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The Daily WTF goes white to "support" SOPA (thedailywtf.com)
324 points by anthuswilliams on Jan 18, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 47 comments

Then write down the IPs, take a photo of the page on a wooden table, and share the photo on (flickr.com)!

Being a non-American, maybe I'm just a little out of the loop, but what is blocking domains supposed to solve, exactly? Pirates will just jump on an alternate name resolution services in minutes, as will the rest of the people in time, as word spreads.

It's like applying a bandaid to a severed head and then suing Band-Aid brand because their product didn't save the life.

It's worse than that. Under SOPA they can only go after .com, .org and .net sites. So ALL those foreign "rogue" websites that use other domains and aren't hosted in US will be able to work merrily and be unaffected by SOPA, at least according to the bill itself. Plus, if it does pass, all those rogue sites will be redirecting immediately to a new domain name, and make sure all of their users remember the new domain name by the time SOPA gets enforced against them.

That's how much of a joke this bill is, which implies that the bill creators are either this clueless, or SOPA is really just "Anti-piracy Bill v0.1" to make people accept it, with more "improvements" planned for later.

The only people it will actually affect, are actual American sites and companies that will have to enforce this bill, like the search engines, the ISP's, and the financial services. So the "bad actors" will be almost unaffected by it, while in the same time it will put many burdens on the American companies.

> Under SOPA they can only go after .com, .org and .net sites.

I'm afraid you've got that backwards. SOPA's DNS-blocking domain-seizure provisions apply to all domains except US-based ones like .com, .org and .net. (Those are considered to be under US jurisdiction and can already be seized under current law [0].) Hence the talking-point that it will only affect "rogue foreign sites".

[0] http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/130763-h...

Wow that even more crazy, because if they make an order blocking a .fr domain then that only applies in USA, so that domain will probably still resolve in France and other places. But the isps could never block all .fr domains. It would be a pain in the hole to implement.

Yep. It's very similar to gun laws. They only affect the good guys and never stopped the bad guys from getting guns illegally. Laws in the USA mostly affect good citizens. Actors, rich businessmen and lawyers, and crooks are free to do whatever they want.

What's worse is that SOPA's motivation is primarily for Hollywood to continue milking Americans for entertainment content. Just because these studios can't adapt to rapidly growing technology, they decided to slow it down.

Not sure guns are a good example.

Every country that has implemented anti-gun laws has seen a massive reduction in gun related crimes.

Countries that never had full legalisation of guns also experience a lot less gun related crimes than countries with full legalisation.

Off topic I know, but bad example. :)

> Under SOPA they can only go after .com, .org and .net sites.

Don't worry, legislation can be changed so this "problem" will be "solved" in due course.

They also expect search engines to deindex the sites, which makes them harder to find/use if you can't keep up with where they are any given day due to knocking it out. Still idiotic, but it does increase the effectiveness of the whole insanity.

I remember when one of the pro-SOPA speakers countered an argument against the feasibility of this legislation with "Google's got the technology."

> I remember when one of the pro-SOPA speakers countered an argument against the feasibility of this legislation with "Google's got the technology."

If I remember correctly, the argument was that since Google is effective at taking down child pornography, detecting something as simple copyright infringement should be a breeze.

When a Google spokesperson explained why that made absolutely no sense given that often not even the copyright holder can tell what's infringement and what's not, legislators scoffed, ignored what was said, summarized it as "we have the technology", and for lack of time pushed to move to other issues so that the bill could be passed ASAP.

This would create a great opportunity for non-US search engines.

Not really.

It would only lead to "government sanctioned search engines".

See: China + Baidu.

IIRC at one point SOPA also made changing your DNS servers illegal (the wording was something like "technical measures to evade DNS blocking").

When the Pirate Bay was blocked in the Netherlands, ISPs had to blacklist not only a list of domain names but also IP addresses.

That's not a requirement of the legislation pending in the US.

To quote luckystarr earlier in this thread: "Don't worry, legislation can be changed so this "problem" will be "solved" in due course."

Yep. Then bring on the legislation "banning" proxy servers, Tor, ...

what is blocking domains supposed to solve, exactly?

Makes it harder for the average person (who doesn't know the difference between a domain name and what you type into the google search bar) to get to pirate sites.

As a software developer and general technologist, I can safely say that the average person knows far more about piracy than I do.

I constantly hear my non-techincal peers, who otherwise claim to know nothing about computers, always talking about the latest program they've installed to get free media. It's all over my head, but they get along just fine.

The same would happen under SOPA. The non-technical folks will just install "DNS Extender Pro" to get their media fix, and full DNS access is restored. They won't know how or why it works, but that doesn't matter.

