Controlling the Web

Controlling the WebThis documentary looks at the fight for control of the web, life in the digital age and the threat to cyber freedom, asking if US authorities are increasingly trying to regulate user freedoms in the name of national and economic security.

In January 2012, two controversial pieces of legislation were making their way through the US Congress. SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, the Protect Intellectual Property Act, were meant to crack down on the illegal sharing of digital media.

The bills were drafted on request of the content industry, Hollywood studios and major record labels. The online community rose up against the US government to speak out against SOPA, and the anti-online piracy bill was effectively killed off after the largest online protest in US history.

But it was only one win in a long battle between US authorities and online users over internet regulation. SOPA and PIPA were just the latest in a long line of anti-piracy legislation US politicians have passed since the 1990s.

Watch the full documentary now

374
8.63
12345678910
Ratings: 8.63/10 from 27 users.

More great documentaries

41 Comments / User Reviews

  1. over the edge

    very good. the control of the information is a difficult subject. these issues are getting more and more complicated. while i advocate for freedom on the net i also feel that a persons ability to control their "creations" or product and how it is spread. the only thing i can say for sure is one way of the other the future of the net is going to be different to today. anyone have an opinion on youtube/google plus mane policy leading to future comments containing "real" names?

  2. gonzo

    I think the Internet had free thought for a while but it's gradually turning into something where everyone will have to be phony again because there will be no anonymity. It's like the drug revolution in the 60's people actually described lsd as disappearing and becoming part of everyone around you, So it's almost the same thing as anonymity, but then there was the drug war etc and the wave rolled back, I think the internet is just the next wave of the same thing, free thought, and now they are killing that one. It's just a pattern where humans always spread out and venture further, but then get scared and herd back together. eventually it will go all the way. :D I bet the next big thing is something we can't even imagine yet

  3. dewflirt

    Short and sweet. And worrying.
    Lots of people in the UK awaiting extradition to USA for cyber crime, Richard O'Dwyer, Babar Ahman, Talha Ahsan to name a few. Their stories show how out of hand this stuff can get. Also shows what a bunch of spineless, cap tipping wimps the British government is made up of. :/
    Richard O'Dwyer just lost his fight against extradition and is going to appeal.

  4. TheDanishViking

    I believe the biggest threat to the internet is actually the average internet user that is using social media like facebook. FB is getting more and more widespread and recently also infected this site.:-(
    Soon everything from music and film to internet news will be available through a big FB monopoly.

  5. Malchik

    I love that the film industry is trying to guilt trip us when they are making record-breaking profits. I never thought a film would make a billion dollars in the theater before even hitting video.

    Oh, and "cyber terrorism" -- what a buzzword to generate fear.

    EDIT: LOL "America needs to fight the terrorist group known as "anonymous." (Read that with a George Bush Texan accent.)

  6. Ilikethatfriedrice

    lol you don't know much about the internet then. The Average Facebook user is barely capable of turning on their computer, never mind making any sort of difference. Honestly, the only way they COULD make a difference is if they're unknowingly, or willingly apart of a botnet used by hackivists. You'd have to be a complete and utter FOOL to attempt anything revolutionary on a HEAVILY monitored website such as Facebook, where you have zero privacy, zero anonymity, and zero freedom to delete information you have posted. My last remaining hope for the internet rests in the hands of Anonymous, the motherfucking legion.

  7. TheDanishViking

    You misunderstand my point. Once all internet traffic is going through a monopoly like FB then the internet has lost its freedom and can never go back again. FB is of cause doing everything they can to reach this state. An important part of the internets freedom is exactly they EVERYBODY used to be anonymous - and not just a few hackers. Once the hackers gets effectively separated from the mainstream they can be picked out and "killed". Thus FB is currently one of the biggest threat to the freedom of the internet, right?

  8. Emit Brown

    I had an impression that the filmmakers just wanted to scare the hell out of us))

  9. drinker69

    Another production from Al-Jewzeera.

