Miami, Fla.- Congressman David Rivera announced today that he will file the Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status (STARS) Act.
The bill will allow undocumented immigrants who are 18 years and 6 months of age or younger, arrived in the United States before the age of 16, and have maintained residence in the United States for at least the previous five consecutive years, the opportunity to adjust their residency status if they achieve a degree from an accredited four year institution of higher education and meet certain other criteria.
Congressman Rivera was inspired to develop the STARS Act by Daniela Pelaez, an 18 year old constituent who is the valedictorian of her high school class while also facing deportation proceedings. Daniela was brought to the United States by her parents at age four without documentation.
“Daniela Pelaez is a star student. Her dedication to her school work has taken her to the top of her class at North Miami Senior High School. She has already been accepted to the University of Florida and is awaiting acceptance letters from schools like Yale. However, while Daniela should be preparing for graduation and her future academic pursuits, she is instead concerned about possibly being deported,” Congressman Rivera said.
“Under current law when a long-term U.S. resident who entered the country as a child, and does not have legal status, turns 18 years and 6 months of age, they begin to accumulate penalty time, which leads to prohibitions from reentering the country for years. Even if they are accepted into a four year college or university, they may still face deportation or be prohibited from coming back to the United States.
“The Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status, or STARS Act, would give these students who seek to further their education an opportunity to get a degree at an American university and earn legal status.
“However, the STARS Act does not ensure automatic suspension of removal or automatic residency. This legislation very specifically focuses on students who have been accepted to four year colleges and universities and have not yet accrued penalty time. STARS Act applicants must show good moral character and graduate with a degree from an accredited four year institution of higher learning to then be eligible for legal status. Likewise, if the applicant fails to meet the necessary criteria, their conditional non-immigrant status will be revoked.
“This bill provides an opportunity for young people, like Daniela, who have established long-standing ties in the United States, and who have excelled academically, an opportunity to fulfill their goals of getting an education and achieving the American dream.”
Reacting to concerns that Republican candidates are in danger of losing the Hispanic vote in November, several GOP lawmakers have declared their plans to introduce modified versions of the failed DREAM Act, hoping to win votes.
The most recent lawmaker to announce a new proposal is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). While the Senator has not yet filed official language, he expressed that his focus will be on helping young illegal aliens. One suggestion Rubio proffered involves creating a new student visa to allow illegal alien students "to finish their studies until they can apply legally." Sen. Rubio has opposed previous versions of the DREAM Act, including the bill most recently rejected by the Senate in 2010.
The Hill reports that Sens. Jon Kyl and Kay Bailey Hutchison are also working on a separate DREAM Act alternative, but have refused to release any details about their plan until after the Republican nomination is finalized.
In the House, Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) has announced plans to introduce the Studying Towards Adjusted Residency Status (STARS) Act, which he intends to file soon. The bill will allow illegal aliens 18 and-a-half or younger, who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16, and who have lived in the country for the five previous years, to be granted amnesty if they graduate from a four-year institution.
If passed, the DREAM Act would grant amnesty to illegal aliens who entered the country as children and have met minimal educational requirements. Some versions of the Act would also amend current law to allow states to provide subsidized in-state tuition to illegal aliens.
Since 1996 when the immigration law was amended, perhaps thousands of unsuspecting immigrants have been removed because they left the country hoping to return only to be stopped at the airport because an old conviction for smoking grass or jumping the subway turnstile to avoid paying the fare turned up. This is what happened to Panagis Vartelas a few years ago. He has been fighting removal for years and took his case all the way to the Supreme court before his deportation was finally cancelled.
Panagis Vartelas, born and raised in Greece, has resided in the United States for over 30 years. Originally admitted on a student visa issued in 1979, Vartelas became a lawful permanent resident in 1989. He currently lives in the New York area and works as a sales manager for a roofing company. In 1992, Vartelas opened an auto body shop in Queens, New York. One of his business partners used the shop’s photocopier to make counterfeit travelers’ checks. Vartelas helped his partner perforate the sheets into individual checks, but Vartelas did not sell the checks or receive any money from the venture. In 1994, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make or possess counterfeit securities, in violation of 18 U. S. C. §371. He was sentenced to four months’ incarceration, followed by two years’ supervised release
Vartelas regularly traveled to Greece to visit his aging parents in the years after his 1994 conviction; even after the law was changed in 1996, his return to the United States from these visits remained uneventful. In January 2003, however, when Vartelas returned from a week-long trip to Greece, an immigration officer classified him as an alien seeking “admission.” The officer based this classification on Vartelas’ 1994 conviction. He was ordered removed.
