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White House Opposes Key SOPA Provisions 175

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-beg-to-differ dept.
twdorris writes "Is this an example of our 3-part government actually working as intended? It seems the executive branch doesn't agree with the legislative on a key piece of SOPA. From the article: '"While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet," the White House said in a blog post.'"
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White House Opposes Key SOPA Provisions

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  • by Gideon Wells (1412675) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @06:46PM (#38708684)

    They can say they oppose it, but do they oppose it enough to actually Veto it when/if it gets passed? Or will it be "We'll sign it, but we'll say we disagree adamantly on this post-it not attached to it!"

    • by modmans2ndcoming (929661) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:07PM (#38708848)

      They could have ignored the issue entirely if they were planning to let it pass. It is not like this issue is something covered on Fox and MSNBC and CNN.

      I do think they will support a heavily modified version that meets their published requirements because as they say in their statement, they support legislation to curtail piracy....just not stupid legislation that breaks the internet, hurts the ability of start-ups to innovate, ignores due process and limits free speech.

      • by Aighearach (97333) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:42PM (#38709112) Homepage

        They could have ignored the issue entirely if they were planning to let it pass.

        No, there is a new government transparency mechanism at the White House https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petitions [whitehouse.gov] where you can vote on stuff, or create petitions to vote on, and the ones that get a lot of votes get official policy responses. It is not a mechanism for changes, but it is a mechanism to discover official positions on a wide variety of issues, including ones that would not otherwise get responses.

        Sign up, vote on some stuff, and then when the response is published you'll get an email.

        The ones that disagree with stuff that already has an official positions are useless, of course.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The only reason there was a response to the community from the White House on this issue is because of their 'We The People' petitions section that the administration set up. Enough people signed the petition so they did what they promised, issued a response. The actual merit of it, however, has not been clearly defined in any policy I've seen so far.

        Make your own White House Petition here: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Elections are coming, they can't afford any bad publicity. Just because they say they oppose "some" SOPA provisions, actually means, they'll have to modify it a little, and they both get to win, SOPA supporters don't lose anything important, and White House, says, look, we negotiated for you. If they really opposed it, the article would have been titled "White House Opposes SOPA.". Notice that? Just a couple of words, that's how politics works.

      • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Sunday January 15, 2012 @08:17PM (#38709326) Homepage

        It is not like this issue is something covered on Fox and MSNBC and CNN.

        Ever since 2008, elections aren't won by ignoring the internet, and Obama of all people knows it.

        Not to say this is all idle campaign talk. I have high hope that whatever we end up with won't be the end-of-democracy-as-we-know-it bill we have now. It might not even be as bad as the DMCA, and the internet survived that one. But it'll still be bad legislation, because the very principle behind it is trying to solve the wrong problem the wrong way.

        • by genner (694963)

          It is not like this issue is something covered on Fox and MSNBC and CNN.

          Ever since 2008, elections aren't won by ignoring the internet, and Obama of all people knows it.

          Not to say this is all idle campaign talk. I have high hope that whatever we end up with won't be the end-of-democracy-as-we-know-it bill we have now. It might not even be as bad as the DMCA, and the internet survived that one. But it'll still be bad legislation, because the very principle behind it is trying to solve the wrong problem the wrong way.

          As flawed as the DMCA is, it still has some give and take. It has safe harbor clauses that actually helped sites like youtube to operate unhindered. SOPA is completely one sided.

      • They could have ignored the issue entirely if they were planning to let it pass. It is not like this issue is something covered on Fox ...

        Of course Fox isn't going to cover it. I gotta support any action of the Prez that Murdoch hates, really.
        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/15/murdoch_twitter_rant_sopa/ [theregister.co.uk]

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Igarden2 (916096)
        "ignores due process" ?
        I'm sure the white house would never allow that.
        Except in the NDAA when detaining American citizens indefinitely without ....
        No, wait...
      • by Alsee (515537) on Monday January 16, 2012 @10:34AM (#38713122) Homepage

        It is not like this issue is something covered on Fox and MSNBC and CNN.

