People don’t realise that we are in the middle of a global fight for our electronic rights – lose them and we sink into the digital dark ages. The following story is so appalling that Jimmy Wales (of Wikipedia) is lobbying us Britons to fight. The story is here http://act.demandprogress.org/letter/odwyer/?akid=1426.609082.Uz2cdu&rd=1&t=6.
Hi, I am Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and if you care about justice and the future of Internet freedom, Demand Progress and I need your help. This will only take a few seconds, but you can really help us change things for the better.
Richard O’Dwyer is a 24 year old British student at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. He is facing extradition to the USA and up to ten years in prison, for creating a website – TVShack.net – which linked (similarly to a search-engine) to places to watch TV and movies online.
O’Dwyer is not a US citizen, he’s lived in the UK all his life, his site was not hosted there, and most of his users were not from the US. America is trying to prosecute a UK citizen for an alleged crime which took place on UK soil.
The Internet as a whole must not tolerate censorship in response to mere allegations of copyright infringement. As citizens we must stand up for our rights online.
Please sign on at right here to join me in demanding that British authorities refuse to extradite O’Dwyer, and that US officials cease persecuting him.
This is M*ck*y M**se imperialism of the worst kind. It’s the attitude that is espoused by supporters of ACTA, SOPA, CETA and the never-ending hydras. It’s made easier by the lobbying of publishers of all sorts (including scholarly publishers) to restrict digital freedom for purely monetary gains.
There can only be one winner. If you don’t fight for freedom, then who will. To paraphrase:
“First they came for Richard O’Dwyer, then they came for … ” but you know the rest. Over-the-top? No. digital imperialism is erosive of human well being.
So I wrote to my MP, Julian Huppert. He’ll already know about this:
I expect you know that Richard O’Dwyer is being prosecuted for
providing hyperlinks to TV sites. (The full story is presented by Jimmy
Wales, the new government adviser on Open Data)
I , like him, am appalled (a) that this could be considered illegal and
(b) that the UK government can so easily give in to foreign powers.
If we do not fight this type of injustice we shall have little
independence as individuals or as a country.