount of cash outlay? Why not? How do you suppose these corporations got rich to begin with? People who are being led on and facilitated by the very middle men..the merchants...the big recording companies or their parent corporate owners...who are doing nothing less than a criminally charged plot to set up and ensnare people (a kind of entrapment)?

These corporations make huge profits on their getting people to do these downloads through their web sites that PROMOTE IT! Then they turn right around and claim that people are stealing from them? What a racket!! Watch the video!!

Don't blame it on the people who have watched rich people get rich through a whole lot of stealing themselves and be lionized and idolized for it. People who have been proselytized into the commercialized "gotta have it" mentality look at the cream of the capitalist crop, who are not averse to getting things for free if they can or even stealing if they can and are now getting away with it as a matter of course, and are not any less willing to act in a manner more holy than their wealthy exemplars.

I don't know if anyone has told you but we are at war with wealthy corporate criminals who are using extraordinarily tricky ways of undermining the majority of us into a form of serfdom. I believe it goes even further in that these ruling elite are trying to actually depopulate the world through poverty, disease, and starvation of the masses.

There is, on the other hand, a counter culture that is arising and fighting the corrupt and greedy culture of laissez faire capitalism. You see it in such things as alternatives to having to buy things the myriad of tutorials and other extremely useful things on YouTube and other web sites. You see it in places like SourceForge for alternative software and operating systems. There are a whole lot of extremely talented people who have a far superior outlook than just trying to make a lot of money in a short period of time.

CopyOwner 11 years 5 weeks ago

Note that Rep. Ryan claims NOT to be a "main proponent" of SOPA. Apparently, he wrote one of those play-both-sides neutral "I will keep your views in mind if and when I have the opportunity to vote on it" letter. See

But I applaud your attention to this. GoDaddy now reportedly says it opposes SOPA, but only because SOPA failed to gain "consensus" among GoDaddy's competitor. (In plain English, it seems to say it would be for it were it not for the amount of opposition to it.)

The good news is that since for-profit corporations act purely for profit, it means that GoDaddy now finds it more profitable to take the side of humans that oppose it rather than corporation that support it.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 5 weeks ago

When haven't the democracy hating republicans wanted to control and subvert any medium where the truth can be found?

I have a "roadmap FROM America" for Paul Ryan and his ilk, it shows the route to a big gated entitlement so to speak... where folks like him can reside, and let the rest of us 99%ers progress and prosper!

caroline fairless's picture
caroline fairless 11 years 5 weeks ago

Regarding Go-Daddy, the groundswell ought to have started quite some time ago, when a picture of CEO Bob Parsons showed up on the internet proudly standing beside his glory - a slain elephant in Zimbabwe, a magnificent creature shot by Go-Daddy himself. In my own posting I suggested that those of us with Go-Daddy accounts change their accounts. Some of us have. Others of us ought to.

PLSzymeczek's picture
PLSzymeczek 11 years 5 weeks ago

It's Stop Online Piracy, not Privacy...

Gene Savory's picture
Gene Savory 11 years 5 weeks ago

Here is a variation on cell phone abuse by telemarketers and web data managers: I received a call on my cellular phone from the 825 area code. I did not answer - I know of nobody from that AC that would need to call me. Later, I checked my voice mail and hear a bit about getting on a "Do Not Call" list. Then I ran a Reverse Phone Lookup on the number and find that it's registered to Intellius, which I look up via a search engine. Intellius is in the business of supplying background checks and related contact info. So, they are, under false pretenses, trying to grab cell phone numbers to use in People Searches and Background Checks that they sell.

I'm not sure that their tactic is legal. My cell phone number is already in the Federal Do Not Call Registry. Intellius just snatched it or bought it or is dialing via known cellular Area Code and Prefix to collect data to sell.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 11 years 5 weeks ago

Looks like you’re still in the beginner’s class and the rest is advanced already — patiently waiting for you to get the actual point. Subject matter you still have to get is: A LAW CAN BE MISUSED. So now you have to ponder whether there might be one or another point in which this new law might be misused and actually could harm the whole www.

