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Government The Internet United States Politics Your Rights Online

US Senate Committee Passes PROTECT IP Act 338

Posted by timothy
from the kill-first-ask-questions-later dept.
angry tapir writes "A US Senate committee has unanimously approved a controversial bill that would allow the US Department of Justice to seek court orders requiring search engines and Internet service providers to stop sending traffic to websites accused of infringing copyright."
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US Senate Committee Passes PROTECT IP Act

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  • by countertrolling (1585477) * on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:00AM (#36261730) Journal

    1) How do we route around this damage?

    2) How do we protect our natural rights from a majority that votes them away?

    Let's stop focusing on the distractions of greed and corruption and the psychopaths in positions of power and get to finding real solutions to render all of that irrelevant.

  • by beringreenbear (949867) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:08AM (#36261792) Journal

    The Rules say that the only thing you can do is to ceaselessly lobby your Senator and get your friends, relatives, and that weird guy who asks you for change for a dollar every time you go into Dunkin' Donuts to do the same.

    See my comment below, as the damage has been halted by the same person that halted a similar bill last year, a Senator from Oregon. The only way to stop this is the raise money to buy off enough Senators to keep the bill stopped.

  • by lxs (131946) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:10AM (#36261822)

    Bye bye Google, hello search engines based outside of the US.

  • by The Moof (859402) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:10AM (#36261826)

    1) How do we route around this damage?

    The same way we always have: proxies, tor, etc.

    2) How do we protect our natural rights from a majority that votes them away?

    That's the multimillion dollar question. Quite literally, since you need a huge amount of money to either lobby your representatives, or run against them. Otherwise, they just send you a nice boilerplate response letter to any of your inquiries, concerns, and so on.

  • Only accused??? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Grand Facade (35180) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:19AM (#36261918)

    What happened to innocent til proven guilty?

    Who will be doing the accusing?

    No I did not read the article, but this is a fair reaction to the OP

  • by CriminalNerd (882826) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:22AM (#36261940)

    Sadly, it'll probably just get paperclipped with a budget-related bill to bypass the filibuster like they did with the Patriot Act extensions.

    It'd be nice if the rest of the Senate decides that it's actually a terrible bill and vote to kill it.

  • Ridiculous (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:22AM (#36261948)

    I sense a Streisand effect in the making here...

    How long will it be before we see bumper stickers and tshirts with open DNS ip addresses on them?

    Not to mention the explosion in Eastern European based search engines?

    Our elected officials are so freaking stupid...

  • by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:25AM (#36261972) Journal
    Under DMCA, freenet and tor are probably "circumvention devices". So you are guilty of wanting free speech.
  • Not a problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by troll -1 (956834) on Friday May 27, 2011 @08:34AM (#36262056)

    The bill would create a list of blocked Internet sites, added Ed Black, president and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a tech trade group.

    . Users who want content will find a way around this. There's already a firefox add-on [mozilla.org] to circumvent Department of Homeland Security seized domains like torrent-finder.com [torrent-finder.com]. Thanks to Streisand effect of government domain seizures I found some great torrent sites I never before knew existed [chrome].

  • Re:Prohibition (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday May 27, 2011 @09:22AM (#36262616) Homepage Journal

    Does the government not remember how well prohibition went?

    Went? We still have loads of it. And it's working exactly as designed... it keeps those privatized prisons for profit stuffed.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday May 27, 2011 @09:23AM (#36262636) Homepage

    Here is what we have seen of the oil industry. We have seen the oil industry defended, protected, supported and subsidized in every way imaginable (including militarily) by the US government. We have known for a very long time that world oil supplies are not limitless and that the demand for it is still rising and the price of it is also ratcheting upwards. Although the efforts for alternatives to oil and other fossil fuels are only now seemingly becoming more aggressive (I'm not yet convinced that there is any effort that I would call a serious commitment on the part of the government) it is generally agreed that it is long over due and most would even say it is too late in coming as many actions have resulted in directly or indirectly suppressing any competing technologies to the use of fossil fuels for energy.

    But the US recognizes that in a fairly short time [* in relative terms], the oil business will be dead. But how is this like intellectual property?

