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SOPA-Supporting News Outlets Aren't Covering SOPA (readwriteweb.com)
190 points by antoviaque on Jan 6, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 64 comments

This is why we're left with a 'Vocal Minority' as Lamar Smith stated when pressed about the opposition. What he should have called us was the 'conscious' and 'educated'. With a near media blank out, he thought this was going to be a walk in the park.

More people would be outraged if they only knew about the bill, or once they were told about it believed in the power that it wields.

I tried to educate my family over the X-mas holiday about the recent poison legislation being put through our government, but it was met with blank stares, followed by, "our government would never do that". In a way I don't blame them, because this all sounds so crack pot. A simple personal can't fathom why the media would be in cahoots with government and not cover something that could change the foundation of the rights this nation was founded on.

The 'Vocal Minority' must begin to educate, the media will never do it for us. Sadly you can't just throw a book at someone, or a wall of text to do it either. Many on Reddit have had the right idea by creating memes and such, but the real power needs to come from the Google and those who oppose it. Put it front and center in the masses faces. They need to show them what a post-SOPA world looks like, and they need to do it before they get back into session to vote again.

Start asking on all their twitter and facebook feeds why they aren't covering SOPA

Cover both the channel and all their anchors. Be polite.

MSNBC constantly proclaims how progressive they are but they sure don't act like it.

I was talking to my father over the holidays about SOPA. He's an avid FOX news and CNN viewer. He had no idea what I was talking about. After our conversation he took it upon himself to search Google on the subject to educate himself on it. I'm from Canada so all I can do is keep an eye on this at the moment, but it goes to show you that everyone in the US need to spread the word.

What is your father's opinion on it after educating himself? I'd be interested to know the average person's viewpoint before and after learning about SOPA.

His first impression was that it was a good thing since it protected right holders. I had to explain to him why SOPA was bad for the internet before he got it. Now that he gets it he's looking out for similar laws in Canada!

your dad would be the first canadian I've heard of that is an avid FOX news fan. how can you even catch fox news up here? (I dont have cable, but when I did I dont think we had the news…)

Hypothetically, if you're close enough to the border, you can pay for e.g. a DISH Network subscription at a US address and bring the equipment across. I'm neither Canadian nor a border patrol officer, so I can't say how common or effective this strategy would be.

Go here: http://www.bell.ca/Bell_TV/Channels/Theme_Packs.tab

Select Ontario as your province and look under the "News & Learning 2" package. Fox News is there. He's a big Bill O'Reilly fan!

This is precisely why a blackout day of major web sites is necessary. If Google, Yahoo, Bing and Facebook are all down for the day, not only would the users be made more aware of the issue, but the media would be forced to cover the blackout and subsequently SOPA, lest they appear completely out of touch with the world.

I've read the bill at least twice now and I still don't see the doomsday scenario described many times here on HN.

I get the slippery-slope argument, that SOPA is just one step closer to true censorship and control over the internet, but I don't think that is enough to get so upset about (its a very small step, with obvious workarounds)

Somebody please point out to me:

1) Where it says that Youtube, Facebook, Google are affected by this bill. -- It looks to me like it only affects sites on foreign domains or foreign servers. They explicitly say that these popular sites are not affected.

2) Where it says that ISP's, hosting companies, domain registrars or even sites focused on user-generated content are required to actively monitor their data and their customers' data for infringing content and are held liable if they fail to monitor. -- It appears to me that the bill specifically says they DON'T have to do this; that they only have to make reasonable attempts at prevention and then are required to take data down when given a take-down request.

3) How tor would be made illegal under this bill. -- It looks like only tools designed or marketed for the primary purpose of circumventing this bill are made illegal. That means DeSOPA and MAFIAAfire, but tor seems to be out of reach.

Back on topic of the article, perhaps there isn't a conspiracy here, perhaps media outlets genuinely don't see what the big deal is.

I agree that the bill is mostly useless and mostly supported by an aging industry, and I don't support it. But I don't see the big deal either. So, somebody please enlighten me because the sensational fog is obstructing my view.