I wouldn’t be so bold to seriously assign you to kinda homework. Just wanna help you.

MaskinJunior's picture
MaskinJunior 11 years 5 weeks ago

SOPA will not break the internet...

...eaven if it passes. It wont eaven have any long-term effects on piracy as proven by the FRA-laws that were implemented in Sweden. (FRA is the swedish eq to NSA).

When the swedish goverment gained the abillity to wiretap everyone on the internet there was a boom for VPN services. Beccause of the amount of traffic now sent thru sweden thru encrypted VPN tunnels the job for FRA beccame hopeless beccause the ammount of encryped of the traffic takes too much computer power to break.

The drawback tho is that pedophiles and possible, (but not probable), threat to national security now can hide among all the encrypted trafic, while it before were the only encrypted traffic, and could be intercepted.

The lesson learned is you cant win against the hackers. The hackers knew how the internet work before there were an internet. There are allready availeble tools to run bittorent over TOR. And a few million more users will cause them to be eaven better.

And to the Hollywood lobby; Peter Sunde, the founder of Piratebay have been working on the solution to how more material will be produced in the future. So far his invention is flattr. If you like something and want more to be produced you throw them a coin. If many people like it you will get much money to make a big production out of it.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 5 weeks ago

The real piracy is what the corporations are doing to the rest of us! Watch the movie!

And, it may as well be "privacy" because that is what it will end up trashing....even more than it is now. And that is really what all those politicians take away our privacy. They're privacy pirates!

arky12's picture
arky12 11 years 5 weeks ago

Thom, here is a man I'd like to see on your show. He is brilliant.

Check him out.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 5 weeks ago

Happy New Year! Although for some, it is a year of dread because they believe that it will be the year of the end of the per the Mayan Calendar. Others are convinced that it will the the year of Jesus.

I watched a YouTube video of some Arab Muslim guy thumpin' the viewers with his interpretations of the Koran (Quran) that is supposed to mean that 2012 is the end of the world. It goes without saying, of course, that there are many thumpin' the Bible with the same scare tactics.

I'll be glad when 2012 is over and I can have a good laugh. But do you think that will end the idiocy? No, it'll go on forever, as it has countless times before, with believers trying to scare people into believing as they do...trying to get others to "follow" them. They don't even have to resort to electronically guiding jetliners into tall buildings, like the Neocons did, all they have to do is keep harping about the boogy man and if they do it enough times...they are sure to hook a few more fish into their insanity.

With so many people believing in Biblical, or Quranic, not to mention new-agian gobbledegook, no wonder people are acting very careless with their futures...they don't believe there will be a future, or one they cannot change anyway.

Of course, for many of us older people, the end of our world will occur soon enough...too soon enough.

I am just happy and thankful (not to any mythical make-believe character) that there are lots of people..many young people..and old people...who believe it is worth spending time and effort in rebelling against the injustices of a criminal and corrupt system that has declared war on us for more than 30 years.

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 11 years 5 weeks ago

Happy New Year P,

You are hands down the best writer on this blog. You also have the craziest ideas--the neocons flew the planes into the twin towers. Maybe the Mother Ship will arrive in 2012 and take you home.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 4 weeks ago

Thank you very much, MM. Yes, it does sound crazy doesn't it? That's why they'll get away with it. I believe that the "official conspiracy theory" sounds even crazier once one is privy to the facts. The bigger the lie, told by our Neocon owned news media, the more people will find comfort in believing the "official" conspiracy theory. That, and the fact that it is so much easier to believe that Arab Muslims were behind it.

Of course, if it is "official" anything you'd rather believe in then go ahead and watch Fox news and avoid watching or listening to the independent voices like Thom Hartmann or any other "liberal" "conspiratorially slanted?" voices.

