From SOPA to NOPA to ACTA: A Week In The World Wide Web Wars
Jan 2012 26

From SOPA to NOPA to ACTA: A Week In The World Wide Web Wars

Posted In Activism,Blog,Entertainment,Geek,Internuts,Politics

by Nicole Powers


[Megaupload Tango Down: Govt 1 / Web 0]


[FBI Tango Down: Govt 1 / Web 1]


[CBS Tango Down: Govt 1 / Web 2]


[Anonymous Show They're Masters Of The Online Universe: Govt 1 / Web 1001]


[#TheBestFeelingIsWhen #Megaupload Tops Twitter's Trend Chart]


[Justin Bieber Tango Down: Win/Win]

This past week would have been pure lulz online, had the denizens of the web not been fighting over something so humorless. But then there’s nothing funny about spying on your citizens, denying them free speech, and criminalizing vast swathes of them for good measure, but that’s what our government, and the corporations that are under the impression that they control it, are trying to do.

Following last week’s historic Internet Blackout Day, which saw the likes of Wikipedia, Reddit, and BoingBoing go dark, it was apparent to everyone that SOPA and PIPA needed to be put on ice – everyone that is, except the Democrats, who have been suckling at Hollywood’s teet for way to long, and appear to have got their mouths stuck there.

But with SOPA’s markup hearing and PIPA’s Senate vote both indefinitely postponed, the Feds apparently decided they didn’t need the ugly censorship sister acts to go after online targets already in their sights. It was therefore no coincidence that the day after Blackout Day, the US Department of Justice moved against file sharing site Megaupload.

Their choice of target to make an example of might have seemed strange, especially when considering that Pirate Bay is perhaps a more recognizable name to those outside of the downloading massive. However, the decision to make an exhibition of Megaupload was likely motivated by more then a little machismo (or more accurately the public loss of it) on behalf of the entertainment industry who had long been lobbying for such action, and who had been taunted, publicly humiliated, and deemed impotent by the file sharing giant. (Megaupload had posted a promotional clip on YouTube which featured numerous major label artists including P Diddy, Kanye West, and Chris Brown, and a feud involving disputed DMCA takedown missives, lawsuits, and online mudslinging had ensued.)

What was perhaps most disturbing about the US government’s action against Megaupload, was that they made the site disappear like a renditioned prisoner – without any due process. And following the arrests of the site’s founder Kim Dotcom and three other key executives in New Zealand, and two further arrests in Europe, it became very apparent that when it comes to copyright infringement the long arm of America’s law extends far beyond our nation’s borders.

Retribution, courtesy of Anonymous and #OpMegaupload, was swift, and within hours numerous websites were “tango down.” Online shop windows successfully owned included those for government agencies (justice.gov, usdoj.gov, and fbi.gov), entertainment trade/lobbying organizations (riaa.org, mpaa.org, and bmi.com), and media corporations (universalmusic.com, wmg.com, and cbs.com).

As YourAnonNews noted, the non-consensual blackout day was “the largest attack ever by Anonymous” with “5,635 people confirmed using LOIC to bring down sites!” Gawker subsequently gave some insight as to how the mass coordinated DDoS attack was achieved by way of links that launched LOICs unbeknownst to those that clicked on them – the lack of intention in theory meaning accidental DDoS’ers should have the law on their side. (In CBS’s case, a little hackery also seemed to be involved, since their site, unlike the others, at one point appeared to have been totally wiped, though we’re not sure what exactly they did to achieve this special treatment. Answers via Twitter please.)

But despite shots fired against government and corporate vessels by pro-pirate and freedom friendly ships, the battle to contain and control the web continues as other file sharing sites curtail their activities in the hopes of avoiding Megaupload’s fate. PIPA and SOPA may be dead in the water, but two even worse pieces of legislation are on the horizon.

The misleadingly named Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act would use kiddie porn as a premise to monitor EVERYONE’S online activity (and what politician can appear to be pro-pedophilia by voting against it?), while the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) contains similar Big Brother surveillance provisions and contains SOPA-like language that requires that signatory nations* monitor and censor the internet within their domain. So while we internuts may have won out against the tyranny of PIPA and SOPA, the fight to retain freedom on the world wide web has only just begun.

Turn out, tune in, and log on, it’s going to be a lulzy ride.

**Update: Thursday, January 26, 2012**

Despite protests spearheaded by the Polish, ACTA was signed by 22 European Union member states today. They join 8 nations (Australia, Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States) who had already signed the treaty this past fall.