Vartelas appealed on the ground that new law, Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), did not reach back to deprive him of lawful resident status based on his pre-IIRIRA conviction. The Board of Immigration Appeals denied his appeal. He appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court which finally ruled in his favor.
The court said that the new law, may not be applied to lawful permanent residents who committed crimes prior to IIRIRA’s enactment. This does not mean that an immigrant cannot be removed for conviction of a crime. It just means that an old mistake may not come back to haunt you, if it happened prior to the change of the law in1996.
Three of the justices dissented holding that because Vartelas took the trip in 2003, the law in 2003 should apply. That would have made it risky to leave the country if you had been convicted of a crime no matter how long ago.
The DREAM Act has become a rallying cry for President Obama, members of his administration, and liberal Democrats everywhere. President Obama has vowed to “keep fighting for the DREAM Act,” which would grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
It’s true when listeners or those polled don’t know the facts that the DREAM Act has some appeal. After all, we are all naturally sympathetic when children are involved.
But the descriptions of the DREAM Act voiced by President Obama and his cohorts are not accurate. And the consequences are never told.
DREAM Act supporters claim that only children would benefit from such a bill, but the facts tell another story. Under most DREAM Act proposals, amnesty would be given to individuals up to the age of 30—not exactly children. And some other proposals don’t even have an age limit.
These supporters also maintain that illegal immigrants can’t go college without the DREAM Act. But the truth is that illegal immigrants can already go to college in most states.
And ultimately, most versions of the DREAM Act actually don’t even force illegal immigrants to comply with all the requirements in the bill, such as going to college or joining the military. The administration can waive requirements because of “hardship” at its complete discretion.
DREAM Act proposals are also a magnet for fraud. Many illegal immigrants will fraudulently claim they came here as children or that they are under 30. And the federal government has no way to check whether their claims are true or not.
Such massive fraud occurred after the 1986 amnesty for illegal immigrants who claimed they were agricultural workers. Studies found two-thirds of all applications for the 1986 amnesty were fraudulent.
And this amnesty did nothing to stop illegal immigration. In 1986, there were about three million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. Today, there are an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. and about seven million of them work here, unfairly taking jobs from unemployed Americans.
While DREAM Act supporters claim that it would only benefit children, they skip over the fact that it actually rewards the very illegal immigrant parents who knowingly violated our laws. Once their children become U.S. citizens, they can petition for their illegal immigrant parents and adult siblings to be legalized, who will then bring in others in an endless chain.
This kind of chain migration only encourages more illegal immigration, as parents will bring their children to the U.S. in hopes of receiving citizenship.
President Obama tried to get the DREAM Act passed during a lame duck session about a year ago but it faced bipartisan opposition in Congress. This hasn’t stopped the administration from passing its agenda. The Obama administration does everything it can to let illegal immigrants stay here, which compounds the problem.
Political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security recently issued new deportation guidelines that amount to backdoor amnesty and strike another blow at millions of unemployed U.S. workers.
Under the administration’s new deportation policy, DHS officials review all incoming and most pending cases before an immigration court to determine if the illegal immigrant can remain in the U.S. Since the administration has made clear that many illegal immigrants are not considered priorities for removal, including potential DREAM Act beneficiaries, this could open the door to allow millions of illegal immigrants to live and work in the U.S. without a vote of Congress.
The Obama administration has also cut worksite enforcement efforts by 70%, allowing illegal immigrants to continue working in jobs that rightfully belong to citizens and legal workers. And the list goes on and on – this administration has a pattern of ignoring the laws and intent of Congress.
The United States is based on the rule of law but the Obama administration already has dirty hands by abusing administrative authority to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. The DREAM Act doesn’t stop illegal immigration—it only encourages more of it by rewarding lawbreakers.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
Back in August of last year, the Obama administration announced it would generally not deport those who arrived in the United States as minors and who have either graduated from high school or served in the U.S. military. The administration also said it would prioritize deporting unauthorized immigrants who are convicted criminals or who are considered threats to national security or public safety.
As reported at Politico, the new policy could earn Barack Obama “huge political dividends” with the important Latino voting bloc. But there are political risks.
