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Censorship is Evil – Fight it! (updated) May 3, 2007

Posted by amazingrando in Ethics, General, Politics, Ranting.
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Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms - Thanks to
Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms – Thanks to dbking

“Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.”
— Eugene Gladstone O’Neill, American playwright

There’s a good story on DailyTech.com about a lot of people getting angry about censorship that was taking place on Digg.com. You can also read about it on CNet. What is at issue is a string of letters and numbers that constitute a key for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray encryption. The AACS has sent nasty letters to Google to take down any blogs they host that discuss AACS encryption circumvention, and in particular have the key. And Google dutifully complied, taking down blog after blog. People submitted Digg stories about this, but quickly found that they were censored by Digg.com… at least until Digg came to their senses. And, kudos to them for standing up for freedom.

The bottom line of the story is that there this random string of letters and numbers and information about AACS that could land someone in jail if published. But why? Expressing them does not mean that you are cracking their encryption. There’s no act. It’s letters and numbers. This is like arresting you for murder because you watched an episode of CSI and you would know some of the tricks of the trade. Moreover, these companies have done a cost-benefit analysis with your freedoms and decided that it’s better to avoid lawsuits than to stand up for freedom.

Exercise your right to free speech and Digg the story at Digg.com. Meanwhile, enjoy a random string of 32 letters and numbers:

09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

UPDATE: There’s an excellent article about the consequences of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) at eff.org. Read it and share it.

UPDATE2: The New York Times also has another good story on the Internet rebellion

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