EFF has this to say: The main mechanism of the bill is to interfere with the Internet's domain name system (DNS), which translates names like "www.eff.org" or "www.nytimes.com" into the IP addresses that computers use to communicate. The bill creates a blacklist of censored domains; the Attorney General can ask a court to place any website on the blacklist if infringement is "central" to the purpose of the site.
They go on to list sites which might be affected, including HN's own little darling, Dropbox.
I wonder often why California insists on keeping her. She almost always votes right on the environment and reproductive rights, I guess. You folks could do a lot better, though.
Sometimes a legislator will like the overall bill but see some problems and be assured by the patron that they can come to an agreement. Sometimes they absolutely hate the bill and know it will die, but they'll move it along just to get the opposing party on record so they can embarrass them in commercials. Sometimes they just move it along in because they have a deal with the patron. It's all politics as they say.
As long as she's on the ballot, I'll be voting for her Republican opponent, however loathsome.
I'm sorry, but if you're going to run a businesswoman on her record, don't run one who did that much damage to her company (HP), who got fired by her board, and who was universally agreed to be so bad that the stock shot up on the news that she was finally gone. As much as I disliked Boxer, I didn't want to find out the hard way how much worse Fiorina could be if she was given access to power (again).
Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, teach gym. Those who can't teach gym go into politics.
If you can't do, teach,
If you can't teach, administrate,
If you can't administrate, go into politics,
If you can't get elected, go to work for the government.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had stated that he could "not support" the proposed legislation and, as chairman, intended to block consideration of the controversial bill. This essentially killed the bill in 2002.
Edit more links:
Yes, America does have a free speech problem.
They were going to slow down internet traffic to sites, especially big ones like Google, unless those people gave them money. There was no talk about infrastructure, just a naked money grab, and this was in a speech to others in the telecom industry that I don't think they expected so many people to hear about. After that, there was mass outrage from everyone from the ACLU to the Christian Coalition. Everyone was united: this was naked extortion.
Then people banded together and started calling it "Net Neutrality." And the lobbyists were hired.
The unraveling began when they started questioning what people would do about it. The debate changed from "this is horrible! how can the telcos do that!" to "there needs to be a law!" vs. "we can't trust the government to regulate the internet!"
Sadly, I think both positions are correct, but for different reasons. But by creating a rift and pitting people--people who were all outraged by this horrible plan--they've kept us from doing much of anything at all to stop them. The free market won't do much good against a natural monopoly, but we really, truly cannot trust the government with too much power.
So, in spite of the fact that pretty much everyone was outraged by these plans for middlemen to hobble our internet connections, we've been pitted against each other by lobbyists.
“You’re doing a fabulous job and you ought to be supported,” the Minnesota Democrat told a gathering of about 25 transportation security officers (TSOs) and representatives of their union, Local 899 of the American Federation of Government Employees.
I'm really dismayed that Franken supported this, especially considering his stance on net neutrality.
We might need 10 or 20 more Jammie Thomas-Rassets to get enough of a popular response from citizens to really change our Senators minds.
Please let me know what you hear back. If we need to raise hell about this issue I'm in and know a number of others in MN that will help...
November 24, 2010
Thank you for contacting me about the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
I believe that intellectual property enforcement is extremely important. We must protect American jobs from piracy, which has become rampant on the Internet. We don't tolerate shoplifters in stores, and we should not tolerate them online.
COICA would give the Department of Justice an expedited process for cracking down on websites whose primary purpose is to sell pirated goods. Right now, if a company finds that its products are being pirated or counterfeited online, its only recourse is to sue in civil court, a process that can take years, during which time the offending website continues to do harm. Under COICA, the Justice Department gains jurisdiction over off-shore infringers--something that is extremely difficult under current law--and can use expedited legal procedures to stop the worst of these offenders.
I was initially wary of COICA, but there have been some important improvements that have addressed my concerns. The most controversial provision of this bill, sometimes called the "Internet Blacklist," originally directed the Justice Department to publish a list of offending websites and encouraged Internet service providers (ISPs) and other relevant parties to shut down the listed websites without a judicial process. This provision was clearly wrong, and I was glad to see it removed prior to the bill's consideration. I also worked with Chairman Leahy to narrow the definition of an infringing site to include only sites where copyright infringement is "the central purpose" of the site, not sites which may be engaged in copyright infringement incidentally but are also devoted to other purposes.
