Skip to comments.Morning Bell: The Unintended Consequences of Internet Regulation [Stop SOPA]
Posted on 12/29/2011 2:20:45 AM PST by Jim Robinson
Would you be outraged if the Department of Justice shut down The Foundry  without any warning and blocked access for more than a year?
Thats exactly what happened to a hip-hop blog called Dajaz1.com , which was falsely accused of criminal copyright infringement . The blog posted music from artists promoting their work. But federal authorities viewed it differently. They seized the domain name, then shared virtually no information with its owner for more than year. Only recently did they quietly drop the case .
The governments handling of this hip-hop blog is fueling fears about legislation moving quickly through Congress  that addresses copyright infringement and online piracy.
The Stop Online Piracy Act , or SOPA as its known in the House, and the Senates PROTECT IP Act  would give the U.S. attorney general the power and authority to block criminal enterprises from trafficking in illegal products online.
Their cause is a noble one. Business incur significant losses when Americans buy counterfeit items. Consumers must also be increasingly vigilant about purchases they make online. Federal authorities shut down more than 150 websites  just last month for pirated goods.
But the two bills making their way through Congress are the wrong solution. They pose serious threats to freedom of speech and expression and raise security concerns . With the Senate possibly voting on the PROTECT IP Act in January and the House moving forward with hearings on SOPA, Americans should understand whats at stake .
As the case with Dajaz1.com illustrates, the federal government already has the ability to shut down U.S.-based websites. A growing number of so-called rogue sites are located outside the United States, however, limiting the governments ability to block them.
SOPA would give Attorney General Eric Holder and individual intellectual property holders the ability to sue these rogue sites if they were dedicated to theft of U.S. property. The government, through a court order, could take these four steps:
Require Internet service providers to prevent subscribers from reaching the website in question; Prohibit search engines such as Google from providing direct links to the foreign website in search results; Prohibit payment network providers, such as PayPal or credit card firms, from completing financial transactions affecting the site; and Bar Internet advertising firms from placing online ads from or to the affected website. The legislation addresses a legitimate problem, wrote Heritages regulatory policy expert James Gattuso , but it may have unintended negative consequences for the operation of the Internet and free speech.
Free speech: The legislation gives the government the authority to tamper with Internet search results by requiring firms like Google to block links to infringing websites. Placing this limit on information providers is troubling and arguably a violation of the First Amendment . Besides, Washingtons appetite for power is uncontrollable, and this would almost certainly lead to a slippery slope of unwanted interference in the future.
Internet security: Criminals would almost certainly discover new ways to circumvent the governments measures. But the most glaring security problem with SOPA is the damage it would cause to DNSSEC , the new Internet system designed to limit certain crimes. This would jeopardize security across the Internet, potentially creating new challenges.
The federal government needs to protect intellectual property rights, Gattuso concluded in his analysis . But it should do so in a way that does not disrupt the growth of technology, does not weaken Internet security, respects free speech rights, and solves the problem of rogue sites.
The debate over SOPA is already among the most intense and polarizing taking place in Washington and rightfully so. With concerns about free speech and Internet security taking center stage, lawmakers would be wise to look at alternatives  when they return in January.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/12/28/morning-bell-the-unintended-consequences-of-internet-regulation/
As upchuck says:
This should be attacked with the same vigor we show during a FReepathon.
Each FReeper should contact his/her two Senators and Representative about these issues.
The continued long term existence of Free Republic may hang in the balance.
It’s been tried before.
The Licensing of the Press Act 1662 is an Act of the Parliament of England (14 Car. II. c. 33), long title “An Act for preventing the frequent Abuses in printing seditious treasonable and unlicensed Bookes and Pamphlets and for regulating of Printing and Printing Presses.”
Motivated by a desire to eliminate chaos and piracy in the printing industry, protect parliamentary activities and proceedings from its opponents, suppress royalist propaganda and check the widening currency of various sects radical ideas, Parliament instituted a new state-controlled censoring apparatus in the Licensing Order of 16 June 1643.
The Licensing Order reintroduced almost all of the stringent censorship machinery of the 1637 Star Chamber Decree including:
registration of all printing materials with the names of author, printer and publisher in the Register at Stationers Hall
search, seizure and destruction of any books offensive to the government
arrest and imprisonment of any offensive writers, printers and publishers.
The Stationers Company was given the responsibility of acting as censor, in return for a monopoly of the printing trade. 
GoDaddy’s Suport For SOPA Draws Customers’ Ire
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More, not only was Go Daddy a supporter of SOPA, but they actually helped craft part of the bill and were even exempt from it. So, while other smaller sites could be targeted by the DOD for pirating, Go Daddy essentially has a get out of jail free card.
On Eve of Net Boycott, Dump GoDaddy Exodus Begins
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Dumping Go Daddy? Rivals offer domain transfer day deals
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Oops, intended to post this right after the article:
URLs in this post:
 The Foundry: http://blog.heritage.org/
 Dajaz1.com: http://dajaz1.com/
 falsely accused of criminal copyright infringement: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111208/08225217010/breaking-news-feds-falsely-censor-popular-blog-over-year-deny-all-due-process-hide-all-details.shtml
 fueling fears about legislation moving quickly through Congress: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111211/22524417035/congressional-investigations-into-dajaz1com-censorship-begin.shtml
 Stop Online Piracy Act: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.3261:
 PROTECT IP Act: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.968:
 shut down more than 150 websites: http://www.pcworld.com/article/245045/feds_celebrate_cyber_monday_with_crackdown_on_counterfeiters.html?tk=rel_news
 serious threats to freedom of speech and expression and raise security concerns: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/12/online-piracy-and-sopa-beware-of-unintended-consequences
 Americans should understand whats at stake: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57329001-281/how-sopa-would-affect-you-faq/
 arguably a violation of the First Amendment: http://c4sif.org/2011/12/tribe-sopa-is-unconstitutional/
 most glaring security problem with SOPA is the damage it would cause to DNSSEC: http://volokh.com/2011/12/14/sopa-rope-a-dope/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+volokh%2Fmainfeed+%28The+Volokh+Conspiracy%29
 look at alternatives: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/198135-issa-wyden-unveil-competing-online-piracy-bill
 relying on secret facilities and an expanded drone program: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/national-security/under-obama-an-emerging-global-apparatus-for-drone-killing/2011/12/13/gIQANPdILP_story.html?hpid=z1
 raise the U.S. borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/201407-obama-will-ask-congress-to-raise-debt-ceiling-by-12b
 Irans navy chief threatened on Wednesday to block it off: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g24n7LzTwAtsbznj1JgvSYlgiWyw?docId=478bf3f7a1c44af8b512e533bba8134e
 Home prices in Americas largest cities fell in October: http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-housing-prices-20111228,0,541656.story
 A new poll gives an answer that might surprise President Obama.: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/12/27/how-would-americans-help-economy-less-government/
SOPA is losing steam, Internet censorship may not become law
Epic Fail: Lawmakers Support SOPA While Staffers Download Illegal Files
An alternative to Go Daddy.
Cloud Computing Company Centuric Offers Reduced $3.99 Transfer Fees on Domain Registration
Why We Must Stop SOPA
Several valuable links.
Thank you very much! Please pay heed to Jim’s post #2.
Ping and pass it along, please.
Domain.com Consistent on its Opposition to Proposed SOPA Legislation
Dump GoDaddy Day Begins
GoDaddy faces boycott over SOPA Act support
Thank you very much, abb! You’re all over this important issue. Superb research and links! GOOD on you!!!
The 1520 version of SOPA.
Exsurge Domine is a papal bull issued on 15 June 1520 by Pope Leo X in response to the teachings of Martin Luther in his 95 theses and subsequent writings which opposed the views of the papacy. The Latin title Exsurge Domine is translated into English as Arise, O Lord.
SOPA opponents may go nuclear and other 2012 predictions
Whats Coming In 2012: The Content Industry Strikes Back
SOPA Debate Highlights Congresss Ignorance
I thought it was strange that GoDaddy called a few days ago.The woman said I had just renewed the website and asked me about the Domain name and if I wanted to move it to them.I said no.
I was not there.........i am not a Professor of History...but it seems to me that we are at the same point as the American Colonists were when the King was infringing on the liberties of the Colonists. HMMMMMMMMMMM
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