SOPA doesn't require sites to monitor their users. The complaints I've heard:

1. It requires sites to be removed from DNS if a copyright complaint is made against them. Specifically, the removal avoids due process. The copyright holder doesn't need a court order to have the offending site taken down.

2. Sites are held responsible for content their users upload. So e.g. Mediafire would be taken down because of content the users uploaded.

Regarding your #1: My interpretation (which may very well be wrong of course, IANAL), is that the copyright holder DOES need either a court order or Attorney General intervention to remove a site from DNS.

Regarding your #2: Again, my interpretation is that this only applies to foreign sites (either foreign domains or foreign servers)

I wouldn't use "there isn't enough due process" to describe why SOPA is a terrible bill, or any similar legal argument. Besides, many of those problems have been fixed in the Manager's amendment.

DNS blacklisting as a concept is simply unacceptable. The way it is applied in SOPA requires that a certain classification of DNS caching servers must pretend like a website does not exist, which reduces trust in domestic caching servers and stifles DNSSEC.

If people move to foreign DNS (or local caching servers), which is incredibly easy, the entire thing is circumvented. But a tricky side-effect takes place: the system is now balkanized. Servers in the U.S. believe the naming system to resolve to one IP, and servers everywhere else resolve to something completely different.

This balkanizing effect can break the effectiveness of CDNs, can congest Internet traffic, and overall reduces the credibility of the naming system. Passing SOPA would mean other countries would follow in the same footsteps. Once every country believes the delegation chain can resolve to whatever they want to, what is the point in an international naming system?

These are only some of the problems with DNS blacklisting -- nevermind the security problems -- which are not worth it especially considering it is so easily circumvented.

Additional problems with the bill, such as the vague wording which may consider Tor a tool for "circumventing" DNS blacklists and, therefore, illegal, demonstrate a huge lack of forward thinking and an unsustainable approach to copyright enforcement.

The doomsday scenario is that government sticks its foot in Internet policy and communication and pretends it actually has the reasonable capability to prevent piracy. It will never have that capability without large-scale violations of privacy.

There are also a good amount of talks regarding the precedent SOPA may have for general purpose computing and a whole host of other sensitive topics. I don't think it's responsible to just point at provisions in the bill and say "well it seems to add enough oversight".

Besides, the bill encourages preemptive takedowns by providing immunity. The tech industry behaviors that will result would be devastating.

I think you have great points but I don't believe they sufficiently support the doomsday freak-out I'm witnessing.

DNS blacklisting is already happening in the US and all over the world (ICE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Immigration_and_Customs_En... and DNSBL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNSBL). I admit we are already on a slippery slope here with blacklisting, but I think most of your DNS comments could be attributed to failures in the design of DNS (and CDNs) themselves. If you want trust, security, and prevention from censorship (as I do too), DNS is not your answer. I hope namecoin better address these issues (https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Namecoin).

If you are scared of censorship, don't rely on infrastructure that is owned by parties you don't trust.

SOPA supporters must know this will not stop piracy (the bill is contradictorily named, I know), but surely, it would minimize the piracy and counterfeiting that effects the non-tech-savvy American masses. And I truly believe that is their intent.

Personally, I don't think we should be legislating the Internet at all, but we've already started, and although future legislation on this slippery slope could be devastating, this bill seems to be fairly neutered. Good issues are being brought up with the discussion of SOPA, but SOPA itself is not the end of the internet.

Couldn't be more wrong, sorry.

The ICE seizures are perfectly fine because they target the delegation chain directly -- they are actually seizing the domain from a registrar or TLD authority with control over it within the chain. They are not a DNS blacklist and it does not interfere with caching servers.

SOPA attempts to target names which are not within U.S. jurisdiction by asking caching servers maintained by ISPs to refuse resolution of names where the delegation chain does not cede authority to entities within U.S. jurisdiction. This is an unprecedented technique for censoring content online.