Immigration advocates say the new policy, which Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has defended, has raised expectations in immigrant communities that deportations of mostly law-abiding illegal immigrants will end immediately. Those hopes could turn to disappointment if the process bogs down in bureaucracy and inconsistency. Just ask Luis Martinez.
Bank reports undocumented customer to immigration
Luis Martinez had been a client of Bank of America for 14 years. He had a mortgage and two other accounts with the bank and had lived a quiet, life as a cook and gardener in Sacramento, until his bank reported him to immigration authorities. He beat deportation, thanks to the new policy, but he was jailed and his incarceration destroyed his finances and his home went into foreclosure. He sued the bank but his case was dismissed by a federal judge in California last week.
Critics say the policy smacks of presidential politics and will waste federal money by suspending deportation cases that already are completed. They also argue there’s no way to predict who poses a threat to public safety, so some individuals allowed to stay in the U.S. could go on to commit serious crimes.
2011 Saw Record Deportations
End-of-the year reports showed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made 396,906 deportations in fiscal year 2011. This represents a slight increase from 2010, when about 392,000 people were deported. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano indicated in an October 2011 press release that 55 percent of the 2011 deportees had felony or misdemeanor criminal convictions.
According to ICE, the number of deportations reflects a general increase the past five years:
FY 2010 = 392,862
FY 2009 = 389,834
FY 2008 = 369,221
FY 2007 = 291,060
DUI offenders made up a large number (35,927) of those deported in fiscal year 2011, as did people convicted of drug-related offenses (44,653). Violent offenders (homicide, 1,119; sexual offenses, 5,848) were fewer in number, according to ICE.
In a recent review ordered by the Obama administration, prosecutors in Denver, Colorado, identified 1,300 foreigners in immigration court who pose no security risk to the United States. These foreign-born persons will be allowed to remain in the U.S. Immigration rights advocates argue that these people will be in “limbo,” allowed to stay but unable to work legally or to obtain driver’s licenses. Republican critics, however, argue that the policy itself constitutes an “end run” around Congress. (Sources: The New York Times, Multi-American (KPCC), andFrontline (PBS).)
Senate Expresses Regret for the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
Without fanfare, last October, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution, SR 201, expressing regret for having previously passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 as well as regret for subsequent laws that discriminated against Chinese immigrants. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Scott Brown (R-MA) co-sponsored SR201, which the Senate unanimously approved. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) will sponsor a companion bill in the House.
The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act placed a 10-year moratorium on all Chinese labor immigration and prevented Chinese immigrants in the United States from becoming citizens. It was the first ban on immigration to the United States. Prior to the Act, U.S. borders were open. (Source: San Francisco Chronicle.)
Los Angeles Police Department will soon start ignoring California state law, which requires police to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days.
The majority of unlicensed motorists in Los Angeles are immigrants who are in the country illegally and have low-income jobs. The LAPD says the state's impound law is unfair because it limits their ability to get to their jobs and imposes a steep fine to get their car back.
As long as drivers can produce some form of I.D., proof of insurance and vehicle registration, they'll be allowed to keep their car. Police Chief Charlie Beck insists that it's simply leveling the playing field.
"It's about fairness. It's about equal application of the law," Beck told a Los Angeles TV station earlier this month.
Opponents of Beck's decision are furious and refer to studies showing unlicensed drivers are among the most dangerous on the road. Indeed, a 2011 AAA study titled "Unlicensed to Kill" finds they are five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and more likely to flee the scene of a crime.
The decision has angered Don Rosenberg, a resident of Los Angeles County, who lost his 25-year old son, Drew, in a 2010 accident caused by an unlicensed driver in San Francisco, a city with lax impound policies. The driver, who tried fleeing the scene, had previously been pulled over but was allowed to retrieve his car after a short time, months before the accident.
"It doesn't matter to me who killed my son-- what their nationality was. It was the fact that if the law were followed, he'd be alive today," Rosenberg told Fox News.
Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley wrote Chief Beck, saying his policy would be "invalid" in light of state law, which states a vehicle "shall be impounded." But supporters of Beck's decision say, regardless of the law, he's doing the right thing for illegal immigrants who cannot yet obtain driver's licenses here.
