Two nights ago I blogged about Sean Sherlock, Labour and Fine Gael introducing an undemocratic change to our laws in favour of the likes of EMI. Via a “special instrument”, where a minister can introduce new laws without debate or vote in parliament (how dictatorial!) Sean Sherlock means to allow any company to censor what Irish people can see on the Internet. In other words: SOPA.
As of this morning, over 56,000 people had signed a petition in the last few days to protest this move by Sean Sherlock, a TD from Cork. Sherlock (a Labour party minister), spent 2 days flicking each of those voting citizens the bird. IT experts have voiced their concern saying that (a) this would be ineffective at stopping piracy (they’re right), (b) would be abused for online censorship (do you know that we have blasphemy laws now, and they’re trying to introduce prohibition too!?!?!), and (c) would scare away major online employers (and tax revenue) from Ireland such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
Meanwhile, Irish media has by and large decided not to cover this story. Yes, I’m looking at you RTE, Irish Independent, and Newstalk 106-108. It’s clear that these so-called journalists are in favour of censorship.
After 3 days of pressure we have the following happening.
Sherlock, overnight, announced that he would allow a debate in parliament on this issue. Uh-huh … and where is the free vote for each sitting member? And even if there was a vote, government party whips would force members to vote with their minister. It seems to me that corporate interests of EMI have been given more importance than our rights as citizens. Rights, by the way, that the European Court of Justice said we had recently in a case where it was ruled that it was against human rights to block internet content at a national or ISP level.
The No SOPA Ireland campaign tweeted this overnight:
@NoSOPAIreland: Looks like some TD’s are just closing the doors to people’s emails. Rather sad considering they do this BEFORE the debate this wk #Bullshit
Are they filtering our emails protesting against Sherlock’s special interest? Who the frak do these people think they are? Don’t they realise that they work for us, the voters and tax payers of this country?
Oh, by the way, if you are thinking either “SOPA is nothing to do with our country” or “SOPA was stopped in the USA” then think again. Your political leaders are doing their masters’ bidding. A similar international treaty was signed by the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the EU yesterday. The interesting thing is that the guy the EU employed to research it resigned in protest over how ACTA is being forced on us.
I for one, welcome any damage that Anonymous decides to inflict on the organs of the state at this point. As for their promised to hear us out … words are wind. We know what a politician’s promise is worth. If your enemy brings a knife then you bring a gun. Talking is getting us nowhere and its damned time that the political class of this country learn their place.