SOPA/PIPA-Has the US Congress finally lost it?

#1
Recent News from the States; apparently parts of their government have gone mad with power and think they should control the internet.

This video sums up nicely what this legistation will do:

[video=youtube_share;96YEIelkfHM]http://youtu.be/96YEIelkfHM[/video]

And an Article on its ramifications:

"The following are companies that signed this letter which was written in support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, which is the House’s equivalent of the PROTECT IP Act, which I have previously exposed as China-style internet censorship on steroids.

I encourage everyone to not only boycott these companies but flood them with letters, e-mails and phone calls telling them why exactly you are boycotting them.

SOPA would put completely legitimate sites, like End the Lie and countless other alternative news outlets at risk of being shut down, along with literally any site that freely allows users to post content.

That includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogger, Craigslist, Dropbox and literally any website or service that allows users to upload content.

The United States Attorney General can not only seek court orders against “foreign infringing sites,” meaning any website with a non-U.S. domain name, but can also demand that internet service providers (ISPs) would have to cut off access to the site by not resolving domain name requests.

Furthermore, if served with one of the Attorney General’s court orders, search engines would have to remove any links to the site, payment networks would have to stop all payments to the site from U.S. customers and advertising networks would be forced to stop serving advertisements about the website or for the website.

But wait, it gets even worse. SOPA would require that within five days of receiving an allegation by a copyright holder, payment services and advertising networks would have to cut off all business with the site either U.S. based or foreign.

All the copyright holder has to do is allege that the site is “dedicated to the theft of property,” and if the payment provider and advertising networks don’t cease business within five days, the copyright holder can file a private lawsuit against the site compelling the payment service and others to cut off relations.

Furthermore, The Atlantic reports that the definition of “dedicated” in this bill “has little relation to common usage,” and in addressing the bill they characterize it as “dangerous.”

As experts in the technical, operational, academic and research communities who are the leading domain name system (DNS) designers, operators, and researchers who have also published numerous peer-reviewed academic studies regarding the architecture and security of the DNS have pointed out, this will create major cybersecurity and other technical concerns that did not exist previously.

The above linked technical whitepaper regarding the PROTECT IP Act also quite interestingly points out that the DNS filters could be easily circumvented, essentially making one of the biggest parts of the bill null and void.

The thing that the House and Senate don’t seem to realize is that there will always be online pirates and they will always find a way around whatever roadblocks are put in their way.

The issue is that this can and likely will be used to target important platforms for sharing information like YouTube and blog platforms like WordPress and Blogger.

All it would take is for a copyright holder to find one bit of infringing content and then it could very well be the end of the website, despite the massive amounts of legitimate content.

We must remember that major websites like YouTube and blog platforms are quite skilled and hasty when it comes to removing infringing content from their websites.

SOPA would also endanger the entire spirit of the internet which has pioneered social media and free expression, giving a platform to writers like myself who might otherwise be sidelined by the establishment media.

If you care about the internet, free speech and the future of sharing information with the world, I beg of you: take action and boycott these companies and make it clear why you will be boycotting them and telling everyone you know to do the same.

Please do not forget to contact your Congressperson and Senator to ask if they are supporting either bill and tell them why you think it would be a horrible idea for them to do so.

Hopefully we, as the collective users of the internet, can create a large enough buzz to shut down these bills before they get major support.

If “We the People” still have any power in this country, we need to flex it now when it really matters!"

So, are they just insane or is it just another symptom of congress being bought by corporate interests?

Follow this link to oppose these ludicrous proposals:
Avaaz - Save the Internet
 
#3
You can thank the "Entertainment Industry" For this, still when the internet consists of just Blockbuster and Itunes you can take comfort in the fact your no longer taking food off Bono's table
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Let them pass it. It will pretty much destroy Silicon Valley and all the other technology inovation companies in the states (which is to say one of the largest contributors to the US GDP AND the reason they can still compete in certain sectors of manufacturing). Silicon Roundabout in London would then be seen not as a ollection of very promising start-ups to be bought out by the US technology giants, but as a place to relocate to- thus solving the Uk's brain-drain in this sector AND bringing in massive investment.

Win-win for us! Until China gets punchy. Then we'll have no big brother to back us up...
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#6
By the time the Chinese get punchy we'll have come full circle, with the sheeple getting fed up with the Tories "ruthless cuts" ("oh noes, my dole cheque is gone!") and we'll be lumbered with another lefty government. At that point we'll be sold out to the invading forces by our incumbent Marxist leader and become a foreign territory of the Great Chinese Empire. You heard it here first!
 
#7
The United States Attorney General can not only seek court orders against “foreign infringing sites,” meaning any website with a non-U.S. domain name
You mean like the idiotic court injunction orders here against non-UK news outlets? What does it do, feck all! Also, what they're going to actually do to pursue the offenders, send a hit team against them?