It sure was quite a stunt the Muslim "terrorists" pulled off, wasn't it? Men who had a hard time mastering flying even small craft were able to guide their very fast flying behemoth airliners into their targets. A radical bearded Muslim hiding in a cave (at the time anyway) knew all about the multiple war games being played that day that would help them achieve their goals of bringing America to it's knees by striking fear into it's populations resulting in the calculated removal of long cherished constitutional rights, and making it easier for those financial scamsters to pull off their shell games. What a genius this OBL was to planned it all. Of course, OBL was eventually assassinated so that he would never be able to talk. They did the same thing to Yamashita (because they knew they had his driver to torture for the information they needed).

Many people are more than willing to swallow the "official conspiracy theory" because it safer to do so than to challenge the dangerous people who would do such things as murder thousands of their own people in order to achieve their goals. As it said in the documents (PNAC-Project for a New American Century) written by neocons preceding 911..."What they needed was a new Pearl Harbor". And so, as with Pearl Harbor, they created it. Yes, I believe that Pearl Harbor was also created by ruthless criminal shell shufflers...they engineered and created the conditions that suckered the Japanese into bombing Pearl Harbor* those were expert pilots...the Japanese. But the 911 so-called Arab terrorists were not. It took a lot of precision control of those aircraft and there is just no way that those planes were guided by hastily trained pilots on small aircraft....especially the pentagon hit. The maneuvering it took was way beyond the abilities of these guys. Even expert pilots used to flying those large aircraft have said that even they would not be able to do it.

That, and other things like the lack of impact holes by the wings or engines, and lack of airliner wreckage in the initial impact photos is pretty conclusive that something other than an airliner hit the a missile or military electronically guided drone. I could go on and on about all of the non-sequiturs and outright lies from the official conspiracy theorists but that would amount to writing a book. And there are so many books, photos, and videos that already show all these things. But, of course, if people are so willing to accept the official conspiracy theory then they will keep their heads buring in the sands of "I don't really want to know" obscurations.

note: I used to work in the Pentagon for many years and know how thick those concrete walls were. I worked there during the Vietnam years and the only real excitement back then was when someone would put small explosives into the commodes and blow them up. I actually had to go into many of the departments on various floor levels and often wondered how long it would be before a missile would strike it. There was a snack stand in the center of the central courtyard. That was all before they put the subway system in...but the construction was going on at the time to build the subway.

Do you know that a typical airliner's fusilage is made mostly of a soft lightweight material? The engines are much harder and more indestructable. So there was this small hole, initially, before the weakened outer wall gave way creating a larger opening. Where were the holes from the engines?

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 11 years 4 weeks ago

Hi P,

Let's assume everything you say is true. Why? what is the motive? Who? I need specifics, not generalities. Conspirancy theories are like horoscopes, well written, but nothing there. I have an open mind, convince me with motives, names and dates.

K from WI's picture
K from WI 11 years 4 weeks ago

Free and open internet only exist in a democracy. The corporations are and will take it from us if we the people let them. Stop SOPA.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 4 weeks ago

MM: Well, I think it would be a waste of time to try to convince you or many others even if I were to show you a video of everything that happened. I agree that there are many "conspiracy theories" in addition to the "official conspiracy theory". Some are even more hard to believe than the official one. There are some that I find hard to the use of small nuclear weapons planted inside the WTC buildings, or space-based particle beam weapons that melted the buildings. These do seem to me to be very far fetched.

But the technology to electronically hi-jack and guide a plane to a target has been around a long is not hard to believe. The fact that those vested interests who had sufficient access to the buildings prior to 911, and who had access to high-tech explosives, is not hard to believe. That Arab hi-jackers armed with box-cutters, who had problems being able to fly small craft, and an old man hiding out in Afghanistan that masterminded the whole very unbelievable...when you look at all of the other evidence that tends to support an inside job.