DNSBL is absolutely not what you think it is, I'd recommend reading that wikipedia article more carefully. It is a voluntary blacklist which is implemented by IRC servers and mail software, but does not force cache servers to resolve names differently or anything close to what you're suggesting. It's just a list of names "you shouldn't trust" but not a censorship/redirection system.

There are no design flaws in the way CDNs work either, I don't know where you're getting that. SOPA harms CDNs by removing the efficiency achieved through geotargetted name resolution (something provided by caching servers).

The ICE seizures are perfectly fine...

I wouldn't say perfectly fine... They're less objectionable than SOPA because they have some semblance of a claim to legality under current law, but I hardly think they're a model of how the Internet should be policed (or that the Internet as a whole even needs policing). Many, many subdomains were seized by ICE that were completely innocent, and there was still a lack of due process (see the rojadirecta.com case, where a site that is legal in its home country had its domain taken, then returned without explanation a year later).

I didn't realize the process used by ICE was different than what SOPA suggests, but that makes sense now that you've explained it.

I don't understand how DNSBL is different though for the end user. I realize DNSBL is voluntary and SOPA would mandate/force, but I don't see how the effects are different. For a DNS server that uses a DNSBL, does it regard a blacklisted domain name through DNSBL differently than one that blacklisted through SOPA?

Regarding CDNs, for a user initiating request for a non-blacklisted site, why would the CDN be now less efficient in its response?

I have no idea if there is a design flaw in DNS or CDNs. My point is that if DNS and CDNs become drastically inefficient by having to ignore certain names, then it sounds like it could have been designed better to handle such cases.

> I realize DNSBL is voluntary and SOPA would mandate/force, but I don't see how the effects are different. For a DNS server

Bam, stop right there. DNS servers do not use DNSBL. There's your answer.

DNSBL is used in circumstances like this: You're connecting to an IRC server. It does some tests to make sure you're not spoofing your host, like using reverse DNS (PTR records). IRC servers will also try to prevent spammers and flooders by denying access to hosts that are in a DNSBL -- likely open proxies.

Here's some IRC software which does specifically that: http://www.blitzed.org/proxy/

I am running some mail servers which are having trouble delivering mail to gmail right now. gmail is returning back this error:

    The IP you're using to send mail is not authorized to
    send email directly to our servers. Please use the SMTP relay your
    service provider instead.
Turns out, it's because the IPs I've been allocated are in Spamhaus, which is an implementation of DNSBL that specifically targets spammers.

Again, this is an action by the server software itself. It is not a mandate, and is not actually a restriction on DNS. It is nothing like blacklisting cache servers. The name has confused you.

> Regarding CDNs, for a user initiating request for a non-blacklisted site, why would the CDN be now less efficient in its response?

If you're trying to access Google, their nameservers may give your ISP's caching servers a different resolution if you're in California rather than in the UK, usually to resolve to closer servers. This is only effective because nameservers can target cache servers which are specific to geographic areas, and is a great side-effect of the current structure of the naming system and of the Internet.

By forcing people away from domestic nameservers, this targeted effect fails. A foreign cache server will return inefficient resolutions to queries compared to a domestic one operated by an ISP.

Aside from being terrible for the end user, it also begins to put stress and congest different areas of the global Internet unexpectedly. Though arrangements can be made to compensate, it's pretty annoying and will never be as efficient as before.

> My point is that if DNS and CDNs become drastically inefficient by having to ignore certain names, then it sounds like it could have been designed better to handle such cases.

The only real "design flaw" in DNS is the inflated trust in cache servers. DNSSEC tries to resolve this by attaching a chain of authentication alongside the delegation chain which can be verified. SOPA breaks DNSSEC entirely because it cannot return these authenticated messages (it is resolving incorrectly or lying about the delegation chain).

DNS was not designed to be censored in the way proposed by SOPA; it is not a design flaw in SOPA, it's a flaw in the legislation.

