The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act threaten free speech, online innovation, legitimate expression and communication and will interfere with measures that would improve the security of the Internet's domain name system.
The articles here provide technical, legal, constitutional (scholarly) and social vcommentary worth digesting if you are interested in understanding the effects of US Congress passing such bills. Selected quotes provide a sense of the nature and tenor of each article.
As you read these articles, you will notice that there are few "piracy" advocates but many who oppose the proposed means to mitigate piracy. This is only intentional to the extent that it's very hard to find thoughtful defenses of SOPA and the list tries to downplay the rhetoric.
If you are a US citizen, contact your congressmen and encourage the to read Senator Wyden's thoughtful statement opposing SOPA. To judge whether proponents or opponents are better informed, you may want to visit the Support SOPA page (and others linked here, as well).
If you are a world citizen, please find time to watch Cory Doctorow's speech at Chaos Communications Congress. The open mic session is nearly as good as the speech.
If you are a citizen of Ireland, be aware that Ireland is preparing to enact its own version of SOPA. If you are in Canada, pay attention to SOPA-like provisions in Bill C-11. The bills will grant courts the ability to block sites and have the similar due process and freedom of expression abuses to those in US SOPA (see links on the right).
Recent News Feed
We are the media, and so are you
Jimmy Wales and Kat Walsh - FEBRUARY 9, 2012
"It’s absolutely right that Congress cares about the content industry, recognizing its ability to innovate, to create wealth and to improve lives. But existing copyright enforcement laws were written in a world in which the information we had access to on a broad scale came from a few established media outlets. The players were easy to identify. They organized into groups with common interests and fought to protect those interests.The 'content industry' is no longer limited to those few influential channels... The laws we need now must recognize the more broadly distributed and broadly valuable power of free and open knowledge."
Tribler software makes internet piracy impossible to stop
Stephen Webster - FEBRUARY 8, 2012
"Tribler does not require a website to track users sharing 'Torrent' files, a peer-to-peer network protocol that enables computers to share files with thousands of others... The nature of its technology is completely decentralized, leaving moderation to the users. Individuals can rename files, flag phony downloads or viruses, create 'channels' of verified downloads, and act as nodes that distribute lists of peers across the network."
Congress should fix the copyright mess
Paul Goldstein - FEBRUARY 8, 2012
"...there are better reasons for Congress to consult all sides than just striking a deal. One benefit of cross-industry discussions like those that led to the Internet safe harbors is that technologists can explain to the creative community what kind of tinkering will and will not work. Another benefit is that properly designed legislation can give technology companies an incentive to apply their particular genius to produce innovations that will further reduce piracy without disrupting lawful life on the Internet."
Enough, Already: The SOPA Debate Ignores How Much Copyright Protection We Already Have
Margot Kaminski - FEBRUARY 8, 2012
"The most frustrating part of the discussion around SOPA has been watching politicians and commentators fail to acknowledge the vast resources we already devote to protecting copyright in the United States. Over the past two decades, the United States has established one of the harshest systems of copyright enforcement in the world. Our domestic copyright law has become broader (it covers more topics), deeper (it lasts for a longer time), and more severe (the punishments for infringement have been getting worse). These standards were established through an alphabet soup of legislation: the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act of 1997, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, and the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act of 2008."
MPAA Exec Admits: "We're not very comfortable with the Internet"
Mike Masmick - JANUARY 27, 2012
"...the MPAA is desperately in need of new leadership. They need leaders who don't try to regulate that which they admit they don't understand. They need leaders who aren't so clueless as to think that Google controls the internet (or that Google is somehow "the enemy"). And, really, most important, they need leaders who recognize and understand that the internet is their future too -- and any leadership needs to not fear the internet, but understand it and learn to embrace it."
Who really stopped SOPA and why?
Larry Downes - JANUARY 25, 2012
"A new and profoundly different political force has emerged in the last few months, a constituency that identifies itself not by local interests but as citizens of the Internet. Understanding who they are and what they want is essential for both the winners and losers in last week’s slugfest. Ignore the lessons of the great uprising—of the dramatic introduction of 'bitroots' politics—at your peril."
