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Quick Bits on Email Privacy and Problematic Protect IP Act

May 31, 2011

Homeland Security's Real MessageA couple quickies from the they-say-what-they-need-to-so-why-should-I-say-it-again department.

First we have Wired with Internet Researchers Decry DNS-Filtering Legislation | Threat Level | Wired.com.   Some technical mumbo jumbo that says one measure of the Protect IP Act (currently stalled in the Senate) would basically allow the feds to order ISPs to send a domain name somewhere other than intended … into the void perhaps?  Or to one of the DHS’s nifty splash screens.  Experts call it a train wreck amounting to censorship, with the added bonus of disruption of security, collapse of the system, stuff like that.

The story touches briefly on the government’s recent practice of seizing domain names they deem infringing.  Here’s the Electronic Frontier Foundation on that issue, and the Protect IP Act.

And related: Kudos to Firefox.  TechDirt reported earlier this month that when DHS asked Firefox to remove an extension that rerouted govt-seized domains, they sent DHS a lovely list of eye-brow-raising elephant-in-the-room type questions, like … er … under what legal authority are you asking us to remove an extension?  Are you just acting like lawless bullies?

Now onto privacy.   Here’s a bit on some proposed legislation designed to beef up our ancient fed Internet laws (circa 1986) so the government can’t get at your emails so easily.  It’s pretty glossy, and it’s not really all that easy for the govt … but … Stopping the Government from Reading Your E-Mail – TIME.

Satirical DHS Splash Screen courtesy ottodv.

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