Personally, I don't anything is going to come out of all these proposals.

p.s: My country's congress lost is a long time ago.
 
#15
I wonder how far they will back pedal with this, it's only a small number of (admittedly powerful) organisations that have done nothing more than flex their muscles in protest.
 
#16
I can see why this happened, and it's not just an issue of "greedy corporate fat-cats" wanting mo moneh, although that's undoubtedly a factor.

Bottom line, you can break the law and get away with it - You (generally) can't break the law, thumb your nose and say "LOOK everyone, I'm breaking the law and getting away with it because I'm so clever and modern and free and the cops/courts are so stupid and old fashioned and controlled". And that's what a lot of people have been doing for a long time now.

There will eventually be a bite back, it'll be a hammer to crack a nut and everyone will suffer for it.

Fortunately, it looks a lot like it won't be SOPA. The bill has had most of it's "teeth" pulled but it should really serve as a warning.

Necks need to be firmly wound in, or a few of them are likely to get broken. (metaphorically of course)
 
#17
I can see why this happened, and it's not just an issue of "greedy corporate fat-cats" wanting mo moneh, although that's undoubtedly a factor.

Bottom line, you can break the law and get away with it - You (generally) can't break the law, thumb your nose and say "LOOK everyone, I'm breaking the law and getting away with it because I'm so clever and modern and free and the cops/courts are so stupid and old fashioned and controlled". And that's what a lot of people have been doing for a long time now.

There will eventually be a bite back, it'll be a hammer to crack a nut and everyone will suffer for it.

Fortunately, it looks a lot like it won't be SOPA. The bill has had most of it's "teeth" pulled but it should really serve as a warning.

Necks need to be firmly wound in, or a few of them are likely to get broken. (metaphorically of course)
One problem here is that the technical illiterates who are politicians and judges today just do not understand the technology involved. If they did they would realise that you cannot, ever stop the copying of digital data as long as people have free access to general purpose computing hardware and software. So, short of locking down each and every single piece of hardware and software on the planet the only thing you can do is police the internet.

Of course, given the size and the speed with which changes can be made that requires a largely automated system. This is what was proposed and as it has to allow any media company or goverment to immediately block any site in order to work you can see why it was unpopular.

Of course then we all just file share via USB stick ... so the media companies and government will have to have rights to search any device, anywhere and decide whether or not you are guilty.

Mind you, in the UK ripping a CD or DVD is still illegal so the end result is that the whole population from the PM down will be guilty. Now, we can prepare to punish the entire electorate ... or maybe we can accept that the law is out of date and that technology is not the answer. Media firms entering the 21st century and offering people what they want to buy at a price they are prepared to pay is.
 

Fronty

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#18
Has Congress finally lost it? They voted to classify pizza as a vegetable because of its processed tomato content a few months ago.

I think that counts as "losing it further".
 
#19
One problem here is that the technical illiterates who are politicians and judges today just do not understand the technology involved. If they did they would realise that you cannot, ever stop the copying of digital data as long as people have free access to general purpose computing hardware and software. So, short of locking down each and every single piece of hardware and software on the planet the only thing you can do is police the internet.

Of course, given the size and the speed with which changes can be made that requires a largely automated system. This is what was proposed and as it has to allow any media company or goverment to immediately block any site in order to work you can see why it was unpopular.

Of course then we all just file share via USB stick ... so the media companies and government will have to have rights to search any device, anywhere and decide whether or not you are guilty.

Mind you, in the UK ripping a CD or DVD is still illegal so the end result is that the whole population from the PM down will be guilty. Now, we can prepare to punish the entire electorate ... or maybe we can accept that the law is out of date and that technology is not the answer. Media firms entering the 21st century and offering people what they want to buy at a price they are prepared to pay is.
So what you're effectively saying is the law is old and stupid, warez kids are young and smart. The law must change to conform with our wants.

Yeah, good luck with that.
 
#20
So what you're effectively saying is the law is old and stupid, warez kids are young and smart. The law must change to conform with our wants.

Yeah, good luck with that.
Well, technology isn't going to change to allow copying to be prevented. So, good luck with that as well.

Nor, and it is something that again people just don't get, is copying limited to a few young geeks. It is mainstream. Ever ripped a cd to a mp3 player ? That, in the UK, is an offence. Do we punish everyone who has done that or do we change the law ? Because if you tell me you've never ripped a cd, copied a dvd to your laptop hard drive for convenience or burnt a compilation for your mate then you are very much in the minority.

What is working is offering people services at a fair price that are easy to use. See Netflix, Steam and so on. That is the way forward, not criminalising most of the population of the planet.