This is a fantastic response and I'm glad you took the time to write it. I'm sorry I misinterpreted DNSBL, I guess I read "either as a zone file that can be used by DNS server software" and assumed they meant the main DNS servers really do use them.

Final question for you: Do you believe that if SOPA passes, it would really have drastic effects to the internet functionally? So, besides censorship and liability, do you think there would be a noticeable difference for tech-savvy internet users and website operators in regards to things you mentioned above (or perhaps haven't mentioned yet)?

> Do you believe that if SOPA passes, it would really have drastic effects to the internet functionally?

Yes. Things would have to shift around the compensate, but the real problem begins when SOPA justifies similar legislation in other countries, especially ones being bound by trade agreements which call for this type of stuff.

In the U.S. they claim "oh, but we're just going to target people who violate the law. You know, copyright infringement." Even if that were true, other countries have a long history of applying their laws, which usually suck and go much further to stifle speech.

SOPA legitimizes this method of blacklisting, thus leading to a balkanization of the naming system. People begin to move away from the cache servers, causing slowdowns in resolution and CDNs. Once this proves ineffective, the U.S. will want to censor any DNS server that resolves an IP to something they don't want. Then we have deep packet inspection.

It really will not end unless we force it to end. SOPA takes a drastic step that even the DMCA didn't do. DMCA targeted activities under U.S. jurisdiction. The next chapter in the global censorship game is the attack on websites outside jurisdiction, which is not feasible without immense privacy encroachments.

I don't want to see us going down that path. We need to go the complete opposite direction when it comes to copyright. SOPA also places way too much of a legal and logistical burden on companies within the U.S., which is going to lead a lot of people toward countries with progressive outlooks on copyright, like in some places in Europe.

"Regarding your #2: Again, my interpretation is that this only applies to foreign sites (either foreign domains or foreign servers)"

And foreign sites aren't important?

I didn't mean to imply they weren't.

But I guarantee that the issue wouldn't be making such a splash on tech-savvy sites if everyone knew that only foreign sites (whose primary purpose is infringement) were affected and that the only effects to those sites are that they are removed from US DNS systems and US advertising funding.

> if everyone knew that only foreign sites (whose primary purpose is infringement)

I'm sorry, but this reeks of complete ignorance. I don't think you're qualified to argue for SOPA.

Well, then please point out the flaw(s) in my logic, we're all adults here right?

Useful foreign sites? BBC accepts user comments in some areas, someone posts copyrigh material to one of them and a court order is issued before a BBC mod takes it down? If a DNS block is made then, how long will it last, and how many people would it reach anyway?

Luckily, the BBC would not fall under this definition:

   the site is primarily designed or 
   operated for the purpose of, has only lim-
   ited purpose or use other than, or is mar-
   keted by its operator or another acting in 
   concert with that operator primarily for 
   use in, offering goods or services in viola-
   tion of— [...some existing laws...]

But the problem with SOPA is that the determination of whether a site is "primarily designed" for copyright infringement is subjective, and a determination made entirely by the party alleging copyright infringement. In theory people using DMCA takedown notices now are only supposed to use them for cases that are really copyright infringement, aka aren't subject to Fair Use or such - or has a legal right to use that song. In practice, copyright holders use automated systems that make no attempt to gauge whether or not some YouTube video or whathaveyou is actually infringing, but just issue a take down request for anything their automated systems find matches a pattern in their database closely enough, with sometimes hilarious results.

I expect that at least one major copyright holder will use a similar system with SOPA, since there seems to be even less theoretical penalty for doing so than with the DMCA. So yes, I expect that the BBC might very well be blacklisted just because one used posts a link to infringing material. And then it will stay blacklisted until maybe the slow wheels of human review come to the consensus that it was indeed an error, and fix it.

Imagine if Dropbox were a non-US company. That section you just argued could be easily misused to block that site. After all, you can share your files on as many computers as you want. Clearly it will all be music and movies. People that want Dropbox taken down only need one or ten examples. In a popular enough website, it would be easy to find some example people that have broken the ToS and uploaded copyrighted conent onto it and shared it with their friends. They could even plant those people!

