Proposed Anti-Piracy Law Is Gathering Huge Tech Opposition

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 16, 2011

There's a battle brewing over proposed Internet Blacklist Legislation. Known as the Protect IP Act in the U.S. Senate, and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, SOPA is gaining political momentum, but also gaining some significant opposition. "The Internet and Free Speech will never be the same," if the legislation goes to law, according to Mozilla, and The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is vehemently opposed to it as well.

 According to a post from the EFF:

"Big media and its allies in Congress are billing the Internet Blacklist Legislation as a new way to prevent online infringement. But innovation and free speech advocates know that this initiative is nothing more than a dangerous wish list that will compromise Internet security while doing little or nothing to encourage creative expression."

The proposed legislation, would according to the EFF:

"....grant the government and private parties unprecedented power to interfere with the Internet's domain name system (DNS). The government would be able to force ISPs and search engines to redirect or dump users' attempts to reach certain websites' URLs. In response, third parties will woo average users to alternative servers that offer access to the entire Internet (not just the newly censored U.S. version), which will create new computer security vulnerabilities as the reliability and universality of the DNS evaporates."

Congress is holding hearings on SOPA today, and Mozilla has a site set up called "Protect the Internet" encouraging website owners to spread the word about the dangers of the proposed legislation and take other action. The EFF has noted that "Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has placed a hold on the Senate version of the bill, taking a principled stand against a very dangerous bill," and is encouraging people to write to Congress in opposition.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has eviscerated SOPA, dubbing it "censorship" and calling it "draconian." As The Register reports, he said:

"There's a bill that would require [ISPs] to remove URLs from the web, which is also known as censorship last time I checked..."

Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo! and Zynga have all also sent a letter opposing the proposed legislation. There will be more news today on what Congress has to say about the bill. Stay tuned.