I happen to believe that at a very minimum, the so-called hijackers were used as patsies and set up to take the fall. But I don't believe they would have been successful in guiding the much larger and complicated jet liners into their targets. I don't believe that the original pilots would have been forced to guide the planes into the WTC towers or the Pentagon. The only way those airliners could have been guided to actually hit their targets would be from an electronic computer assisted target acquisition guidance system.

The opportunity, means, motives, and past actions (history) were all there to indict those who were really behind 911. The neocons, as they stated in their PNAC documents, said that they needed a new Pearl Harbor.

Nanothermite, a high tech explosive with qualities far exceeding typical explosives, was developed by Livermore Labs and well known by NIST in the decades prior to 911. And nanothermite is not something that is easy, or even possible to attain in any quantities. It is not something that just anyone can make. While thermite is easy to get, nanothermite is not, and one cannot mistake one for the other especially using all the high tech laboratory analytical equipment that was used by the scientists to determine that it was present in sufficient quantities in the 911 dust samples to be used as proof that it had been used.

The scientific paper on the study of the evidence collected during and shortly after 911 of the dust samples containing nanothermite and evidence of a nanothermite reaction prove that nanothermite was used in the demolition of the buildings on 911. You want numbers and hard facts and evidence check out that scientific paper at Open Chemical Physics Jounal web site.

You want more evidence of a demolition? The evidence is right there in every video of the collapsing towers. Falling at near free fall speed, explosive squibs shooting out preceding in the several floors below the more visual disintegration above. They looked just like demolitions because they were demolitions.

The fact that no other building in the history of tall buildings and aviation or even tall steel building fires ever, ever caused such a spectacle. No building ever collapsed due to fire or airplanes crashing into them. But, on this day, 3 buildings did just that...collapsed at near free fall speed in their own foot prints.

The airplanes crashed into one side, perhaps weakening, somewhat that side of the building yet the buildings did not fall over to one side as one might reason would be more likely. They came straight down at near free fall speed. In order for a building to come down at near free fall speed it would have to have practically no resistance in the supporting structures below it. What the officials are trying (and obviously succeeded at) to do was get people to buy into an idea that defies physics.

No plane, or fire, crashed into every floor under the impact area, no fires weakened the whole structure below the impact area...all the way to the ground. So how can a building fall like that, at near free fall speed, as if there were no resistance to slow it down? That is partly why so many architectural engineers, and other scientific people, don't buy into the official conspiracy theory. It is non-sense!

Building 7 never even had an airliner crash into it yet it came down in it's own footprint...straight down...even with the tell-tale and perceptible beginning of the collapse in the center of the building..just like what happens during normal demolitions in order to get the buildings to fall in their own footprint.

Even several people who spent years in demolishing buildings have testified, on web sites like Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth, that the collapses of the three towers looked just like a demolition....especially building 7.

When you put together who had control of the security of the WTC buildings, the reported unusual construction in the weeks prior to the attacks done by a company that had direct relation with the Bush family, all of the reported extraneous explosions that eyewitnesses experienced, the pools of molten steel despite the fact that the fires from the airliners and the office material burning could not have melted steel...the fact that $420 billion worth of illegal bonds connected to the sacking of the Soviet Union in
1991 coming due on 9-12-2001 (one day after 911) and the subsequent emergency actions to clear those bonds and other highly questionable financial transactions....and a lot more...then it would be foolish to accept the official government conspiracy theory.

Then there are all of the offices and records of criminal financial Enron and many others...that were targeted and destroyed. Even that side of the Pentagon that was hit had been "worked on" ...lots of "construction" prior to 911...and that was the side that contained the ONI Office of Naval Investigations that had records and an on-going investigation into illegal financial dealings.

Was it just a co-incidence that just before that happened...Rumsfeld publicly admitted that billions of dollars had "gone missing"? And what about the video evidence of the size of the hole in the Pentagon that did not show any markings or impact of the jet engines or wings? Or the testimony of eyewitnesses who did not see many airplane parts...surely the engines would have been

I tell you, with so many gullible people who make it easy for massively criminal and traitorous elite powers to get away with the things they do, we may as well just shoot ourselves in the head and get it over with (just a figure of speech..there are others that deserve that the people who orchestrated 911).