        Actually I did see CNN run a segment on SOPA. I wish I had a tape of it to give a better evaluation of the segment, but I'll give the basic impression I had from it. It seemed rather slanted to me. They spend most of the segment talking about how SOPA was a law to protect American jobs against teh evilz international criminals, mentioned that there was controversy over the bill between the Big Media companies and the Big Internet companies, and they wrapped up the segment with a rather weak comment against the bill by one of the opponents.

        It seems like 90% of the people who learn about SOPA online come to the conclusion that it's a seriously bad law. My guess is that most people who saw the segment on CNN would have considered the controversy pretty boring and trivial, and probably gotten the impression that the bill was pretty much neutral or perhaps beneficial.

        -

      • by MacWiz (665750)

        I thought the most important part of the White House response was this:

        So, rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don’t limit your opinion to what’s the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what’s right. Already, many members of Congress are asking for public input around the issue. We are paying close attention to those opportunities, as well as to public input to the Administration.

        One would think slashdot should be a perfect forum to

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:09PM (#38708854)

      That will likely depend on whether or not its passed by a veto proof majority. Frankly, I'm starting to think it won't pass at all, given the momentum the opposition has been building lately. Of course, that means that we need to keep up the pressure. Calling your senators and representative once a week to see where they stand is a good start. They'll likely be wishy-washy at first, but that's why you make your desires clear, and then call the next week to follow up and see if they've cemented an opinion yet. Keep going until they commit to opposing it. And if they're dead set on supporting it, remember that primary season is just around the corner, and has lower turnout -- meaning that a smaller, well-motivated group of voters can make a change. (Unless they're a senator elected in 2010, in which case they can do whatever the hell they want, and you'll forget about it by 2016.)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:35PM (#38709060)
        Vetoproof shouldn't mean you shouldn't veto it. Clinton signed in the Glass-Steagal repeal, and it was veto proof(bipartisan even), doesn't mean he shouldn't have said "I don't want to go down in history as the monster that signed this piece of shiat"
      • by berashith (222128) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @09:33PM (#38709782)

        Or maybe even if it is veto-proof, our leader could, well , you know.. LEAD or something. Veto the damn thing if you dont like it, and it could be that others may change their vote if they see that someone is willing to start things in motion. If everyone believes that they will be alone in opposition, then the safe move is to not oppose. All these paid off crooks could go back to their bosses and show that they voted yes on the first pass, but things just werent going to work out.

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Frankly, I'm starting to think it won't pass at all, given the momentum the opposition has been building lately.

        Don't think that until the vote actually fails.

        Don't think that until several months or years after the vote actually fails.

        Look what they did with the bank bailouts. The people said no, Congress listened... and then voted it in anyway quickly and quietly not too much later.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:12PM (#38708884)

      Didn't "the White House" also oppose the NDAA, which they then refused to veto?

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Yes, which proves that they lie as bad as the republicans.

      • by PyroMosh (287149) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @11:23PM (#38710230) Homepage

        NDAA is not a good comparison to this legislation.

        The NDAA is considered "must pass" legislation. While we can't know for sure what the President would have done had a bill landed on his desk separate from the NDAA, which included its controversial provisions, we do know that they cited the "must pass" nature of NDAA as the reason they reluctantly signed it into law.

        This legislation, however is not attached to anything of the sort. It will pass or fail on its own merits. Congress can't use this as pressure, and the White House can't use it as an excuse.

        • by mjr167 (2477430)
          Doesn't that indicate a problem with the system if ANY bill can be "must pass"? If I tacked on a clause to your electric bill saying "by paying this bill you agree to sell yourself into slavery but if you don't pay it I'll turn off your lights," we would call that extortion.
          • by PyroMosh (287149)

            Yes, it is a problem. I agree, these riders are usually a problem.

            But my point stands that this bill is different from NDAA. SOPA will have to stand or fall on its own, because it is a stand alone bill.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Obama even agreed to the most horrifying parts of the clearly unconstitutional bill.

      Our politicians are just playing games with us, and we allow it.

  • I think he just lost a bunch of campaign contributions with that blog.

