A good part of the reason I started blogging was because I went to a history conference at a UT branch up between Dallas and Fort Worth and found that, contrary to belief, many well known academic historians have found community history projects to be invaluable because of their focus and details. Photos rated high. Photos with details rate high. Interviews with participants in events rated high. Interviews with older people rated high if you cover their experience and perspective.
- Prairie Weather

“Protest works. Just look at the proof”

Free MP3 sites

Be your own program director. Venture off the beaten path. Live a little.

2dopeboyz: Hip hop. (RSS)

3hive: Sharing the sharing. Free and legal MP3s from over 600 underground and undiscovered artists — new ones added daily. (RSS)

Amazon MP3 Download - Frequency: Weekly. Get the latest on Amazon MP3 music downloads - new releases, freshly ripped hits, and special deals.

Audio Drums - A blog for rare, possibly overlooked, maybe forgotten gems of music with a slight emphasis on electronic and indie genres. (RSS)

Common Folk Music - A blog about music, not just folk music, but all music ranging from indie to alt-country to bluegrass, because music is for the “Common Folk”. (RSS)

Discobelle.net (RSS)

Fiddlefreak Folk Music Blog - Folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and other music of the people. (RSS)

Fingertips Music - Free and legal music. (RSS)

Gorilla Vs Bear (RSS)

Hillydilly: Simply Good Music. (RSS)

I Rock Cleveland: Indie Rock, College Rock, Alt Rock, Modern Rock, Cleveland Rock, and Rock. (RSS)

KEXP Song of the Day: KEXP 90.3 FM - where the music matters (RSS)

Kick Kick Snare (RSS)

Line Of Best Fit - TLOBF.COM | Music Reviews, News, Interviews & Downloads (RSS)

Lipstick Disco - Deep House & Disco music blog fronted by Females (RSS)

Minnesota Public Radio Song of the Day: Music lovers from 89.3 The Current share songs with you each weekday. (RSS)

Muruch (RSS)

Music Like Dirt: Music in all its many forms, mp3’s, live reviews and photography. (RSS)

My Old Kentucky Blog - a music blog that parties with unicorns. (RSS)

Nah Right. (RSS)

ninebullets.net. (RSS)

Rollo & Grady: Los Angeles Music Blog, LA Music Blog (RSS)

Said the Gramophone: a music weblog (RSS)

She Makes Music: She Makes Music focuses on the most exciting and impressive new music created by brilliant and talented female musicians. (RSS)


Sounds Better With Reverb (RSS)

Stereogum: All the MP3s on Stereogum.com (RSS)

their bated breath (RSS)

Women of Hip Hop (RSS)

YouKnowIGotSoul (RSS)

Mourn ya till I join ya

The Wheel’s Still In Spin: Focusing on new music releases and reviews of individual albums as original, fictional short stories (RSS)

A Fifty Cent Lighter & A Whiskey Buzz - This site is just a way for me to have a little fun and share a little music. I’ll highlight some of my favorite artists that I play on the radio and try to expound upon their music in ways I can’t always do on the air. (RSS)

Aminal Sound

Audiofile: Music Blog, Music Articles - Salon.com

Crossfade: The CNET music blog

Direct Current New Music - Adult pop, rock, singer/songwriters, folk, Americana, alt-country, adult alternative, soul, world music, crossover jazz and simply those artists that make us go “hmmm.”(RSS)

GarageBand.com Folk top tracks (RSS)

GarageBand.com Hip Hop top tracks (RSS)

Flawless Hustle: Urban culture blog featuring artist interviews, music reviews, legal music downloads, street art, graffiti and more! (RSS)



The Jon Swift principle: “I will add anyone to my blogroll who adds me to theirs.” Email or leave a comment to let me know.


The Hunting of the Snark

Sites participating in blogroll amnesty day

Jon Swift aka Al Weisel, may he rest in peace. Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day

skippy the bush kangaroo (Co-originator of Blogroll Amnesty Day) (2012)

Vagabond Scholar (2012)
Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety. Keeper of the Jon Swift Memorial Roundup (The Best Posts of the Year, Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)

Notes From Underground (2012)

Redeye’s Front Page (2012)

Wisdom of the West (2012)

Zen Comix (2012)

pygalgia (2012)

Mikeb302000 (2012)

The Agonist (2012)

Brilliant At Breakfast (2012)

Bacon and Eggs (2012)

« xo for the holidays volume III | Main | This Week In Tyranny »

Shutting down the Internet, once seizure at a time

No Associated Press content was harmed in the writing of this post

Last Friday, deep in the middle of a long holiday weekend, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seized dozens of web sites. The full list is here, and a common reaction might be “well obviously they were engaged in illegal activity, so they had it coming.” This is an example of what Glenn Greenwald mocked as trial by Wikipedia: the idea that if you bring up a topic which everyone can agree is self-evident, action may be taken without jumping through a whole bunch of tedious legal hoops.

