about that whole SOPA & PIPA thing? well, we lost.


Well, to be more accurate, we had already lost even before we protested.

Remember last Wednesday, when we all rallied around and lifted our unified voice in defiance to politicians that were trying to pass bills that would restrict internet freedom and innovation? We were trying to tell the government they shouldn’t have the power to unilaterally–and at their own whim and discretion–take down entire websites because of the sole actions of their users.

Remember how within the day of our protest, congressional websites were going down from all the traffic and sponsors of the bills were jumping ship? It was beautiful, wasn’t it?

And then we woke up the next morning to this.

Less than 24-hours after the largest internet protest in history, news broke that the largest file-sharing site in the world, Megaupload, had been seized by U.S. Government officials and it’s founders and owners were being arrested and charged with piracy and copyright infringement.

[NOTE: If you don’t have much time to spare, I would strongly recommend not reading the rest of my post and instead reading these analyses done by the Cato Institute and Glenn Greenwald. They are both excellent in explaining the subtleties of the issue and convincing in their outline of its dangerous precedents.]

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Open Mic: John Yoo, Torture, & Christian Ethics


Yesterday I wrote about how Catholicism views the idea of torture and how a possible response to it and it’s socio-political effects can be found in the Eucharist.  That article was written because the idea of Torture has come front and center in the political discourse once more.  For those not keeping track of the current political climate concerning the previous administration, John Yoo is a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley that was given the charge by the Bush administration and the CIA to define the nature and limits of “enhanced interrogation techniques“. He along with Jay Bybee authored the famous “torture memos” which gave legal justification for the use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and other techniques in order to get information from suspected terrorists.

Last year, the Office of Professional Responsibility wrote a report finding the two men guilty of professional misconduct and recommended the Justice Department do a full investigation. Ealier this month, both Bybee and Yoo were officially cleared of all wrongdoing in the eyes of the Department of Justice. Further, the DOJ strongly suggested that no further investigation nor disciplinary action from the bar should be sought. Last week the Department officially closed its investigation. Yesterday, the top ethicist of the Department of Justice said that not only did Yoo and Bybee do nothing criminal, but neither did they even act unethically. (Full summary of the metanarrative of all of this can be found here.)

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