"A low-income person doesn't have the ability to pay the fees after 30 days to get their car back," said Cardinal Roger Mahony, former Archbishop of Los Angeles and an immigration activist. "Basically, we're just creating more punitive problems for them."
The L.A. Police Commission voted in favor of the new policy 4-1 last month. The LAPD says officers will begin implementing it in a matter of weeks. The city attorney has also sided with Beck's decision.
Immigrant advocates say the controversy highlights the need to provide provisional driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.
Don Rosenberg says he'd favor that, as long as the police enforce state law by impounding unlicensed drivers' cars when pulled over. But he believes that the city is pandering to the Latino community and doesn't hold out hope that the policy will change anytime soon.
"It's more important that people who are in the country illegally get to drive than it is that people who are here get to live," he said.
This story comes courtesy of California Watch.
U.S. policies and laws aimed at improving the nation's immigration system have unintentionally spurred more immigrants - authorized or not - to stay in the United States, according to a new paper released today.
The paper, "Unintended Consequences of U.S. Immigration Policy," released by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, seeks to explain the reasons behind the surge in immigrants from Latin America since 1965, placing blame on the elimination of a legal - but vilified - migrant worker program, intervention in wars in various Latin American countries and more difficulties in entering - legally or otherwise - the United States.
The report's authors, Douglas S. Massey and Karen A. Pren, argue that the surge of immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries was caused by unintended consequences, rather than designed policy and legislative reforms.
Ultimately, they argue that an improved Bracero program, as the legal migrant worker plan was called, could have avoided the increase in the first place. Instead, for nearly 50 years, the U.S. government has tried to fix its immigration system by focusing on security and enforcement, with little success, the authors say.
"Paradoxical as it may seem, U.S. immigration policy often has very little to do with trends and patterns of immigration," the authors write. "Even when policies respond explicitly to shifts in immigration, rarely are they grounded in any real understanding of the forces that govern international migration."
Since 1965, when Congress overhauled the nation's immigration law, the Hispanic population in America has jumped from just under 10 million to more than 50 million in recent years, including about 9.6 million illegal immigrants from Latin America as of 2008, according to the report.
But, as the authors write, the era of mass migration from Mexico appears, for the moment, to be over. Apprehensions of unauthorized border crossers were at the lowest point in decades last year. Legal entries also dropped from 219,000 in 2002 to 139,000 in 2010.
Instead of a circular flow of migration - in which seasonal workers arrive in the U.S. to work, typically in agriculture, and then return to their homelands - migrants have over the decades increasingly remained in the United States, according to the report.
"Despite record deportations and rising anti-immigrant sentiment, the rate of return migration among this population is also near zero," the authors write.
Historically, California has received the largest proportion of Mexican immigrants, who make up 29 percent of all immigrants to the United States. The state continues to lead the nation with the largest number of immigrants and in 2008 claimed a quarter of the nation's Mexican-born population. Overall, about 27 percent of the state's residents are immigrants.
President George W. Bush had floated the idea of a revamped guest-worker program during his first term in office. That plan was widely assailed as being reminiscent of the Bracero program, which many saw as exploitative.
Since then and continuing through much of President Barack Obama's presidency, the White House has asked for and Congress has allocated growing budgets for border and immigration security. Meanwhile, the number of entries by temporary workers has increased to record levels, reaching 517,000 in 2010, the largest number in history, according to the Department of Homeland Security, the authors point out.
The Obama administration has announced reforms to the nation's immigration detention system and has incrementally introduced proposed changes, including the recent opening of a civil detention facility in Texas.
But in the absence of congressional action on legislative reform, the administrative remedies have been relatively minor. Even then, the paper's authors say, Congress passes laws without fully weighing the causes of and issues related to immigration.
"The crux of the problem is that Congress routinely makes consequential policy decisions with scant consideration of the underlying dynamics of the social processes involved," the authors write.
DREAM Act supporters have proposed two bills that would allow undocumented students to receive financial aid in colleges and universities in the state of New York. New York is one of 12 states that allow undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition. Texas, California and New Mexico are the only states that provide financial aid for undocumented students.
The New York Dream Act (S.4179), would make undocumented students who have lived in New York for at least two years eligible to receive grants from the Tuition Assistance Program.This bill, introduced by Senator Bill Perkins on March 22, 2011, is an adaptation of the DREAM Act, which the U.S. House passed in 2010, but the Senate denied in the November 2010 lame-duck session. New York's version of the federal DREAM Act would allow undocumented students to receive financial aid, including loans, scholarships and grants.