Oh, but they broke the ToS, that means they're not following what the web site's purpose is? Well, now maligned websites just need to have a ToS that says "don't do bad stuff", and they're fine!

See where I'm going with this?

I realize that laws can be twisted by clever lawyers but I still think its quite a stretch to claim that a Dropbox-like site could be said to have its primary purpose be infringing copyrights.

For one thing, those files aren't publicly available by default. If they are publicly available, then the Dropbox team is probably already monitoring those files. If they are not monitoring those files then (this part is controversial...) maybe they should be investigated for copyright infringement, as long as they maintain due process.

> If they are publicly available, then the Dropbox team is probably already monitoring those files.

I doubt that they are. Copyright is a matter of permission. How would any third party know who has permission to do what?

But, should the entire website be taken out of a dns just because one/ten people using the website are using it in an illegal way? That's what SOPA will do, and that's why it's bad.

Due process is good :)

It sounds like it is trying to make laws fuzzy, because you can't make it outright unbalanced to the copyright owners, but the same owners are lobbying for more law in their favour. Laws have been declined or overturned for being fuzzy, I hope this is the true legal kind of fuzzy.

You're justifying it as not having too much of a "splash" because it targets foreign websites which you claim are primarily for copyright infringement. That's just not true at all. Most foreign websites are perfectly legitimate.

Ah I see how you misinterpreted me there: I meant a certain subset of foreign sites that were not legitimate.

I can't speak to your points 2 or 3, but section 103 (which governs ad and payment processors) applies to domestic sites as well. If I've understood correctly, Youtube couldn't be blocked, but could be forbidden to host advertisements - which would kill it just as surely.

Well, it is definitely ambiguous, but it looks like section 103 does apply to domestic sites.

However, they do focus on a particular class of sites:

   U.S.-directed site is primarily designed or operated for 
   the purpose of, has only limited purpose or use other 
   than, or is marketed by its operator or another acting 
   in concert with that operator for use in, offering goods 
   or services in a manner that engages in, enables, or 
   facilitates, a violation of [...some existing laws...]
While, I admit that is also a bit ambiguous, it would be rather easy for a lawyer to claim YouTube has a purpose beyond offering infringing or counterfeit content.

EDIT: The Manager's Amendment further clarifies this section as follows:

   the site is primarily designed or 
   operated for the purpose of, has only lim-
   ited purpose or use other than, or is mar-
   keted by its operator or another acting in 
   concert with that operator primarily for 
   use in, offering goods or services in viola-
   tion of— [...some existing laws...]

But it would be even easier for an opposing lawyer to claim that YouTube "is marketed by its operator … in a manner that engages in, enables, or facilitates, a violation of [...some existing laws...]." Any site that allows users to submit content is predictably enabling a violation of copyright law. This is how the copyright cartel already views things — it seems unlikely that they would become more conservative if SOPA passes.

After re-reading the Manager's Amendment, I think that quote is no longer applicative. It looks like allowing user generated/submitted content is no longer enough under SOPA.

However, it's a good thing that language was removed! So perhaps, this is an example of the benefit of the outrage over this bill. But at what point do we look back and decide that the changes are sufficient and stop the mob?

Decide the changes are sufficient? That seems to assume there's some basic core of SOPA that we agree is good. I'm not sure a lot of people really believe SOPA has a good core. There might be good intentions behind it from some parties, but it seems like if you get rid of all the harmful parts, you still aren't left with anything good. You need to establish that the bill is necessary and beneficial, not just that it isn't completely radioactively harmful.

Also, even if SOPA is defeated or rendered toothless, the AAs will just keep trying to ram their insane demands through Congress. Our representatives need to really understand that the cartel lobbyists don't represent the will of the people, and we won't accomplish that by shrugging and saying, "Eh, good enough."

I think most people believe that their intentions of stopping the real rogue sites (like those russian sites that sell mp3s for 10 cents each and stopping sites that peddle counterfeit, and sometimes dangerous goods) are good.