Exactly this, it's really all about how strong your motive is combined with as you say people will build tools that make things easier.

Let's assume that the only way to pirate content was to install a built from scratch version of Linux and use some command line tools to download what you want, you would have millions of visitors to kernel.org in a fairly short time (in fact I successfully compiled my own kernel years ago knowing almost nothing about Linux).

A good example of this was when I worked for an IT outsourcing company that hired allot of not very technical people to work on it's technical support desk. There were various fixes for common problems that in fact required quite complex solutions, however most of the staff were still able to carry these out because there was either a script available that simply did the action or there was a set of precise written guides on how to do said actions. So if customer calls with problem X then do steps A , B , C. Whether or not you understand these steps only becomes important when there is a problem or when you need to do something non-standard. Plus most non technical people will know at lest one semi technical person who they can enlist to help them.

From the point of view of finding a website there isn't really a lot of perceived difference between typing "amazon.com" into google or typing it into the address bar. There is however a large difference perceived between paying for something and not.

DNS filtering is only one of the ways that sites could be blocked under SOPA. It's just the one that gets trotted out to demonstrate that the bill's authors don't understand how the internet works.

Note, if you just go to their IP, you don't get the white-out.

... that's suddenly so much more brilliant. Thanks for sharing :D

Given how easy it would be to bypass the proposed DNS block in SOPA in this exact way, this is just too perfect.

I love great satire. This just made my day.

Really good. They just take the piss out of this whole thing.

Nicely done :)

LOL bringing back the Gopher... Brilliant protest.

tsk-tsk for using the host header value to calculate links in the left side bar to the forums..

e.g. http://forums.110.120/forums/thread/277238.aspx

Wildcat BBS - I ran 8, 1200 baud modems - 9 phone lines - Earth Station 1 BBS...

Simpler days indeed. Anyone else attend the 1BBSConn in Denver hosted by Boardwatch magazine? Those were the days, oh yeah baby!

And of course I did this on a 40mb ST251- RLL encoded seagate hard drive, on 2 Tandy 286's running 1 full mb of memory using QEMM to get that pesky extra 384k of memory to load instances of Wildcat.

Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. Thank you DWTF for a lovely memory lane flashback!

Still waiting for one site to go to plaid.

Wikipedia link doesn't work today... those crazy hackers who opposed SOPA have already taken it down. ;-)

To thats more of a reason to link to have more and more people go to Wikipedia today. Wouldn't change anything by linking here though as most of HN traffic is already aware of this.

I bet a bill to this effect would get more than a few sponsors in Congress, and probably an MPAA endorsement.

I started filling out my hosts file with my most common sites a while ago...just in case.


If it does happen where everything is based on an IP, the web, ecommerce, all of it, will die. You can't advertise a business as an IP address. In a couple days millions won't be able to find any websites anywhere.

Ad revenue will be GONE, nobody will be paying for ANYTHING online and every one of the sites you've written down will surely close their doors because there is no way for them to stay in business.

Small businesses everywhere will fail. Websites like Reddit, HN, Digg, etc, will not be able to survive.

Google will become useless. Since their search results can only return a handful of sites, you might as well go right to them, bypass Google.

Hosting companies will fail left and right as their sites are slowly shut down and their customers leave. There won't even be anywhere to keep websites online anymore, IP or not.

And so on.

Mine contains (thepiratebay.org) because a judge had it blocked here in Belgium. I could just as well use depiraatbaai.be but it's a matter of principle, I like my world wide web to be "complete".

I think the people of the USA should be happy there needs to be a law around it at least. Here it was blocked with no legislative backing, only because a judge deemed it illegal. It's interesting to see you at least have a semblance of democratic process.

Why? Just in case, like I said. I thought I would keep record of some of the most frequent sites I visit, plus, given that my host file is pretty small nonetheless, then I would assume that DNS lookups would be faster since there will no network round trip (but I might be wrong on that one and I'm sure people will point out that it's slower, for some reason).

It's good to keep a log of sites IP addresses, but hardcoding them in the hosts file is a pretty bad practise. What if a site decides to change its IP address?

Well then the IP address you have for them will be wrong regardless of whatever method you use to store them.

Personally I think it's only a matter of time until there's a "hacker" DNS servers for people to completely bypass all this shit.

and it's only a matter of time until the ISP are forced to block the server IP (like what happened here in Italy).

Actually, part of me wishes that SOPA or another similar bill gets approved. That may be the push I need to actually join and contribute to one of the movements that aim to make the internet less controllable, like freenet...


Paula Bean approves of this post.

Not sure if troll...

I am happy to see that most of the giants of the web protest to this censors

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