To qualify under this legislation, undocumented students have to prove they entered the country before they were 16 years old. Eligible individuals have to graduate from a high school or earn a GED and show good moral character. Only those who are younger than 35 years old at the time the New York Dream Act is enacted qualify.
Undocumented students have to register with a college or university and work toward a higher education degree for at least two years. Another alternative is to serve in the New York National Guard for at least two years or complete 910 hours of community service.Once undocumented students qualify for the New York Dream Act, they would be eligible for state IDs, driver’s licenses, state health programs and work opportunities.
Supporters say the bill would allow thousands of students who were brought as children to contribute to the country by entering the workforce and in return paying taxes. Critics of the New York Dream Act say the state should not use their taxes to fund education for undocumented immigrants. The second initiative is a private fund that would give undocumented students financial help through tax-deductible donations.
The N.Y. DREAM Fund Commission would create a committee dedicated to raising funds for scholarships aimed at undocumented students who qualify. This commission is to be funded by private contributions, and no state funds would be accepted. New York universities, immigrants’ rights coalitions and undocumented students are expecting the State Legislature to pass the resolutions and for the governor to sign them.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg supports the New York Dream Act, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to voice his stand on both proposals. Will New York become the fourth state to provide financial aid to undocumented students? Or will the New York Dream Act be turned down like the federal DREAM Act in 2010?
N.Y. may become fourth to provide aid to undocumented students - The Independent Florida Alligator: Uncovering Immigration
JERUSALEM – Chicago native Ellie Lavi could not have been happier when she gave birth to beautiful twin girls overseas. She found that the U.S. State Department did not share in her joy when she went to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to apply for citizenship for her children.An embassy staffer wanted to know whether Lavi got pregnant at a fertility clinic. She said yes and was told that her children were not eligible for citizenship unless she could prove that the egg or sperm used to create the embryo was from an American citizen.
"I was humiliated and horrified," Lavi said. "We're talking about the children I gave birth to. Of course they're my children."The incident points out what critics say is a glaring inequity in U.S. citizenship regulations. A child adopted overseas by a U.S. citizen is eligible to become an American, and a baby born in the USA is American even if the parents are not.
But a child born to a U.S. citizen overseas through the increasingly common practice of in vitro fertilization with embryos from donor eggs and sperm is not American, unless an American is one of the donors. And that can be hard to prove since clinics may not reveal such things about their donors due to confidentiality agreements, immigration law experts say.
"The problem is that the law hasn't kept up with the advances in reproductive technology," said Melissa Brisman, a lawyer in New Jersey who specializes in fertility issues.The U.S. State Department says a child born outside the USA to an American cannot receive citizenship until a biological link with at least one parent is established. That link does not exist if an infertile woman uses donor eggs at a clinic to conceive.
No such biological link exists for parents who adopt children overseas either, but U.S. law exempts adopted children from the regulation."Although the regulations are designed to prevent the abuse of American citizenship laws" through fraudulent claims of parentage, Brisman said, "they're also hurting infertile Americans who simply want to pass on their citizenship to their kids."
Lavi said she was in a crowded hall with her kids when the embassy staffer asked her over a speaker from behind a glass partition, "Are these children yours?"Lavi, a single mom in her 40s, said she felt the question was an invasion of privacy and she was not clear about the law regarding such births.
Marla Gatlin, founder of Parents Via Egg Donation in Portland, Ore., says parents have been punished for not knowing the rules and telling the truth to the embassy.Gatlin says pregnant Americans living overseas "often decide to either fly back to the U.S. to give birth, or they lie" to consular officials about how they conceived. Those who lied "aren't going to talk about it now, in fear of having their children's citizenship revoked," she says.
The U.S. State Department says it is merely following proper interpretation of the law, but it is studying whether it can interpret the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow U.S. citizen parents "to transmit American citizenship to their children born abroad through artificial reproductive technology in a broader range of circumstances."
Michele Koven Wolgel, an Israel-based lawyer who specializes in U.S. immigration law, says many embassy officials ask only older women, especially single moms, about the method of birth."That's called profiling," she says.