Personally, I'm not sure what to believe; I think some probably have good intentions but I don't trust the MPAA/RIAA at all and there's enough money moving around to be very skeptical of the rest. I think the parts of the bill that target the "counterfeit goods" sites are probably necessary, but as `dissident` points out, its possible that the consequences to DNS and CDNs outweigh the benefits (but Im not convinced yet :)

Regarding your second point, that is what I was getting at earlier in this thread: that as long as we rely on DNS, there will always be an opportunity for censorship. The tech-savvy need to start looking into `namecoin` and other DNS alternatives if we want to guarantee freedom.

...is marketed by...another acting in concert with that operator...

Without a contrary definition of "in concert," I could see that as covering any site with an affiliate program. For example, Amazon provides automated revenue sharing for inbound affiliate links. Let's say some third-party affiliate site markets Amazon as an ideal venue for "engag[ing] in, enabl[ing], or facilitat[ing], violation of [...some existing laws...]". Under the wording of what you just posted, Amazon would now be subject to DNS blacklisting and termination of payment processing.

"They'd never shut down Amazon," you say? Well, so what? They would shut down some smaller Amazon-like site. History has shown that the RIAA and MPAA (and/or their members) will do whatever they can get away with, and sometimes more (see Megaupload+Universal). AIUI, SOPA gives legal force to mere accusations coming from a major copyright holder.

It seems as if our representative government only represents money. Yet again, the profit motive prevails.

Ben Bagdikian called. He wants his truth back. http://www.amazon.com/New-Media-Monopoly-Completely-Chapters...

Clicking on the "developing apps" link gets to a reference to a "NoSOPA" chrome app. I installed it and went to Lamar Smith's website. Nothing. Went to Kirsten Gillibrand's. Nothing. NoSOPA noWorka. But it did have access to all my web content. Uninstalled.

The same goes for Ron Paul. Google for "Ron Paul ignored by media". US does the exact same thing the China, N.Korea does to brainwash their civilians, and yet, they accuse the others for doing so.

Ron Paul's been on the front page of the Washington Post web site nearly every day. And they're kinda mainstream.

I wonder if they will continue to remain silent if this happens: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3429145

They aren't covering NDAA either. Or the Mexican civil war.

It's not necessarily because of a conflict of interest, I think it's more down to failure of competence.

There is a clear agenda, the only failure is journalistic integrity.

They have to keep the masses ignorant of SOPA, Patriot Act, and NDAA, wouldn't want people to be upset with the destruction of the Constitution.

They are expecting the worst and so are now preparing for the worst. I am scared of things to come.

You imagine that the media takes its purported role of keeping the public informed on the most important news of the day seriously. That hasn't been true even moderately for the last decade at the least.

It's infotainment. There is no fundamental difference between CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, and techcrunch, or TMZ. The biggest differences are primarily stylistic.

Freedom of the press... to do whatever the fuck they want.

I propose they lose that freedom and instead we burden them with the "Responsibility of the press".

That should grant them the same privileges and protection, but also makes them accountable when they pull crap like this.

I propose you should be downvoted for promoting the same type of authoritarianism that you claim to hate. Instead of trying to enforce some highly subjective rule, why not just start your own new disruptive news services?

I propose you think before you type and stop looking for things that aren't there. You're the tyrant here.

How about instead of snide remarks and name calling, you actually give a decent rebuttal to my argument?

How on earth would a "responsibility of the press" law make things any better? By reporting on things tomelders likes to hear about? It sounds like an authoritarian lockdown and your cavalier suggestion of it implies you haven't done much research on why freedom of the press actually works.

I refer back to my original rebuttal that was down voted. I never mentioned anything about creating a new "Law". You made that up and inserted it to suit your own agenda.

As far as I'm aware, there is no definition of a "Freedom of the press" law here in the UK, or in the US. It's often assumed that Freedom of Speech (or the first amendment) ensures Freedom of the press, with a few other laws and rights tacked on specific to publications and journalisms. Which implies you yourself haven't done much research. I'd go as far to say that you've not a single buttery fuck of a clue what you're talking about if I'm honest.

