Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Acts are two ways that Washington is looking to censor the new media of the Internet. SOPA is the bill in the House of Representatives and PIPA is the U.S. Senate bill. SOPA would require companies that provides access to foreign websites in violation to block access to their subscribers.
A service provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) that is subject to the order...Such actions shall be taken as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within five days after being served with a copy of the order, or within such time as the court may order.
Here's how Section 101 of the original version of SOPA defines what a U.S.-directed Web site is:

(A) the Internet site is used to provide goods or services to users located in the United States;
(B) there is evidence that the Internet site or portion thereof is intended to offer or provide such goods and services (or) access to such goods and services (or) delivery of such goods and services to users located in the United States;
(C) the Internet site or portion thereof does not contain reasonable measures to prevent such goods and services from being obtained in or delivered to the United States; and
(D) any prices for goods and services are indicated or billed in the currency of the United States.
PIPA raises even greater concerns. CNET reports the following:
An analysis (PDF) of Protect IP prepared by five Internet researchers this spring lists potential security problems. Among them: it's "incompatible" with DNSSEC, innocent Web sites will be swept in as "collateral damage," and the blacklist can be bypassed by using the numeric Internet address of a Web site. The address for CNET.com, for instance, is currently
Website hosts offer many websites often on a single IP (internet protocol) address using "Host Headers". Blocking an IP address will bring down many websites that have nothing to do with the targeted website. We have no idea how either PIPA or SOPA would decide who to censor.

There are two responses to this government violation of our rights. First, on January 18, 2012 many websites will blackout to raise awareness of this travesty. Second, alternative legislation is being offered.

Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, has introduced the so-called OPEN Act that would cut off the flow of funds to alleged pirate Web sites without requiring them to be blocked. Sen. Ron Wyden, a Oregon Democrat, introduced the bill to the Senate. Once again Rep. Issa has championed for the people he represents.

Fellow SLOB The Liberator Today has more on this subject.


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