  10. dmxi

    ...& it should !the 'web' is the last resort of free information flow without censorship!cutting off this last testacle will make the remaining
    sceptics impotent!beware to cough as you feel big brothers right hand
    'gently' squeezing the last existing ball!

  11. dmxi

    @drinker69
    i always enjoy your short comic-ish comments,but 'AL-JEWZEERA'?
    come on,....????oh,shite!now i get it!!!!pi**ed myself again!

  12. dmxi

    i forgott to say that,now musicians have to go out & earn their cash via giving concerts,which is like hard labour, as taping the music for sale isn't compensating anymore......boohoo!

  13. drinker69

    I dont even watch barely any of these documentaries, the ones about Egypt when i'm high as a kite for sure but the majority of content out there is pure crap made by people just trying to get paid. Real writing died when the Dr. put a .45 to his own head and pulled the trigger. There are others I know but as long as people can be spoon fed utter puke as entertainment, the talented will just have to shrug as the talentless say open wide. Or something. Be well citizen

  14. Candace Sturtevant

    "Whatever you write, read, or listen to can be monitored, analyzed and recorded." So go to heartunes where I let it all out. Let them hunt me down, I have lived a full life.

  15. Candace Sturtevant

    I can imagine it and I have done it for years. It's called writing poetry. Date and time it too. It was only a poem...

  16. YoureGettingDumber

    You havent the slightest clue what real musicians do or put into their work, you donkey.

  17. theodd1

    I will NEVER again pay any money to listen to a song, read a book or watch a movie. I will have them freely.

  18. dmxi

    @who'sgettingdumber???
    i guess,your 'indie-band' hasn't been signed yet,or you wouldn't be so bitter?!?

    from "IEE..AHWW"

  19. Alien

    "bribery, campaign donations"
    "Congress has in return backed the content industry for decades"
    "extralegal processes"
    "anyone doing anything online can be can be considered a security threat"
    "all old laws completely bypassed, warrants or subpoenas no longer necessary"... does that sound like democracy to you? Not to me.

    I really like what thet girl sain near the end: "When the internet is your main place where you express, where you gain community, where you have access to information, where you can act in your own world, then internet freedom is just freedom." Those corrupted, greedy basterds want to take it from us. For people like me for whom the internet is all we have to keep us sane and happy, the passing of these laws is death.
    We have dodged a bullet with SOPA and PIPA and an even more lethal one with ACTA, at least for now. Now they are trying to push through the TPP which in my opinion, makes all previous laws look about as threatening as a baby squirrel. Look up the Trans Pacific Partnership and it's IP Chapter specifically, and protest like mad or we are all doomed.

  20. dewflirt

    Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador. Now all they have to do is get him from the embassy on the second floor of a building and into a car without him being arrested on English soil. Oh, and then from the diplomats car to an aeroplane. He really just needs to man up :/

  21. dmxi

    the 'another blacksploitation movie' comment was one of the best in
    the last couple of the months...forgot to 'LIKE' it,will do later.keep 'em
    coming.................-a citizen-

  22. shaun

    Put some rules up and somebody gona break them ,same with the net try to police it and someone will figure a way around.Filesharing will never die,it is part of our culture.How many people out there can claim not to have hit the download button we all do it .

  23. blackjack

    just put him in a diplomatic pouch then onto a plane
    how do you think drugs are transported around the world

  24. I AM POP SLAG.

    This video smells...the way it is presented is so very bbc, its got "acceptably controversial" practically watermarked into its presentation.
    the absurdity of discussing "intellectual property" and copyright law when there is already a total surveillance state, genocide and FLYING KILLER ROBOTS in existence.
    Havent watched it all yet but I bet you any money they wheel out rent-a-liberal shami"straw man" chakrabati and atsome point use the phraseology of "a need to protect intellectual property".
    al propagandazeera-

  25. I AM POP SLAG.

    I only download pirated stuff to see what **** is being pumped intothe eyes of the unwashed masses and how public opinion can be made to dance on command by the **** they peddle.