    The US's shift in production economy has been shifting from agriculture to manufacturing to services and now to intellectual property. The US was a leader in each of these things in their day and over time, all of these have been reduced, minimalized and concentrated in ways that make these activities profitable for only a small group of companies and individuals where many of these things are actually sent over-seas. Intellectual property is just about the last thing the US has to export and in order to maintain its profitability, we have to ensure that all other world players honor our IP by adopting laws and policies which support the US desire to remain dominant.

    Over the years, we have witnessed all sorts of measures and activities pushed by the US such as the DMCA, copyright police proposals, pressuring [bullying] other countries into creating draconian law [which doesn't yet exist here in the US because it would be amazingly unpopular] and even influencing other nations into violating their own laws and procedures to satisfy the agenda of the IP business interests here in the U.S. (You know, like the illegal seizure and take down of the piratebay.)

    I expect to see much worse in the near future INCLUDING military action. Sure, it's hard to justify military action for copying music, music and more, but it's not hard to imagine... you know "funding terrorism," "being run by terrorists," or even "harboring known terrorists" as cause for sending in a SEAL team or something like that. But what is "wrong" with this?

    Turns out that media wants to be free and increasingly, we are seeing independent artists and groups pushing their way to the front lines of popularity thanks to emerging technologies and media. This is resulting in "old media" and other IP industry struggling for ways to compete and they are resorting to bribing... err, I mean, influencing government into defending, protecting, supporting and subsidizing their business models in every way imaginable. In the end, it is easy to see how and why "old media" and other IP industry are going away and their their days are numbered. But since the rest of the US has essentially been sold out, it is the second to the last massive resource the US has going for it.

    Yes, I said "second to the last." What's that last? In case you didn't guess, it's PEOPLE. Already we have seen massive privatization of the prison industry. It's not widely spoken of or even cared about because "criminals are bad people" and we don't care about them right? In these privatized prisons, there are massive labor and services being performed by prisoners at wages below "minimum wage" and under conditions which rival the sweatshops of the 18th and 19th century. And with the massive criminalization of just about everything imaginable, it's easy to see what's coming and for whom it comes... the non-citizens, ex-citizens and non-voting-felons of the US... a class of people which is accelerating and growing in ways that are simply being ignored by the media and others at the moment.

    I kn

  • by jdfox (74524) on Friday May 27, 2011 @09:43AM (#36262956)
    Wyden has also publicly criticized what he calls the US government's secret interpretation of the "Patriot Act". [wired.com]
  • Which is why I would like to introduce a bill with no provisions, which would make it illegal to piggyback bills. They are what they are, take it or leave it. No? Next subject.

    If anyone needs me, I'll be hanging out in my own utopia.

    Interesting historical fact: Section 9 of the Confederate States Constitution [civilwarhome.com]included exactly such a provision:

    Every law or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title.

    Personally, I'd also like to see something requiring that each new law or regulation passed for a period of 12 years require that two laws be repealed. That would perhaps clear out some of the old cruft...

  • The best parts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@gma i l . c om> on Friday May 27, 2011 @11:41AM (#36264466) Homepage Journal
    The best parts of the bill seem to be subsections d and e of the bill [senate.gov]. (IANAL and encourage correction or confirmation of my interpretation) :
    • No matter what harm is caused in pursuing action under this legislation, the companies and individuals initiating the action are completely immune from suit. So damages cannot be recovered (possibly even if it's later proven that the original action was erroneous.)
    • Section e: Unlike DMCA, there is no defense permitted prior to compliance. The site first must be taken offline, then and only then can the owner/registrar/operator file to modify/suspend/vacate the order. No provision is made for the timeliness of any related follow up, so it could get stuck in the court system for as long as any other request.

    We can all sit and complain about it here, or we can contact the offices of our senators; and try to spread the word for others to do the same. (No, e-petitions don't count and form letters seem rarely to be effective. Take five minutes and at least compose an original email.) If you want this to get some more mainstream coverage that's in your power too - you will find that "letters to the editor" of your local newspaper still has a surprisingly high readership.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe