So we can’t just sit back and relax and enjoy the holidays, eh?
House Delays Taking Action on SOPA Until Dec. 21 – Mashable
Nope. Guess not. SOPA was supposedly pushed off till 2012, but then they flip flopped and now they will be meeting on the 21st. I wonder how they got Congress to come back when they were supposed to be on break? Must have been pretty profitable to them one way or another?
SOPA Markup Runs Out Of Time; Likely Delayed Until 2012 [Update: Or Not...] – TechDirt
From this article: SOPA, bill to stop online piracy, hits minor snag in House – CBS:
Public Knowledge, a Washington based advocacy organization pushing for an open Internet, slammed the panel’s chair for pushing the legislation without understanding the bill’s unintended consequences.
“SOPA, as written, would threaten the functioning, freedom, and economic potential of the Internet,” said Sherwin Siy, deputy legal director of Public Knowledge, adding that scheduling a vote “when many members may well be absent demonstrates a clear desire to continue dodging the questions raised by experts, members, and the public.”
Tech Companies have repeatedly stated that this would be bad for everyone:
Looks like Congress has declared war on the internet – Gigaom
Tech firms fight SOPA by talking job creation – CNN Money
WTF is happening with SOPA now? – Boing Boing:
If you followed my tweets from the markup session for SOPA in the House of Representatives, you know how frustrating it was to watch: you had these lawmakers blithely dismissing the security concerns of the likes of Vint Cerf, saying things like, “I’m no technology nerd, but I don’t believe it.” In other words: “I’m a perfect ignoramus, but I find it convenient to disregard the world’s foremost experts.” Another congressman from Florida kept saying things like “No one can explain to me how this bill harms political debate or academic freedom.”
Congressional SOPA hearings: no opponents of the bill allowed:
Irony Alert: The House is holding hearings on sweeping Internet censorship legislation this week — and it’s censoring the opposition! The bill is backed by Hollywood, Big Pharma, and the Chamber of Commerce, and all of them are going to get to testify at the hearing.
But the bill’s opponents — tech companies, free speech and human rights activists, and hundreds of thousands of Internet users — won’t have a voice.
And can anyone be blamed for being upset with this mess!?!
The nightmarish SOPA hearings – ComPost – Washington Post:
This is terrifying to watch. It would be amusing — there’s nothing like people who did not grow up with the Internet attempting to ask questions about technology very slowly and stumbling over words like “server” and “service” when you want an easy laugh. Except that this time, the joke’s on us.
As long as there have been new technologies, the entertainment industry has been trying to get them shut down as filthy, thieving pirates. Video cassettes? Will anyone tune into TV again? MP3 players? Why even bother making a record? Digital video recorder that lets you skip ads? That’s a form of theft!
SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, is a bill that, in the name of preventing online piracy of copyrighted work, creates a horrifyingly large censorship authority for the Internet. Among other things, it requiresservice providers (which have come out opposing the bill) to block access to entire sites if a user on the site is accused of copyright infringement.
There are dozens of reasons this is wrong. The biggest and most pressing is that not only does the bill not do what it sets out to do, it also creates a horrifyingly blunt instrument to censor the Internet.
Top Internet engineers warn against SOPA:
Some of the original engineers of the Internet called Thursday for lawmakers to scrap anti-piracy bills, saying the proposals would pose major technological barriers for the Web and stifle new innovations.
The letter comes as House Judiciary committee members on Thursday debate the Stop Online Piracy Act introduced by Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) that has drawn impassioned support from media firms but opposition by Web firms and some public interest groups.
Vint Cerf of Google, domain name system software author Paul Vixie and Internet routing engineer Tony Li were among 83 high-profile engineers who signed an open letter to Congress in opposition to the House Stop Online Privacy Act and Senate Protect Intellectual Property Act.
“If enacted, either of these bills will create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure,” the engineers wrote.
An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the U.S. Congress:
Today, a group of 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to members of the United States Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively.
The article has the letter itself, as well as a link to the pdf of the letter.
It also has the impressive list of VERY SMART PEOPLE! Engineers! People who would know! SOPA is a very bad thing!
Call your Senators! Please work it in to your busy holiday schedule. I did and I hope you will too. I will do it again come Monday. All this on the weekend when we can’t do anything about it?! Very annoying that they would flip flop like this at beyond the 11th hour!
As an American Citizen..I am appalled at our Congress. And even more so with our President who seems to be backing this crap legislation.
The PIPA (Protect IP Act = Senate Bill S.968) is no better. Both of these crap legislations need to go!
These bills are so bad, in next to no time, we could all be feeling like we are in a tyrannical empire … The NDAA was bad enough and they let that piece of crap legislation through already. Don’t let Congress make yet another major mistake and give away the remaining liberties and freedoms we so love.
In the words of Eye Drops from the old ZDTV/TechTV: “Think about that!“
EDIT: Adding the following from Cory Doctorow on Twitter:
“@doctorow: A good piece explaining what #SOPA can mean to everyday Americans http://t.co/qIqInkYJ” The original posting is here: http://www.bricoleur.org/2011/12/overbroad-censorship-users.html