The SOPA War: A Frantic Call, an Aborted Summit, and Dramatic New Details on How Hollywood Lost
Kim Masters - JANUARY 25, 2012
"The MPAA's O'Leary concedes that the industry was outmanned and outgunned in cyberspace. He says the MPAA 'is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we're not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.'"
The Behind-the-Scenes Campaign To Bring SOPA To Canada
Michael Geist - JANUARY 23, 2012
"While SOPA may be dead (for now) in the U.S., lobby groups are likely to intensify their efforts to export SOPA-like rules to other countries. With Bill C-11 back on the legislative agenda at the end of the month, Canada will be a prime target for SOPA style rules. In fact, a close review of the unpublished submissions to the Bill C-32 legislative committee reveals that several groups have laid the groundwork to add SOPA-like rules into Bill C-11, including blocking websites and expanding the "enabler provision"to target a wider range of websites."
My thoughts on S.O.P.A.
Paul Coelho - JANUARY 20, 2012
"The more people ‘pirate’ a book, the better. If they like the beginning, they’ll buy the whole book the next day, because there’s nothing more tiring than reading long screeds of text on a computer screen...With an object of art, you’re not buying paper, ink, paintbrush, canvas or musical notes, but the idea born out of a combination of those products...‘Pirating’ can act as an introduction to an artist’s work. If you like his or her idea, then you will want to have it in your house; a good idea doesn’t need protection."
Sen. Ron Wyden: "You can't come up with sensible Internet policy on the fly"
Nate Anderson - JANUARY 20, 2012
"Wyden attributes the growing resistance to PROTECT IP and its House companion bill, SOPA, to Internet organizing... The challenge now is to "make sure that the outpouring of concern is translated into results," Wyden said. One key goal: bringing a measure of transparency, sanity, and expert advice to the drafting and hearings process around such legislation."
In Piracy Bill Fight, New Economy Rises Against Old
Jonathan Weisman - JANUARY 19, 2012
"for all the campaign contributions, Washington parties and high-priced lobbyists the old economy could muster, nothing could compare to the tentacles the new economy can reach into Americans’ everyday lives through sites like Wikipedia."
The Real SOPA Battle: Innovators vs. Goliath
Allworth and Wessel, Harvard Business Review - JANUARY 18, 2012
"SOPA makes much more sense if you look at the debate as big companies unwilling to accept change versus the innovative companies and startups that embrace change. And if we accept that startups are created to find new ways to create value for consumers, the debate is actually between the financial interests of "big content" shareholders versus consumer interests at large."
How SOPA would affect you: FAQ
Declan McCollough - JANUARY 18, 2012
"CNET has compiled a list of frequently asked questions on the topic..."
All about PIPA and SOPA, the Bills that would Censor your Internet
Adam Dachis - JANUARY 18, 2012
"if you know a supporter or person in favor of SOPA and/or PIPA, have an open discussion. Myself and many others believe that the root of this problem stems from a lack of communication on both sides... This should not be a fight but rather a cooperative discussion to find a solution. "
Even without DNS provisions, SOPA and PIPA remain fatally flawed
Tim B. Lee - JANUARY 18, 2012
"While the DNS language posed the gravest danger to free speech online, the bills are full of provisions that trample free speech, due process, and online innovation... Both PIPA and SOPA feature inadequate judicial oversight, allowing injunctions to be granted after a single, one-sided court hearing. Both give the power to seek injunctions not only to the attorney general but also to private copyright holders. And SOPA has a provision, not included in PIPA, that would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison."
USACM Statement on SOPA and PROTECT IP
US ACM Public Policy Council - JANUARY 18, 2012
"With a membership whose professional output relies on sound, enforceable intellectual property rights, USACM supports reasonable efforts to address criminal violations of intellectual property rights, but the technological mandates required in both SOPA and PIPA cause grave concern. In letters submitted this week to the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, USACM outlines our analyses the technological impact of both PIPA and SOPA, concluding that the bills’ approach to disrupting rogue sites by removing them from indexing and search sites will prove problematic and ineffective."