[Via YourAnonNews: In protest of ACTA, Polish Parliament members wear Anonymous Guy Fawkes masks in chambers on 26 January, 2012.]

NEW SG Interview: Greg Palast – Vultures’ Picnic
Jan 2012 26

NEW SG Interview: Greg Palast – Vultures’ Picnic

Posted In Activism,Blog,Books,Entertainment,Interviews,Politics

By Nicole Powers


“They lied to Congress, they perjured themselves, they concealed the fact they had a major blowout from offshore drilling.”
- Greg Palast

In his latest book, Vultures’ Picnic, investigative reporter Greg Palast jumps ass deep into the one percent’s favorite combustible lubricant. Armed with a miniature recording device, condoms, mosquito repellant, K-Y Jelly, a 3.4-ounce flask of Felipe II, and his trademark fedora hat, Palast travels from Alaska to the Amazon, and from Louisiana to Liberia to expose the dirty business of crude oil, and those who make indecent fortunes from it.

During the course of his investigations, Palast uncovers the incestuous relationships between the petroleum corporations and the governments they control, and how human and environmental carnage, corruption, coup d’états, and cover-ups are ultimately considered a cost of doing business by these toxic bedfellows.

[Caution: You may feel violated after reading this interview -- but at least you'll know a few of the names of the motherfuckers that are screwing you.]

Read our exclusive interview with Greg Palast on SuicideGirls.com.

The Art of SuicideGirls feat. Vivid
Jan 2012 26

The Art of SuicideGirls feat. Vivid

Posted In All Things SG,Art,Blog

by Blogbot


[“Honey” – Manko]


[“Blue So Blue” – Blue]

Artist / SG Member Name: Vivid Vivka a.k.a. Vivid Suicide

Mission Statement: I sling paint, and if someone likes it…that’s a bonus.


["Brim"]

Medium: Acrylic, pen, marker, wood, canvas, spray paint, coffee grounds, blood, sweat, spit, tears.

Aesthetic: Naked and distorted. Usually with big hair, empty eyes, a lot of pink.


[“Yellow” – Yellow]

Notable Achievements: I believe three people have my work tattooed on their persons. To me, that’s a helluva achievement and intensely flattering. Ink aside, I have a BFA from the College for Creative Studies, in Detroit, MI. I majored in Illustration with a graphic background. I’ve made pieces for childrens’ hospitals in Detroit, had a few gallery shows, and had my work stolen for a ton of shitty band/party flyers. (Stop. Doing. That.)

Why We Should Care: 9 out of 10 viewers agree: it’s art.


["The Queen of Crows (and Three Little Insects)"]

I Want Me Some: Much of my past art projects can be found on my DeviantArt (as well as many of my modeling photos). For prints and originals, I sell my work at vivka.etsy.com (more originals up soon…kinda sold out right now). Proper website and webstore to be unveiled with glitter and sparkles around mid 2012.


[“This Time…” – Adria]

[Keep Reading...]

Tease of the Day
Jan 2012 26

Tease of the Day

Posted In Blog,Tease

Porphyria Suicide in Tarantula

  • INTO: Academics, affection, art, body modification, bondage, branding, bright shiny things, flashy things, neon furry things, caffeine, camping, clubs, college, collars, comics, digital media, dorks, education, family, fidelity, fire water, fitness, friends, gaming, good music, goggles, hard beats, harder beatings ;p, idealism, industrial, judo, love, martial arts, octopus, para psychology, pedo bear, philosophy, Photoshop, pseudo science, reading, scars, being a submissive, squids, tentacles.
  • NOT INTO: People who cant appreciate life. “Don’t take life so seriously, its not like your getting out alive.”
  • MAKES ME HAPPY: Idealists, creating things, indulging in my multiple escapisms, good grades, genuine conversations with genuine people, being alone, being around people.
  • MAKES ME SAD: That kittens become cats, cutting off my dreads on a evil regretted dare, people who are too jaded to appreciate life around them, not being jail bait, being alone, being around people.
  • HOBBIES: Modeling, art, comics, gaming, reading, martial arts, drinking.
  • 5 THINGS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Only my laptop and my eyebrow pencil.
  • VICES: Shy in person (loud on the internet), socially inept hermit.
  • I SPEND MOST OF MY FREE TIME: In an art class, sloshed, loitering, dancing (preferably at a club, but really, a parking lot will do just fine), being a big ol’ hermit.

Get to know Porphyria better over at SuicideGirls.com!