This bill has also been amended to protect net neutrality. In the initial version of the bill, ISPs were given legal immunity to voluntarily enforce the bill's provisions and block access to websites. This provision has been removed. As it currently stands, this bill won't allow a fast lane and a slow lane of Internet traffic. It will not affect net neutrality, which has always been about protecting users' access to legal content.
It is unlikely that this bill will come to the floor of the Senate before the end of the year. This means that it must pass through the legislative process again in the next Congress. I look forward to working with Chairman Leahy to further improve the bill next year.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please don't hesitate to contact me again on this or any other issue that may be important to you.
United States Senator
Also, I'm curious how the DoD is going to enforce US law on non-US soil.
When my cynicism starts to get the better of me, this is the thought that keeps me sane: whether by accident or design, the system we have keeps naked self-interest somewhat in check by correlating (at least moderately) the fortunes of the representative to the desires of the people.
Wonder what all of these senators have in common? It doesn't look like party, section of the country, or left-right leanings.
Usually when you get a wide dispersed group like this, the next thing to do is look for businesses and organizations (either inside the senator's state or not) that use money and votes to heavily lobby. Wonder who would lobby for this?
Just thinking aloud. I don't mean this to be a slam of the senators -- they're incompetent enough without my slamming them -- just trying to figure out if there is a commonality.
They don't really have anything else in common other than their committee membership.
Then I think a much better headline would be "Senate Judiciary Committee Unanimously Votes In Favor Of Internet Censorship Bill" since the unanimous nature of the vote is the real story here.
Very strange that there were no dissenters. Anybody have a line into what sort of testimony the committee heard? Either an extremely persuasive case was made or there is some other part of this story that we are missing.
"Campaign Contributions" and access to a resort in the Bahamas.
Of course, Democrats (of whom I note several prominent figures) have long been whores to big media.
(Note: They don't mention the second amendment in this article, I'm merely referring to the fact that I don't hear uproars like this when it is violated.)
(Note: They usually don't mean to detract from the topic being discussed, but that is without fail what happens when they derail the conversation.)
Although I'm still vehemently against the item in question, the real bill in question is the "Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act" (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20023238-38.html?tag=cnetR...) which involves with maintaining a blacklist for domains associated with piracy. Although this is still clearly censorship, it isn't what the title led me to believe (across the board censorship like China).
Still, Dianne Feinstein just lost my vote for the coming election :(.
By all rights, this should be stricken down as being in conflict with the 1st Amendment, but I don't know if the current crop of Supreme Court Justices would be amenable to that or not.
If they didn't list party affiliation on ballots, people would instead vote based on what? The names they like most? That's about how informed some voters are, unfortunately. It takes effort to get informed, and the entities that should inform them, often fail to do so.
That said, it is somewhat sad that the informed citizen is a more rare voter than they used to be. The ballot in my state was so long that I had to make a cheat sheet to avoid having to memorize all of the names. I suspect that for non-partisan offices, a lot of people did just vote for names they like. If elections weren't so costly, it might be objectively better to hold local, state, and federal elections on different days, so that people who show up to vote for a president or a governor don't just mark the rest of their ballot without knowing who they're voting for.
These are all senators, though, so it can be assumed that they were mostly elected by people who at least had heard of them.
Honestly, that's the best idea I've heard in a long time.
As someone else posted in another article, there are plenty of ways around this law that it will have very little impact.
Doing it at the DNS level would mean you could roll your own DNS or use a non-US DNS provider.
Doing it at the IP level would mean the ISP reverse-lookups IP addresses back into domain names and checking against a list of banned addresses. This one could only be bypassed through proxies.
Just have a directory on an IP-address-accessed server and you've circumscribed the law.
Nevertheless, this law is farking redonkulous. Aren't there already processes for removing illegal content from websites? Surely shutting down domains isn't the most effective way.
There must be some alternative, nefarious motive for this legislation, and I will tell all my friends who in my state voted for this joke of a bill.
I'm not sure of their current status, but AlterNIC and OpenNIC are/were two major non-official name registries.
Then there's .onion and other darknets to consider.
This battle is far from over; we're just seeing the first few open skirmishes at this point. If something this draconian came into law and brought down sites of any major popularity, I wouldn't be surprised to see either alternative DNS infrastructures or even a new torrent-like protocol to provide censor-proof DNS-like services crop up to totally disrupt such stupidity.