But let's take a look at what Freedom of the press actually means, and hopefully you'll learn something. It originated with John Milton in 17th Century britain who argued that the individual is capable of using reason and also distinguishing between right and wrong, good and bad. In order to be able to exercise this ration right, the individual must have unlimited access to the ideas of his fellow men in “a free and open encounter."

That, you ignoramus, is Freedom of the press in a nutshell. Note that it implies a burden of responsibility when it mentions "Free and open" encounter. Such things don't simply magic themselves into existence. This is not a fairy tale world we live in. People actually have to work hard at breathing life into such things.

But no one can say that this "free and open" exchange of ideas and information is taking place in this day and age. This entire comment thread is dedicated to the very fact that news organisations are wilfully and nefariously stifling the "free and open exchange" of information to suit their own individual needs and goals. They are wilfully abandoning their own responsibility to report the news and will undoubtedly use a "freedom of the press" argument to defend their indefensible actions. All while slack jawed brain donors such as yourself argue to your blue in the face in defence this "Freedom". A freedom unlike any other. A freedom which yields hitherto unheard of powers of influence, but requires not one jot of responsibility or decency in order to maintain. We should expect those which shield themselves with such a freedom to be held to higher standard, and for a time they were. But today? I fear they are not.

It's also worth noting that it took some 200 years from John Miltons campaign against government censorship until "The Truth" became an admissible defence against accusations of libel (hence the phrase, "The bigger the truth, the bigger the libel"). To think that we have somehow managed to strike the perfect balance between an individuals right to privacy, the publics right to know and the press's right to report as they see fit stinks of both arrogance and laziness on your part. There's work still to be done and I propose you pick up the mantle by responding to every news organisations wail of "Freedom of the Press!! Freedom of the press" with the counter question, "What about the Responsibility of the press!?".

But if you want the ultimate example of why Freedom of the press is bullhunky and Responsibility of the press os sorely lacking, consider this. Michael Jackson died on June 25th 2009. Tell me, what was happening the day before Wacko Jackco popped his rhinestone encrusted moon walking clogs?


That news story all but disappeared the second the King of Pop breathed his last. Lot's of people died. Iran seized the opportunity and while no one was looking, it violently crushed the opposition and no body cared.

Freedom of the press? I wouldn't wipe my arse with it. Hows that for a fucking rebuttal.

Got to this late, but you raise some points I'd like to address. And thanks for the history lesson. But, you can't keep calling your opponents names and expect to retain legitimacy. As to your accusation that I'm creating a "law" strawman of "responsibility of the press", please refute it. Once you start defining constructs that others must abide by, you're well on your way to creating laws.

The key you're forgetting about freedom of the press is that it cuts both ways.

The contract the press has with the public is "Sure, you're allowed to print whatever you wish, but don't expect us to BELIEVE you once you've exhausted all your credibility (and we don't believe you by default)". Likewise, if you continuously deliver relevant information and editorial you will be rewarded with higher readership/viewership and trust. No, this isn't perfect, but it beats the bejeesus out of a state controlled news service (which, btw, we DO have , it's called CSPAN and NPR but the masses here in the U.S. can't be bothered). What I'm saying is essentially to let the free market do it's job. It won't always be perfect, but at least if you hate it you can try to change it without cutting through loads of bureaucratic tape.

Now on to this law. What? Yes you want a law. You want to force the "press" to abide by a subjective regulation of reporting on the "truth". Leaving aside the obvious axioms of math and physics, "truth" is different to many people. My truths may not be your truths, so I'd like "truth" presented in a way that reflects my bias. And that is all the press is doing.

>> "Responsibility of the press"

That would be good but hard to put in place. In Brazil, whenever there's talk about regulation they always make claims about censorship. These companies tend to confuse Freedom of press with Freedom of enterprise.

You're dead on. Freedom of the press is dead already.