911 wasn't just about an excuse to invade had a lot to do with the decades long financial scams in the housing mortgage and other corporate, Wall Street and banking schemes that was about to be realized. The $420 billion bonds was only part of it...Rumsfeld's missing billions of dollars in the Pentagon was only part of it...the failed laissez faire capitalist game that the capitalist jackals, wolves, and pigs played out to beat "Communism" came back to be the laughing stock of the to be feared because they have taken away our freedoms and security as a democracy. We have only just begun to see and experience the terror that these criminals have committed against us. It will get worse much worse. And I don't want to go down being their useful idiot believing in their lies while they continue to demand we worship them. They are the enemy that they created in themselves when they waged war on the rest of us some 30 years ago resulting in a treasonous false flag operation during 911. There treason didn't stop with 911. I wonder what they will come up with to get people to support invading Iran! It might be safer to just stay at home...stay out of tall buildings and public places.

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 11 years 4 weeks ago

Hi P, I read the "Scientific Paper" cited. The scientist testify the material they tested contained thermitic material. The paper also stated the material tested came from an unnamed Manhattan resident. Who is the unnamed resident? If the thermitic material was so prevelant, why wasn't more found by others? With only 1 unnamed person finding the material, it's source is called into question.

You're portrayal of Bin Laden as a "old man sitting in a cave" is not accurate. In 2001 Bin Laden was 44 years old, an engineer, a billionaire who along with his family owned a huge construction company. He had knowledge of building construction. He also claimed responsibily for mastermining the 9/11 attacks.

You talk about neocons, and PNAC documents. What is a neocon? and where can I read the PNAC documents?

You insuitate the reason for the attacks was to destroy financial records. Back up copies both paper and electronic are always kept at more than one location. If the records were destroyed as you state, how do you know about them?

P, you are wasting you're talent. You need to write a novel. You're writing style is compelling. It does make you think. Write a book, I would read it.

Idaglia's picture
Idaglia 11 years 4 weeks ago


If you did not author it (write it), compose it, develop it, produce it, etcetera it, . . . it is NOT yours. So, DO NOT borrow it (an innocuous word for 'steal it') ! ! !

Thom, mind if I take some of your writings without permission or due credit?

At least, the SOPA initiative is trying to right copyright protections long overdue.

Idaglia's picture
Idaglia 11 years 4 weeks ago

Welcome back to Planet Earth.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 11 years 4 weeks ago

Well, there are some more issues on the www.....There's a whole 'industry' writing on old films, working without pay. They do a lot for American history and American culture. And they take unnecessary risks. For example, if you want to know something about "husband & wife detective stories" you might google out this:

I like this intelligent blogger very much. As you see over there, he is using screenshots -- stills from old movies -- mostly from DVDs. As blogger on films you have to. Plain text is rather unsuccessful in this branch of blogging. Just be honest: if you google out something like that, you wanna see images of that film too, in order to get an idea. And after all you might buy the film and Warner Bros., Universal, M-G-M, or whatsoever make some money.

This blogger, C.K. Dexter Haven, won't make a lousy cent. He is just obsessed with old films. But people all over the world use his stuff -- and they learn something about old American films. Very often it is likable American 30s culture. From the good old days, before the ugly American was invented.

Stingy copyright strangles culture. It should be more open and generous. And there are more examples like this.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 11 years 4 weeks ago

By the way, as a jazz musician I never buy musical sheet notes.


If I want to play a title from a music book with a band, I either have to tell them, "Go and buy the book" -- or I have to buy more than one. Nobody would do this. Many copyright laws are useless.

timtrott 11 years 3 weeks ago

A report this weekend disclosed that the US State Department pressured the new government of Spain (?) into pushing through its own version of SOPA/PIPA. Since when is the US State Department working for the recording and software industry?

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