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Lettre ouverte des pionniers de l’Internet à la commission judiciaire du sénat américain

September 29, 2010

Hier, 87 pionniers de l’Internet (dont David P. Reed, Paul Vixie, John Vittal, John Gilmore…) ont adressé une lettre ouverte à la commission judiciaire du sénat américain afin de déclarer leur opposition à la loi “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA). Cette loi prévoit de censurer le Net par le biais de deux listes noires qui seront contrôlées par le ministère de la justice afin de bloquer les sites de piratage et de renforcer les droits d’auteur. Le mécanisme de la loi vise à interférer avec le système internet d’adressage par domaines (DNS). Des organisations de défense des droits et libertés des citoyens craignent que la loi permettra au gouvernement américain de se débarrasser de sites web gênants comme WikiLeaks.

Si la loi passe, des sites d’hébergement comme Dropbox, MediaFire et Rapidshare; des blogs mp3 et sites de remix comme SoundCloud, MashupTown et Hype Machine; et même des sites politiques discutant des questions des droits d’auteur comme pirate-party.us, p2pnet, InfoAnarchy, Slyck et ZeroPaid pourraient être touchés.

We, the undersigned, have played various parts in building a network called the Internet. We wrote and debugged the software; we defined the standards and protocols that talk over that network. Many of us invented parts of it. We’re just a little proud of the social and economic benefits that our project, the Internet, has brought with it.

We are writing to oppose the Committee’s proposed new Internet censorship and copyright bill. If enacted, this legislation will risk fragmenting the Internet’s global domain name system (DNS), create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure. In exchange for this, the bill will introduce censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties’ ability to communicate.

All censorship schemes impact speech beyond the category they were intended to restrict, but this bill will be particularly egregious in that regard because it causes entire domains to vanish from the Web, not just infringing pages or files. Worse, an incredible range of useful, law-abiding sites can be blacklisted under this bill. These problems will be enough to ensure that alternative name-lookup infrastructures will come into widespread use, outside the control of US service providers but easily used by American citizens. Errors and divergences will appear between these new services and the current global DNS, and contradictory addresses will confuse browsers and frustrate the people using them. These problems will be widespread and will affect sites other than those blacklisted by the American government.

The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open Internet, both domestically and abroad. We can’t have a free and open Internet without a global domain name system that sits above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry. To date, the leading role the US has played in this infrastructure has been fairly uncontroversial because America is seen as a trustworthy arbiter and a neutral bastion of free expression. If the US suddenly begins to use its central position in the DNS for censorship that advances its political and economic agenda, the consequences will be far-reaching and destructive.

Senators, we believe the Internet is too important and too valuable to be endangered in this way, and implore you to put this bill aside.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kelek permalink
    September 30, 2010 1:09 pm

    Bonjour,
    ébauche de trad FR ici :
    https://sites.google.com/site/kelekszasz/bricoles
    Cordialement,
    Kelek

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