In Greenwald’s case he is describing the hit put out for Anwar al-Awlaki by the president. Supporters of Obama’s assassination program protest that al-Awlaki is clearly a bad man - look at his Wikipedia page! - so it should not be necessary for courts to weigh in on the matter. If enough people who matter (“everyone”) simply recognizes this, due process may be disposed of. Similarly, look at the list of domains seized: who could possibly argue that dvdsetcollection.com is engaged in any kind of legally protected activity? Why, the very name should be enough to convict!

There are several problems with this, one of which Steven Musil points out in his CNET article: Less than two weeks ago Oregon Senator Ron Wyden effectively killed a bill - the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act - that would have authorized precisely the DHS seizures carried out. How exactly does the government begin enforcement of a bill that not only has not yet been signed into law, but that is in the process of being actively rejected?

The issue was discussed on CNET’s Buzz Out Loud podcast, which provided several of the links used in this post. Host Molly Wood has a particularly good take on the issue starting around the 10:14 mark; since it is a longish excerpt I have put the transcription after the main body. In it she references this article questioning the legality of the seizure on several grounds.

For instance, the seizure was announced (via) at Walt Disney Studios. Does DHS worry at all about seeming a little too cozy with private industry? With the seemingly endless examples of government officials leaving their posts and cashing in with companies who benefited from their tenure (here is this week’s), shouldn’t there be at least a gesture in that direction?

Or: ICE went before federal magistrate judges with goods “confirmed as counterfeit or otherwise illegal” in order to obtain the seizure orders. Did it have goods from each of the eighty-two sites? In at least one case - TorrentFreak - the site in question does not deal in goods at all. It provides search results for torrent files, just like Google does. Is Google going to be seized as well? Alternately, since it is literally impossible for ICE to have obtained any goods, legal or otherwise, from TorrentFreak, what evidence was presented to the presiding judge? What was the basis for the ruling?

Business rulings from the courts are starting to deserve much heavier scrutiny. Aside from the increasingly pro-industry bias of the Supreme Court, there are more and more cases where lower courts give corporations overwhelming preference over individuals. When a bank can legally engage in activity that would get an ordinary citizen charged with a felony, the legal system is not trustworthy. When it operates with the mindless corruption of A.C. Soud’s rocket docket, there is reason to be openly antagonistic towards it. The rulings from these magistrate judges do not deserve to be taken at face value or accepted in good faith. The current environment calls for exactly the opposite.

The very idea of an open Internet is coming under attack. In addition to the ICE seizures we now have Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski coming out with a regulatory model that does not reclassify broadband as a telecom service. This will ultimately squeeze both people and companies out of the wireless spectrum; the proposed NBC/Comcast merger threatens to wall off whole swaths of content, and Comcast is already demonstrating its willingness to drive prices higher once its monopoly is secure. And don’t even get me started on this. Under the circumstances, the ICE seizure represents another volley in the ongoing war to shrink the Internet down to a handful of broad, well lit boulevards, owned by multinationals and lined with security guards.

Molly Wood excerpt from Buzz Out Loud 1359:

Well, and it is an EXTREMELY dangerous precedent to be set. This is sort of the worst example of intellectual property hysteria, potentially absolutely breaking the entire Internet. I mean it is just unbelievable. And the weird thing about it is, so it’s Homeland Security but it was the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement chief who announced it, I think, and took to the press to talk about American business being under assault from counterfeiters and pirates every day.

Tech Dirt has a pretty good takedown / take apart / teardown of his statement and also some pretty serious questions, which is like, under what legal mandate is a group that’s supposed to be focusing on immigration and customs getting involved in taking down web sites? And why is this a Homeland Security issue, and why isn’t there any due process here, and how is this not a violation of free speech to say, “you know what? We believe that at least some of the products on your web site are infringing, so we’re going to shut down the expression”?

I mean, it’s pretty remarkable, and by the way, has anybody been able to show substantial evidence, because it’s my understanding that even the government accounting office has been able to fairly easily take apart the RIAA and the MPAA’s claims of financial harm as a result of piracy and say “you know what? You actually don’t have any proof of significant losses of the types you have so hysterically claimed in the press.”
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Reader Comments (3)

Informative round-up and analysis.

December 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjawbone

This is the kind of crap the clowns who like to call themselves tea bagger -don't tread on me- should be all over if they weren't too stupid to actually think about what their masters told them to say about government intrusion when offered health care.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBlakenator

To be honest, I figuratively and literally could not live without the internet. Much of the wolk I do as a graphic designer requires me to be constantly on the internet to connect with clients to gauage their opinions. That's why I bought a dual sim device to make sure I have my connections live.

June 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

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