America’s Future: Russia and China Use Copyright Laws to Crush Government Criticism
by George Washington
Leading American Internet businessmen warn that the draconian anti-piracy bill copyright on the verge of being passed by Congress would let the US government use censorship techniques “similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.”
If you want to know what the United States would look like after these bills are passed, just look at what’s been happening in Russia. The Russian government has been crushing dissent under the pretext of enforcing copyright law.
As the New York Times noted last year:
Across Russia, the security services have carried out dozens of similar raids against outspoken advocacy groups or opposition newspapers in recent years. Security officials say the inquiries reflect their concern about software piracy, which is rampant in Russia. Yet they rarely if ever carry out raids against advocacy groups or news organizations that back the government.
[A] review of these cases indicates that the security services often seize computers whether or not they contain illegal software. The police immediately filed reports saying they had discovered such programs, before even examining the computers in detail. The police claims have in numerous instances been successfully discredited by defendants when the cases go before judges.
The plainclothes officers who descended upon the Baikal Wave headquarters said they were from the division that investigated commercial crime. But the environmentalists said they noticed at least one officer from the antiextremism department, which tracks opposition activists and had often conducted surveillance on the group.