They're probably banking on the fact that the like of Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook et al won't take the nuclear option and therefore SOPA gets forgotten without the attention deficit eyeballs keeping it relevant.

"There's no conspiracy" he said sarcastically. Screw the "International Banker" Media. Think for yourself!!!!!!!!

No surprises here

I want to call my representatives but I feel they will give me a hard time and use that politician improve skill to make it seem like I don't know what I am talking about. Give me good ideas on what to say when I don't support SOPA and PIPA that they can't fight back. Ideas why I don't like it while playing devil's advocate

  +policing my web site to a point I can't manage it.
  -well your website can't be controlled and needs to be shut down

  +Small time businesses use user created content to advertise cheaply and won't
  be able to when these sites shut down or big business shuts you down with the excuse
  of violating their IP
  -Sites and small businesses will only be taken down when they are obviously
  designed to infringe on others IP

  +The security of the internet will crumble with DNS blocking from other countries
I want wording to the point where they say, "Well, damn! I guess you're right."

I agree with you, it's hard to explain. Here's a sketch of how to frame the discussion, just for fun:


The Internet is the Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs, and this bill wants to let Hollywood perform surgery on it. Every tech expert and internet company agree that this would be a drastic, disruptive shift. I say, the Internet's been working pretty good for [country] so far. Don't break it by putting more paperwork and gatekeepers in there.


Imagine you're an entrepreneur. Your small business is disruptive and different and successful.

But your big, slow, powerful competitors get worried, and suddenly, your shop's lights and water are turned off. Crazier still, your shop is physically relocated back away from the street, with no signs and no way for people to find you. Your bank has closed your account and frozen your funds.

This is all because of a letter, not a court order. Your providers and suppliers and utilities, they got a letter that claims that you're infringing on other company's trade secrets. And the law says that they're guaranteed legal immunity, only if they stop doing business with you.

Most people would say that could never happen in this country. It'd be crazy!

But every reputable Internet expert, and every Internet company agree that this is what SOPA will do to the Internet.

SOPA provides incentives to service providers to shut down businesses based on unsubstantiated claims. And it could bring free-market innovation on the Internet -- the one thing America still does well, the one thing pulling the economy forward -- to a screeching halt.


Making new internet businesses vulnerable to immediate and brutal closure (usually, for their user's actions, not their own!) unless they work out deals with Big Content in advance would be a terrible drag on innovation.


Because SOPA and PIPA are actually industry-wide power-grabs, a power-play by the Content Industry Dinosaurs to give themselves the keys to the tech kingdom under the guise of 'fighting piracy'. This is backed up by how google, Amazon, Facebook, Tumblr, Youtube and Twitter are all banding together with the Net Coalition. But the new, growing sectors of the economy aren't as good at gaming politics as the old, stagnant sectors.

The old sectors see disruption in their future, and this bill would give them the upper hand in negotiations for how people consume content. In the process, they would make themselves kingmakers and protection-money-collectors of startups and services that let users interact and connect in ways that could be claimed to be 'infringement'. Like sharing a link, or posting a youtube video.


It's got scary, bipartisan support, because Big Traditional Business is for it on the Right, and Big Hollywood Labor is for it on the Left.


Just a sketch. ;) This is just for fun -- but if you want to explain it to someone, I think the shopkeeper-gets-shut-down analogy is a powerful one. Ever since Rick's Cafe getting shut down in Casablanca, or Jimmy Stewart's S&L, it's resonated.

In case you didn't already know, all news stations are agenda driven propaganda machines, that means they get paid to cause people to have certain opinions, desires, fears and knowledge. It is a brainwashing engine that takes every measure to make sure it doesn't look like that. The same can be found in China, Russia, Iran, Japan. stations that install complete fabrications of reality in the viewers minds for profit.

Getting fox news to report sopa is a lost cause. Even if we were to riot and set half the country on fire against sopa... All news stations would have their own narratives and spin the hell out of it to make it seem like the terrorists are winning because there isn't enough censorship.

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