Thirty years before SOPA, the MPAA feared VCRs
Josh Barrow - JANUARY 18, 2012
"...Jack Valenti, testifying before a House Judiciary Subcommittee in 1982: 'I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone…'"
Five Reasons the Internet's Still Opposing SOPA
Brad Plumer - JANUARY 18, 2012
"...the content industry says that it doesn’t have nearly enough weapons — every time it cracks down on a pirate site, five more appear in its place. ... if anything, there’s a case that the content industry currently has too much power. The Justice Department has often proven over-aggressive in taking down domain names — read, for instance, the gory details of the Justice Department’s botched attack on Dajaz1.org, a music blog that was taken down for a year after being falsely accused of infringement."
What everyone in the SOPA debate is missing
Rondam Ramblings - JANUARY 13, 2012
"The arguments against SOPA are mainly based on the collateral damage that would accrue by giving content "owners" the power to indiscriminately shut down web sites without due process. But this argument tacitly concedes a much more fundamental point, which is that a grant of copyright is not a right but a privilege granted at the discretion of the People for a particular purpose. It is far from clear that the Constitutional requirement that exclusivity be granted "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" is being met."
Tim O'Reilly: Why I'm fighting SOPA
Colleen Taylor - JANUARY 13, 2012
"the vast majority of customers are willing to pay if the product is widely available and the price is fair. If you have a relationship with your customers, and they know you’re doing the right thing, they will support you... The people who are pirating are most likely the people who would never give you a nickel to begin with. Piracy serves people on the fringes who are not being served adequately by legitimate markets."
Paul Vixie - JANUARY 11, 2012
"this latest proposal as well as the road we've travelled getting to this point seems like an excellent example of why network protocols should be designed by engineers rather than by bloggers. REFUSED will not work for PIPA and SOPA's purposes, for two important reasons... there is no security for the REFUSED signal... more importantly, REFUSED is the wrong signal."
The Real Problem with SOPA (And how to stop it)
Sonia Simone - JANUARY 11, 2012
This blog post, written in plain speak, gives 10 reasons why and how SOPA is bad for small business owners and encourages owners to take further action.
How much does online privacy really cost the economy?
Brad Plumer - JANUARY 5, 2012
"the Motion Picture Association of America estimates that piracy costs the U.S. movie industry some $20.5 billion per year. But Julian Sanchez scrutinizes these figures and finds they don’t hold up. After you remove all the double-counting and restrict the focus solely to American users — which is the only thing SOPA addresses, anyway — then, he notes, those industry-estimated losses come to just $446 million per year"
Why the ESA is wrong to support SOPA
E.D. Kain - JANUARY 5, 2012
"industry players are given free reign to put together their own lists of bad actors and rogues and provide those lists to ISP’s and web hosting companies who will then, under the law, be required to block or take down accused websites... SOPA and PIPA are the wrong bills to protect IP from pirates and teenage kids who can’t afford the media they want to consume. It’s an overreaction that would break the internet and pit everyone against everyone... The ESA should work to back legislation that would help protect their IP without shutting down the very thing that their most loyal fans value most. "
SOPA ignores simple truths concerning piracy
Chris Richardson - JANUARY 5, 2012
"there’s more to the story concerning piracy, something the protection acts completely ignores: Why people pirate to begin with. This subject was deftly discussed in a recent Reddit thread, which was pointed out by Boing Boing:
'The pirates were never your customers and never will be, and the sooner the companies accept that and focus on the real problems (massively overpricing everything when first released, delivering products that can’t easily be moved between devices because of the restrictive/broken DRM, and the declining quality of entertainment products in general), they’ll have better profits.'
How copyright industries con Congress
Julian Sanchez - JANUARY 3, 2012
"SOPA, recall, does not actually shut down foreign sites. It only requires (ineffective) blocking of foreign 'rogue sites/ for U.S. Internet users. It doesn’t do anything to prevent users in (say) China from downloading illicit content on a Chinese site. If we’re interested in the magnitude of the piracy harm that SOPA is aimed at addressing, then, the only relevant number is the loss attributable specifically to Internet piracy by U.S. users."