  26. Emit Brown

    Real musicians are endangered spices nowadays; they are being replaced by easily disposable personality-less sexy bodies!

  27. Emit Brown

    Oh no!! Now they are doomed to live a semi-luxury life!!

  28. KsDevil

    2 solutions. Use an anonymous IP blocking utility to bypass government controls or assist in building and using the Hackerspace Global Grid Satellite system.
    There is another documentary on here about some guys from Kansas City who developed and used a free to use cell phone system at OWS that is suggested being part of the ground based networking to bypass the coroprate controlled internet.
    The people will not be repressed.
    Hmm, I think I hear a black helicopter......

  29. KsDevil

    Considering the mass markets and hweavily processed and mindless markets music and videos there are, the choices left to obtain freely are still limited.
    As for books, I have yet to find a place for free books...much less any really good books worth reading.
    I grow tired of the inanity in the arts.

  30. KsDevil

    More and more musicians are relying on making their money through concert performances and selling self-produced CDs at those concerts. The recording industry takes far too high a cut off the top as it is.
    Once the musicians can eliminate the middlemen, the music world will be far better off.

  31. Drdocwilmot

    Great documentary... Aljazerra is the new Frontline!

  32. Fnertz

    Great!

    A good argument you can use while talking about online privacy with an opponent:

    X: "I'm for this bill because I have nothing to hide! People opposing it just have things to hide! You are against it so you must have something to hide!"
    Y: "Hmm.. Please tell me the next time you're going to the toilet. I would like to watch when you're having a s***"
    X: "Why?"
    Y: "Well it's the most natural thing in the world. Everyone does it - and you have nothing to hide!"
    X: "But that's my privacy!"
    Y: "There you go..."

  33. Nosferat

    Please never say that about any tv network. They all have a man in a suit smoking cigars and drinking whisky that is 10 times more expensive than your entire year's wage, that man is the one that dictates what makes it in the docu and what gets left out.

  34. spaceace2012

    Seriously??? Can't find FREE BOOKS ??? Try a "library"... thousands and thousands of free books, music, videos there. Sheesh!

  35. hyperviper12

    A great short Documentary.......which every person should watch who value their privacy and freedom ..... I for one do not want some joker watching everything I do......next they will start opening our mail???? These poor artist may have to get rid of one of their 5 swimming pools!! oh oh??.....men in black suits knocking at my door....lmao!!!

  36. AddNewComment1

    what's an endangered spice? oregano? is something happening to oregano? better stock up

  37. AddNewComment1

    attitudes like this are the exact reason they have a leg to stand on... why do you feel entitled to someones work for free? Artists are allowed to make a living. You do not work for free and if you do it's not work, it is volunteering. When you demand other people's property you are inviting government to look further... this is much deeper than Britney Spears not getting $10.99 for her latest trashy cd .. now if you had posted a link to a site where others could download free songs, books and movies than THIS site could be shut down ... a site where tons of information is accessible--- where people can educate themselves on almost any subject matter ...
    Many sites such as this could be closed in the blink of an eye.... no judge or jury... all because some freeloader decided to claim his God given right to Justin Biebers latest top 40 hit

  38. calvin landed

    A must watch documentary - this isn't about piracy nor national security these may be the reasons given but the first isn't big enough to generate political will and political risk. The later is the default reason no one can fight against. This will drive a new need to connect differently that the corporations and government bodies dont own - that includes the online police aka google.

  39. avd420

    I wonder if it would be possible to create an alternative to the internet, register it as IP, and then ban governments from setting up pages on it, therefor taking the wind out of their sales for the whole, "security" argument.

  40. dineaudio

    Of course it's possible. It's possible to create private Intranets and connect them into a big "alternative" Internet. But people don't know how Internet works in the first place.

Leave a comment / review: