Readers have been emailing me about the dangers of the Stop Online
Privacy [wow, what a slip] Piracy Act but I’ve been a bit distracted. Here’s the concern from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
The “Stop Online Piracy Act”/”E-PARASITE Act” (SOPA) and “The PROTECT IP Act” (PIPA) are the latest in a series of bills which would create a procedure for creating (and censoring) a blacklist of websites. These bills are updated versions of the “Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act” (COICA), which was previously blocked in the Senate. Although the bills are ostensibly aimed at reaching foreign websites dedicated to providing illegal content, their provisions would allow for removal of enormous amounts of non-infringing content including political and other speech from the Web.
The various bills define different techniques for blocking “blacklisted” sites. Each would interfere with the Internet’s domain name system (DNS), which translates names like “www.eff.org” or “www.nytimes.com” into the IP addresses that computers use to communicate. SOPA would also allow rightsholders to force payment processors to cut off payments and advertising networks to cut ties with a site simply by sending a notice.
I’m not in a position to agree or disagree with the concern; I just haven’t looked into it carefully enough yet. But there are plenty of other people who are concerned, with a STOP SOPA movement growing. Instapundit has numerous links.
Concerns about Google unilaterally being able to shut down a Blogger blog was one of the motivations for me moving to a self-hosted platform.
If the claims about SOPA are accurate, then the entire internet will be like being hosted at WordPress.com, leaving politically incorrect blogs like Legal Insurrection at risk. There will be nowhere to run.
So out of an abundance of caution, consider me part of STOP SOPA.
Update: BareNakedIslam has been turned back on, Instapundit has the letter from WordPress.