Is the Government Trying to Kill the Internet?
New legislation proposed today raises all kinds of demons and specters that have nothing to do with Halloween. The STOP Online Piracy Act, introduced Wednesday by leaders of the House Judiciary Committee and a companion to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s proposed Protect IP Act, instantly ignited heated arguments both for and against. The entertainment industry is broadly on one side, supporting the law’s provisions. Generally on the anti side is an array of groups that advocate on behalf of individual liberties, the technology industry and other interests. Not only is there no middle ground, there’s a vast turbulent ocean keeping the sides apart.
SOPA (HR 3261) is an attempt to tackle websites and addresses that violate U.S. copyright laws but have no physical presence in the country by making them invisible and strangling their income. It requires Internet service providers to block access to them; search engines to omit them from results; credit card and other financial services to disallow payments to them; and everyone from advertising on them.
What it doesn’t require is any kind of verification that the site is actually infringing...
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