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Another Attack On Freedom: Censorship

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE

I want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday and a Healthy and Happy New Year.

In my last blog I outlined Obamacare’s threat to our freedom. The Supreme Court will rule on the issue in the summer of 2012.

Another example of increasing government control over our freedoms are the two  bills working their way through congress, Protect IP Act (PIPA - S.968) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA – H.R.3261)).

Newspapers, TV and the movies are the traditional media. It is not surprising that these two media would work hard to protect their vested interests. The Internet is a threat to their vested interest. They are trying to put restrictions on the Internet that is a threat to our freedom of expression. It also represents a threat to our economy.

I think some members of the Judicial Committee of the House of Representatives do not understand the implication of the bill and the unintended consequences.  If they do they are doing an evil thing to our freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

The Internet has provided the individual a voice. It is the freedom of choice to listen to that voice.

My son, Brad Feld, outlined the unintended consequences of the two bills clearly.

These bills are consistent with President Obama’s apparent quest to increase governmental control over our freedoms.  Both bills have had minimal coverage by the press.

Brad said,

There are two very disturbing bills making their way through Congress: Protect IP Act (PIPA - S.968) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA – H.R.3261).These bills are coated in rhetoric that I find disgusting since at their core they are online censorship bills. It’s incredible to me that Congress would take seriously anything that censors the Internet and the American public but in the last few weeks PIPA and SOPA have burst forth with incredibly momentum, largely being underwritten by large media companies and their lobbyists.”

“ I’ve been incredibly agitated the last few days by SOPA after watching three hours of the House Judicial Committee hearing on Friday. SOPA is such an evil thing at so many levels and the people in the House that want it to happen appear to refuse to listen to facts or logic, and – when they talk about what they are confronted with – claim the facts and logic aren’t actually factual or logical. “

 The Judicial committee of the House of Representative was going to vote for the bill and send it to the entire house for passage on December 16th.  By some miracle at a last minute the decision was made to delay the bill until the committee could learn more about the unintended consequences

President Obama said he would sign the bill. My sense is most of the congressmen on the committee did not understand the bill. Testimony has been heard so far only from advocates for the bills passage. It almost looks rigged.

My fear is the facts are immaterial to the committee membership.

Brad went on.

“In addition to being censorship bills, these are anti-entrepreneurship bills. They are a classic example of industry incumbents trying to use the law to stifle disruptive innovation, or at least innovation that they view as disruptive to their established business.

 To date, the Internet has been an incredible force for entrepreneurship and positive change throughout the world (did anyone notice what recently happened in Egypt?) It’s beyond comprehension why some people in Congress would want to slow this down in any way.”

Wake up America. We must speak up using the tool that lets our voice be heard. The Internet.



The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone.

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    I hope all is well. I miss your posts on here, but understand you have lots going on. Just want to know you’re okay!

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