Internet Defense League seeks to protect online freedom

By on May 28, 2012, 3:00 PM

A group of online activists, headed by Tiffiniy Cheng of Fight for the Future and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, have formed the Internet Defense League to warn web users of damaging legislation being crafted and organize website owners to protest in the name of Internet freedom. The initiative was inspired by the January 18 "blackout" that shut down SOPA and PIPA but will make it easier for anyone to participate.

The idea is fairly simple: anyone with a website signs up using an email address, and whenever a bit of legislation that threatens the open Web pops up, the IDL will release a piece of code that webmasters can embed on their site to display a warning message. It should be noted that the warning message is not displayed automatically, as the decision to participate on each protest remains with the site owner.

The league likens itself to an Internet version of the "bat signal", the idea is to get more people informed and ready to take action. The reach of their message will depend greatly on the web properties backing the initiative. So far, WordPress, Reddit and the Cheeseburger network have already signed up to the league, and Wikipedia, which was instrumental in the anti-SOPA protest, is also considering membership.

Of course, small website owners are also welcome to join in. As IDL explains it:

"Internet freedom and individual power are changing the course of history. But entrenched institutions and monopolies want this to stop. Elected leaders often don't understand the internet, so they're easily confused or corrupted. [...] The Internet Blackout was just the beginning. Together, our websites and personal networks can mobilize the planet to defend the Internet from bad laws and monopolies."

For now the league is targeting ACTA in June and CISPA as it re-emerges in the Senate.

User Comments: 9

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lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What about you TechSpot? :trollface:


I wish embedded images (.jpeg, .gif, etc.) could be seen from the comment section, not only the forum, like on The Verge. Make it happen please?

Tygerstrike said:

Now lets just hope that this group doesnt become a giant internet bully. Useing their membership lists to get what they want. I do like the idea of a watchgroup, but dont like the idea that they may become just another part of the giant monster that censoring has become. I point to groups like MADD ect that started out with the best of intentions.

I see this as a good starting point, but I dont want to see this group ending up as some new age internet terrorist. Threatening the internet with mass blackouts just to get their way.

Guest said:

"freedom" = porn / digital theft / piracy etc.

Guest said:

"Geeks who couldn't be real super heroes vow to protect the Internet instead!" Puhleez..."activists" is all you needed to know.

Guest said:

porn, piracy......... Oh please, grow up - porn has been around for ages, theft too...

It's will always be there and no law or legislation will ever stop it - so accept it and deal with it, don't try and stop it because you're only wasting your time.

Guest said:

Guest on May 28, 2012 6:06 PM: That's what YOU think freedom is, based on your own behaviour, right?

Lurker101 said:

"freedom" = porn

Sounds like something worth fight for, to me.

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

Since our beloved Captain Cranky is apparently on vacation, I'll temporarily play host to your favourite show,

Why Is This Post Wrong


Let's begin with our favourite - The Guest Posts!

"freedom" = porn / digital theft / piracy etc.

Dear Guest, your meaning of freedom is wrong by definition. Freedom, according to the Atlantic Charter, covers freedom of expression, travel, residence, culture, education and profession. In the above mentioned context, this refers to freedom of expression on the internet. The passing of certain bills would not cut down on piracy as intended, but end up as a censorship tool in the hands of political powers. The group in question intends to prevent this from happening, as this would lead to activists (which includes whistle-blowers and watch dogs) being "quietened" and being charged with sexual assault, theft, murder, and all other conceivable and inconceivable means.

1) Porn: Apparently in your view this means freedom of pleasure or entertainment. Other than Anonymous and general perverts., I don't see any true (and sane) person loving porn.

2) Digital theft: This one probably freedom of action. The ones who are believed to be behind it ("hackers" absolutely don't need to do this. They can make their own stuff. And that more-than-often outperforms what corporations can make. Needless to say, the economic reports don't report developers dieing hungry. The sales usually exceed the losses. In the UK in 2011, the record sales in shops was 12 billion, and and the losses through torrents, file-sharing sites, etc, many times less.

3) Piracy: Maybe freedom of possession in your vocabulary. As I mentioned above, developers dieing hungry. In case you want to know what exactly they think of piracy, see here.

Just because you may do the aforementioned, doesn't mean everyone does.

porn, piracy......... Oh please, grow up - porn has been around for ages, theft too...

It's will always be there and no law or legislation will ever stop it - so accept it and deal with it, don't try and stop it because you're only wasting your time.

From what I can tell, the poster you are addressing was saying that "hackers" (activists and geeks on the "right" side) are only intent on stopping the bill because they love porn and want free stuff eternally. That is absolutely not what the politicians are wanting to stop. TBH, they're not even intrigued in doing it, because there is no guarantee that they themselves don't love porn. Curtailing internet freedom and censoring anything that embarrasses them by exposing their crimes is what the laws are intended for, not stopping porn and intellectual property right infringements.

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