Proposed Bill Aims to Prevent Corporate/International Internet Censorship
The U.S. government has, in recent years, made no bones about passing laws that on the surface seem to violate Americans' Constitutionally granted freedoms and rights, but a Republican from New Jersey is intent on fixing that image. U.S. House Representative Chris Smith's proposed Global Online Freedom Act would severely penalize U.S. corporations who infringe upon a person's right to express themselves and their beliefs on the Internet - no matter what that person's country of origin. The GOFA seems to be a direct response to Yahoo's reprehensible NARC-ing out of a group of Chinese dissidents, and subsequent lying about the extent of their knowledge of the Chinese investigation into the group's activities. The only major drawbacks to GOFA are an allowance given to the President to waive its powers in the event of national security, and permitting the Dept. of Justice to give up details on individuals at the request of "legitimate International law enforcement" on a case-by-case basis. This may turn out to be one of those "it's the thought that counts" things, but I think it looks good on paper, for the most part.