Today’s Links: December 13, 2011


BILL WILSON: “Internet Piracy Bill: A Free Speech ‘Kill Switch’
“What began as an attempt to restrain foreign piracy on the Internet has morphed into a domestic ‘kill switch’ on First Amendment freedom in the fastest-growing corner of the marketplace of ideas. Proposed federal legislation purporting to protect online intellectual property would also impose sweeping new government mandates on internet service providers – a positively Orwellian power grab that would permit the U.S. Justice Department to shut down any internet site it doesn’t like (and cut off its sources of income) on nothing more than a whim.”

JONATHAN MACEY: “Congress’ Phony Insider-Trading Reform
“Members of Congress already get better health insurance and retirement benefits than other Americans. They are about to get better insider trading laws as well. ”

MIRIAM PEMBERTON: “Military Spending is the Weakest Job Creator
“If you’re serious about examining the employment effect of these cuts in the military budget, you have to ask whether doing so would cost more or fewer jobs than doing something else with the money. New analysis by economists Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier at the University of Massachusetts provides the answer. Unlike the studies from AIA or the Pentagon, it is an independent analysis. It was funded by no industry or government agency — that is, no institution with a special interest in the outcome. Updating their previous studies from 2007 and 2009, Pollin and Garrett-Peltier compared the effects on jobs of spending an equivalent amount on the military, on clean energy, healthcare, education or simply returning the money to the private economy in the form of tax cuts. Among these options, military spending was the weakest job creator. ”


NANNY STATE – Federal Panel Calls for Cell Phone Ban for Drivers
“Federal investigators on Tuesday recommended that states ban the use of cellphones by drivers except in emergencies. The National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation followed a finding by the board that text-messaging played a key role in a deadly highway pile-up in Missouri last year that killed a 19-year-old driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the school buses involved in the crash, the Associated Press reports.”

TECH – Wikipedia Blackout Over SOPA? Founder Weighs Protesting Anti-Piracy Bill
“Enjoy it while you can: Wikipedia could temporarily go off the air. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has asked users to weigh in on a potential Wikipedia blackout in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act, a controversial bill targeting piracy that would give U.S. law enforcement sweeping powers to crack down websites and online services that facilitate copyright infringement.”