    • by bs0d3 (2439278) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @06:55PM (#38708768)
      nah his blog was vague enough to make both sides happy, he never says that he opposes SOPA
      • by modmans2ndcoming (929661) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:10PM (#38708858)

        where is the WH statement vague? They support legislation to stop foreign piracy on the internet. They do not support all the moronic crap in SOPA that would allow entrenched business interests to shut down any site they want by nodding at an ISP via breaking the way the internet is built to work.

        • by Carewolf (581105)

          No, it just says that it won't support SOPA if it does such a thing. Then again, only IT expert could testify to SOPA having those consequences, and without expert testimonials, they could easily sign the SOPA and still claim ignorance by stating: That is not the intended purpose of SOPA - Just like congress does.

          This is an intentionally vague response.

    • by Chewbacon (797801)
      As he's already in office, that'll make this run cheaper for him. Now, it would be smarter for a GOP candidate to support it unconditionally.
    • I think he just lost a bunch of campaign contributions with that blog.

      Not that it matters. The GOP can't find a candidate who can defeat Obama in 2012 anyways. None of the candidates who have a remote chance of winning the nomination are demonstrably more conservative than the actions of President Barack "lawnchair" Obama. If Hollywood completely turned off the tap, Obama could still phone in his re-election campaign and win it easily.

      The real loss here, though, is that some people will vote for Obama expecting something to change, in spite of the fact that since 2008

      • You do not think that this counts as a change:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fiscal_Year_2012 [wikipedia.org]

        I guess "continuing to lose rights and freedoms" might not be a second order change (i.e. the rate of change remains unchanged).
        • I guess "continuing to lose rights and freedoms" might not be a second order change (i.e. the rate of change remains unchanged).

          Even more so. the direction of change remains unchanged. President Lawnchair has yet to do a single thing as POTUS that his predecessor would not have done as well.

          Not. One. Thing.

          And being as conservatives rallied around his predecessor as a great conservative, and are trying to emulate him, they will completely and utterly fail to differentiate themselves from Obama. Hence unless they are counting on bringing all the racists out of the woodwork who will vote for anyone in order to get the black g

          • by edremy (36408)

            I guess "continuing to lose rights and freedoms" might not be a second order change (i.e. the rate of change remains unchanged).

            Even more so. the direction of change remains unchanged. President Lawnchair has yet to do a single thing as POTUS that his predecessor would not have done as well. Not. One. Thing.

            Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell.

            There's one. There are a lot of others. Yes, he's a moderate Republican, but moderate Republicans aren't welcome in the modern Republican party.

            • I guess "continuing to lose rights and freedoms" might not be a second order change (i.e. the rate of change remains unchanged).

              Even more so. the direction of change remains unchanged. President Lawnchair has yet to do a single thing as POTUS that his predecessor would not have done as well. Not. One. Thing.

              Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell.

              That repeal was required in order to sustain the war efforts that the republicans support. Eventually the armed services would have been too tapped out without allowing openly homosexual troops to serve. While the conservatives hate homosexuality, they love war enough to overlook it. And besides, there are plenty of economically disadvantaged homosexuals who could serve in the place of their own silver spoon children once DADT is repealed.

              I'm willing to say with confidence that had a bill been autho

              • by Kjella (173770)

                That repeal was required in order to sustain the war efforts that the republicans support. Eventually the armed services would have been too tapped out without allowing openly homosexual troops to serve.

                Lol what? Around 5% or so is gay/bisexual and that doesn't count those already serving without being open about it. They employ 1.5 million people and never in the last 10 years have they lost even 0,1% of that. Maybe if the US was in the middle of WWII your post could have made slightly more sense, but they're neither running out of bodies nor would abolishing DADT provide more than a few percent increase. But keep on dreaming that it would have happened without "President Lawnchair"...

                • They employ 1.5 million people and never in the last 10 years have they lost even 0,1% of that.

                  Are you talking about casualties or declining enrolment numbers?

                  Nonetheless, the recruitment numbers for the US armed forces have been suffering, ever since the country realized that we were lead into a war in Iraq on a massive pack of lies and dragged through it with no end game whatsoever. Anyone who has had their eyes and ears open in the past decade or so knows that the armed forces have had to constantly reduce their recruitment goals, while simultaneously reducing their criteria for acceptance, ju

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday January 15, 2012 @06:49PM (#38708718) Journal

    But it looks like a click-through to access the site on the 18th and a banner on every page for a couple weeks. That's about as much as Wiki can do, as they're pretty essential. No word yet on Google. Facebook has scheduled a press event for the day, but no clue whether it's related.

    More and more big sites are getting in on the game.

    • More and more big sites are getting in on the game.

      Slashdot?

      • The people who read Slashdot have already heard of SOPA, and already have an opinion of it. So I don't see the point.

    • by sqlrob (173498)

      That's about as much as Wiki can do, as they're pretty essential

      That's the freaking POINT of making it an utter blackout. Make people understand what it would be like if it passed. A click through isn't going to change squat.

      • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:57PM (#38709216) Journal

        Actually I misread that. Sentiment is running in favor of full blackout [wikipedia.org] - no posting, editing or reading of articles for all of English Wikipedia for the full 12-hour period Wednesday, by a ratio of 5:1 over the soft blackout option. There is also support for a blackout of all of Wiki worldwide, but just a wee bit less. And it's approved by the legal team. It looks like Wednesday's going to be a no-Wikipedia day.

        • by sqlrob (173498)

          Oh, good.

          A clickthrough blackout in the rest of the world isn't a bad idea though.

  • by sribe (304414) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @06:49PM (#38708720)

    Seriously, this is news that deserves to be on slashdot. But a link to an article behind a paywall, which just gets a popup pushing subscriptions, is NOT the proper way to submit this story!

    • by bonch (38532) * on Sunday January 15, 2012 @06:51PM (#38708732)

      Fear not, for it was already submitted [slashdot.org] yesterday with a direct link to the White House's statement. As stated then, the White House gave itself leeway to approve the legislation if the key objections were addressed, so don't think this means the legislation will go away.

      • considering all adults in the world oppose SOPA because of the key issues that are in the WH statement, why wouldn't president Obama sign such a modified bill?

        • You need some serious qualifications to your statement, regarding all adults. The vast majority of adults - people, actually - have no clue to the remifications of SOPA. No clue at all. Those who have a couple of clues have arrived at their opinions based on the word of some stooge whom they like - be that stooge on Fox News, or CNN, or Turner broadcasting. Hell, some brainless twat on American Idol could voice an opinion, and sway a decent percentage of the public with that opinion.

          Now, had you said "a

  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @06:52PM (#38708738)
    With a meaningless signing statement of course.
  • Dupe much?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://informationliberation.com/?id=37993

    This is merely propaganda doublespeak. Nothing has changed:

    from the link above:

    The Huffington Post is wrongly reporting the White House will not support SOPA or PIPA. If you read the White House's actual statement, it's full of strongly worded language, but absolutely nowhere does it say they will not support the bills. On the other hand, it does state, "we will continue to work with Congress on a bipartisan basis on legislation that provides new tools needed in th

  • Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mathinker (909784) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:14PM (#38708898) Journal

    > Is this an example of our 3-part government actually working as intended?

    No, not really. "As intended" would mean that:

    • The branches of government would be trying to optimize for the good of society.
    • The public would be informed enough to think about what was good for them in the long term, and vote accordingly.

    Instead we have:

    • The public is excessively swayed by whatever they see in the popular media.
    • The branches of government optimize for maximizing their chances of re-election.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:27PM (#38709004)

    I love the cookie I'm getting both for this and the DHS X-Ray article:

    Hacker's Law: The belief that enhanced understanding will necessarily stir a nation to action is one of mankind's oldest illusions.

    • by Thing 1 (178996)
      OT: it's a fortune, not a cookie. (Yes, I know, the origin is "fortune cookie"; however, the term for the text at the bottom of the page is "fortune"; the term for text that you can't see, which the site uses to watch how you visit, that's called a "cookie".)
  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @07:49PM (#38709172) Homepage Journal

    No, this is not our 3-part government working as expected, it's the new style of government aborning. With the rise of the internet and ubiquitous communications, the public at last has a way to influence government decisions.

