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. 
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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.
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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
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An alternative to Go Daddy.
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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.
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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.
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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
We were at the same point a long, long time ago.
And watch what the other hand is doing - to create confusion.
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That's the fundamental problem in America. Apply the above phrase to everything the FedGov does. Its views on liberty, the Constitution and America are in sync with despotism.
Bureaucrats fundamentally don't understand freedom. They don't choose it personally, so why should you?
It’s a worldwide socialist phenomenon.
Argentine Senate approves government control of newsprint for media friends and foes alike:
There are better hosting companies than godaddy. I’ve used Bluehost.com for years and have been quite happy.
It's absolutely what they must do. Google or Wiki going black would definitely shake the world.
GoDaddy is crooked. I used their Whois to search for a domain name availability, and the creeps bought the domain name themselves a few days later. The tried to charge me $5000 for my idea that they have parked on.
Register.com did the same thing to me.
They're something Himmler and his SD, the Sicherheitsdienst, (Secret Service, State Secret Police), or the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) would have came up with if the Net existed in the 30's and 40's. As it was they could only go after radios and transmitters - with fairly good success. If they had today's technology they would have had a 100% shutdown of 'foreign propaganda'. As that's what these two Bills add up to. Shutdown and CONTROL.
If I'm wrong, I'd like some genius in Congress to show me where I'm wrong comparing them to Himmler and his SD with these bills!
an aside: It's stuff like this why I never liked the idea of: "Homeland Security". It smacked of Himmler's: SS, SD, Gestapo, and other little state security groups.
(note: Ernst Röhm's SA is not to be included. They were kind of like 'SEIU Thugs with Badges' and terminated with extreme prejudice when no longer useful to 'The Leader')
Wouldn’t this just be another gold mine for a new set of lawyers involved?
Never thought I would see Reddit (my son’s favorite site) and FR on the same side of an issue!
Read the Declaration of Independence today. You are more right than you realize.
Now we're talkin'
Everybody needs to get after this big time.
Stop SOPA and PIPA NOW!
FREEDOM OF SPEECH HANGS IN THE BALANCE!!
Thank you for keeping this in the attention of FReepers -- WE CAN'T LET FREEREPUBLIC GET SHUT DOWN BY THE FEDS!!
Right on it and also posting this on Facebook.
Will do! This is some serious $hit they are up to.
No, no, no! Don't touch Pipa!!!!
Will do boss, emails on the way.
It was introduced, Oct. 26, by Lamar Smith (R-Corporate America) and co-sponsored by 31 smarter-than-thou establishmentarians including corporate-beholden Democrats Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (who chairs the Democrat National Committee) and John Conyers, and Pennsylvania hacks Tim Holden of the 17th District and Tom Marino of the 10th District.
Why we won't stop SOPA. The congress is in the pocket of the Hollywood smut industry, having already extended copyright law to perpituity. Money talks.
Hi, Jim... bump that.
I also posted a link in #64 of a potential Amendment that could help fix the major part of our problems. What people - and I include some FReepers in that group - miss is that there is a big difference between corporatism and capitalism.
We need to fix the problem, not fight the symptoms. The OWS - One World Socialists - is not the way to go unless you are intent on creating a NK existence. The Tea Party has the right idea if they can retain the momentum. God bless us all.
There are better hosting companies than godaddy. Ive used Bluehost.com for years and have been quite happy.
I use Bluehost.com too and have been happy with them. GoDaddy has always struck me as a sleazy company.
You are right about corporatism. Capitalists aren't automatically good as there are a lot of lying, lazy, greedy SOBs in the market.
OTOH, being against capitalism is always bad because that means you are against freedom, added to the fact that those against "capitalism" always seem to forget that there are a lot of lying, lazy, greedy SOBs in government who -- unlike those in the market -- can acquire the legal authority to steal your wealth, imprison you and even kill you.
In debating idiots with basically good hearts we should not forget to emphasize the freedom part rather than the get-rich part.
Who knew the XXX people were so engrossed with Mickey Mouse?
This is one of the few areas where you get more help from Democrats than from Republicans. Conservatives in Congress can reason a bit too simply and say what’s so hard or requires so much forethought about stopping the “stealing” of all IP — not realizing that the whole concept of IP is a creature of government, and without realizing the scope of speech which would be abridged.
Mickey Mouse along with Maggie and Jiggs were both popular porno figures in the 40’s. Everyone knew that smut was available, but it was kept in the back ally, along with French Postcards.