Most of the 200,000 U.S. citizens in Israel have dual citizenship, and fertility treatments are common because they are free. Wolgel says the State Department is going too far in its interpretation of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.She finds it hard to believe that the intent of the law "was to prevent a woman who carried a child for nine months, who gave birth to the child and whose name appears on the birth certificate from transferring her U.S. citizenship to the child."
"There is an established process for U.S. parents who want to transfer citizenship to their adopted children, but no such avenue exists for parents whose children, conceived with someone else's eggs or sperm, emerged from their wombs," Wolgel said. Moreover, lawyers say, non-U.S. citizens who live outside the USA may be able to claim U.S. citizenship for their child if they can prove their egg or sperm donors (the "biological parents") are U.S. citizens.
"The State Department says the donor determines citizenship, so this would hold even for foreigners who visited the U.S. only for the impregnation, and the child was born abroad," Wolgel says. Even advocates for strict enforcement of immigration laws concede the rules might need tweaking.
"The law exists for a very good reason: to avoid having people claim that other people's kids are their own for purpose of obtaining U.S. citizenship," said Kristen Williamson, spokesperson for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Even so, "this is one of those unique instances that might require special consideration … without wholesale abandonment of the law."
Lavi has given up actively pursuing U.S. citizenship for her toddler daughters."If I'd gone back to the States to give birth, my children would have automatically received American citizenship," Lavi said. "But I don't live there. I live here."
In vitro babies denied U.S. citizenship
If you download potentially copyrighted software, videos or music, your Internet service provider (ISP) has been watching, and they’re coming for you.
Specifically, they’re coming for you on Thursday, July 12.
That’s the date when the nation’s largest ISPs will all voluntarily implement a new anti-piracy plan that will engage network operators in the largest digital spying scheme in history, and see some users’ bandwidth completely cut off until they sign an agreement saying they will not download copyrighted materials.
Word of the start date has been largely kept secret since ISPs announced their plans last June. The deal was brokered by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and coordinated by the Obama Administration. The same groups have weighed in heavily on controversial Internet policies around the world, with similar facilitation by the Obama’s Administration’s State Department.
The July 12 date was revealed by the RIAA’s CEO and top lobbyist, Cary Sherman, during a publishers’ conference on Wednesday in New York, according to technology publication CNet.
The content industries calls this scheme a “graduated response” plan, which will see Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and others spying on users’ Internet activities and watching for potential copyright infringement. Users who are “caught” infringing on a creator’s protected work can then be interrupted with a notice that piracy is forbidden by law and carries penalties of up to $150,000 per infringement, requiring the user to click through saying they understand the consequences before bandwidth is restored, and they could still be subject to copyright infringement lawsuits.
Participating ISPs have a range of options for dealing with customers who continue to pirate media, at that point: They can require that an alleged repeat offender undergo an educational course before their service is restored. They can utilize multiple warnings, restrict access to only certain major websites like Google, Facebook or a list of the top 200 sites going, reduce someone’s bandwidth to practically nothing and even share information on repeat offenders with competing ISPs, effectively creating a sort of Internet blacklist — although publicly, none of the network operators have agreed to “terminate” a customer’s service.
It is because of those reasons that the content industries believe this program achieves much more than what might have been possible in the realm of public policy, and the ISPs appear to agree. The voluntary scheme will be paid for mostly by the content industries, which will share some costs with the ISPs.
Not everyone sees it as a positive: The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group, argued that the “graduated response” scheme lacks transparency, and that copyright holders could wield the network operators like a blunt instrument in cases where their claims may not be entirely valid — which is the biggest problem with statutes codified by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
They also pressed for assurances that claim reviews will be conducted by a neutral party, and suggested that users should be given some form of due process before their bandwidth is turned down or cut off entirely.
The EFF also took issue with the system of protest the program puts in place, which only gives users six predetermined “defenses” against a copyright claim. “And even the six enumerated defenses are incomplete,” they complained. “For example, the ‘public domain’ defense applies only if the work was created before 1923 — even though works created after 1923 can enter the public domain in a variety of ways.”
A legislative effort that would have achieved some, but not all, of these ends was utterly destroyed by the Internet’s first ever mass work stoppage late last year, which saw thousands of popular websites go dark in protest. (Disclosure: The Raw Story participated in that protest.)
It’s not yet clear how the tech world will react to the ISPs siding with the content industries to do what the government simply could not.
source: American ISPs to launch massive copyright spying scheme on July 12 | The Raw Story