    We see it here in its early form.

    At the moment the effect is fairly weak - Obama is only taking a position because he wants public support for reelection.

    But despite self-serving motives, he is taking notice and he is opposing legislation, largely because of widespread grassroots opposition.

    This will be the wave of the future. If community opinion, widely distributed and echoed on the internet, can presage community action, it will become increasingly difficult for political corruption. Corporations and politicians will be unable to do "bad" things for fear of being discovered by hackers, publicized by social media, and punished by public backlash.

    It's the new boss. Curiously different from the old boss.

    • You're such an optimist sir. I wish I could share in your optimism.
    • by jmerlin (1010641) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @08:49PM (#38709542)
      The entire point of the President's veto capability was specifically for cases where the executive branch disagrees with the legislative. What the big corporate interests paid for when they paid to have Obama made president (and would've been the same of McCain, it's easy to make people think they have a choice when you control both of the choices) was a president who appeals to the people but really doesn't stand in the way of their majority ownership of the legislative branch.

      Unfortunately, tyranny has never gone silently, as you suggest. When (not if) revolution happens in our country, there will be consequences for those involved, and there will be blood. It will not be a silent revolution done over the internets. The fact that now 4 different bills have been proposed and have "approval" from the executive and legislative branches that would permit wholesale censorship of the internet should convince you of that.
    • by Colin Smith (2679) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @10:04PM (#38709912)

      Good lord. The public is owned by the media, they vote the way they are told to vote. They are told red/blue, black/white, oh look Dancing with the Stars!

      In the meantime the real power buy their influence in advance. By the time red/blue puppets get into power it's a done deal:

      Obama (blue choice of 08):

      University of California $1,648,685
      Goldman Sachs $1,013,091
      Harvard University $878,164
      Microsoft Corp $852,167
      Google Inc $814,540
      JPMorgan Chase & Co $808,799
      Citigroup Inc $736,771
      Time Warner $624,618

      Romney (red choice of 12):

      Goldman Sachs $367,200
      Credit Suisse Group $203,750
      Morgan Stanley $199,800
      HIG Capital $186,500
      Barclays $157,750
      Kirkland & Ellis $132,100
      Bank of America $126,500
      PriceWaterhouseCoopers $118,250
      EMC Corp $117,300
      JPMorgan Chase & Co $112,250

      • Why did University of California donate to Obama's re-election campaign? Especially when they are raising tuitions?
  • its just 'big words from people that don't understand what the hell they are taking about'. You can tell its an election year. Feed the people whatever crap you need to in order to get (re)elected. They have no intention of 'protecting' anything, other than their power and revenue.

  • Why do a few corporations supporting it have equal influence to thousands of individuals corporations? Are we just not paying the right people?
  • I sent an email to the president that I contributed $300 in 2008, and $50 so far in 2012
    but if he signs either SOPA or Protect IP, the campaign wont get another dime from me. I suspect Im not the only
    one who feels this way.

  • by J'raxis (248192) on Monday January 16, 2012 @12:46AM (#38710742) Homepage

    This is the same White House that promised to veto the NDAA, yes?

  • by Ouchie (1386333) on Monday January 16, 2012 @02:10AM (#38711066)

    When will the media companies and government realize that the proliferation of piracy is not the internet it is the outrageous prices they try to extract. The fact is that if they didn't keep trying to sell every stinking CD at $17 when we all know most aren't worth $5. Sell the product at what the market wants to pay for it, if you don't then the incentive to steal goes way up.

    There have been several recent examples of artists releasing their work at reasonable prices with no DRM. Rather than being ripped off by the public at large, their fans have put down the money.

    Louis CK [louisck.net] has made over $1,000,000 off his most recent video. You can download it without DRM for $5. And yes he is Hilarious.

  • If you read what was written idealistically and at face value, the president is advocating the repeat of DMCA's circumvention prohibitions.

    Not that I really think the president holds that position, but all that stuff about not inhibiting innovation, "prevent[ing] overly broad private rights of action that could encourage unjustified litigation," etc all points to repealing that law.

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