"No person or organization shall be deprived of their ability to connect to others at will without due process of law, with the presumption of innocence until found guilty. Neither governments nor corporations should be allowed to use disconnection from the Internet as a way of arbitrarily furthering their own aims."
Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.
Tim said this last year while urging listeners to fight the Internet Blacklist Bill, which would violate those principles by allowing the Department of Justice to force search engines, browsers, and service providers to block users' access to websites that have been accused of facilitating intellectual property infringement -- without even giving them a day in court. It would also give IP rights holders a private right of action, allowing them to sue to get sites prevented from operating. The bill is currently being pushed through Congress by interested parties (major record labels, television studios, movie studios) who believe that the way to stop piracy is to control access to information. But the effects of the bill will also be to limit free speech and freedom of information (think Wikileaks).
I don't often stand on soapboxes, but I hate this bill, and I will not be part of the music industry witch hunt on piracy.