This quote in particular sums up how many SOPA opponents I know would prefer to tackle online piracy: "... look for appropriately tailored ways to reduce piracy, so that the market devotes resources to production of new creativity and innovation valued by consumers, rather than to other, less efficient purposes".
How SOPA will change the Internet
James Plotkin - JANUARY 3, 2012
"SOPA allows actions to be taken against the infringing site itself if the attorney general is unable to locate the owner of the site. This is highly significant as one of the fundamental principles of natural justice is the maxim 'Audi Alterem Partem' (literally meaning 'hear the other side'). This principle prevents a judgment from being rendered against someone without them either being present or at least having the opportunity to submit an argument in their own favor. SOPA (and Protect IP) allow for an action In Rem (against the property itself)."
The Danger of an Attack on Piracy Online
David Carr - JANUARY 1, 2012
"entertainment companies have deep and long-lasting relationships inside the Beltway. Maplight, a site that researches the influence of money in politics, reported that the 32 sponsors of the legislation received four times as much in contributions from the entertainment industry as they did from software and Internet companies."
No SOPA for you - This Chrome Extension shows you who is Pro-SOPA as you browse
Adrianne Jeffries - DECEMBER 30, 2011
"displays a banner at the top of a site letting you know if the company behind the domain supports the Stop Online Piracy Act. The developers 'used the sources we could find;'"
Support SOPA! DNS will not break
Support SOPA - DECEMBER 2011
"Disabling a rogue domain is actually quite simple, and nothing will need to be broken or even disrupted, but for the rogue domain. Assuming that the host or ISP is unwilling to cooperate, the registrar can easily remove the rogue domain from the root server of the concerned top-level domain ("TLD," i.e. .com, .net, etc.), rendering the domain inaccessible no matter which host the administrator of the infringing domain hops to next. Under the scenarios presented so far, no innocent domains are affected, as long as ISPs/hosts and registrars do what they're supposed to do." (ED: remember, this is a quote from the page. I am not responsible for the technical inaccuracies here.)
SOPA controversy continues while controversial vote is delayed
Glen Peoples - DECEMBER 29, 2011
"SOPA's opponents have succeeded in injecting worst-case and unlikely scenarios into the public discourse... we're not told that a web site operating in Estonia of Hong Kong need not abide by the DMCA. SOPA aims to give copyright owners redress over companies operating outside U.S. jurisdiction." (ED: Whether their aim is off or the weapon of choice is wrong is not discussed here.)
SOPA opponents may go nuclear and other 2012 predictions
Declan McCollough - DECEMBER 29, 2011
"Web firms may be outspent tenfold on lobbyists, but they enjoy one tremendous advantage over the SOPA-backing Hollywood studios and record labels: direct relationships with users."
Growing Chorus of Opposition to "Stop Online Piracy Act"
Center for Democracy & Technology - DECEMBER 28, 2011
"the many voices speaking out against SOPA – in Letters to Congress,In the Press, in Blog Posts and Statements, and in Long-form Analysis... a list of organizations and individuals expressing concern with SOPA and PROTECT IP. Engadget hosts a list of opponents, supporters, and defectors, Who's in and who's out?
One congressman's opposition to SOPA worth noting
Dave Piscitello - DECEMBER 28, 2011
"It's both comforting and disturbing that there is one Congressman who appreciates the gravity of the issues and the consequences of hasty, poorly constructed legislation. If you are a US citizen, contact your congressmen and encourage them to read Senator Wyden's thoughtful statement opposing SOPA."
Why we must stop SOPA
End of the American Dream - DECEMBER 28, 2011
"this is exactly the kind of bill that the establishment media has been waiting for. It would give them back control. SOPA is being heavily promoted by big media corporations. If they are able to shut down free speech on the Internet, then suddenly everyone would be forced to rely on them for news and entertainment once again."
A list of contacts of the companies who support SOPA. It appears to be maintained at least so far as to remove companies that claim to be incorrectly associated with the bill as well as companies that withdraw support. You can use Reverse robocall, you can "record a message that will be delivered as a phone call to the offices of the co-sponsors of SOPA and each of the associations and lobbying groups that have backed the bill in Congress."
Conservatives lining up in opposition to SOPA
Timothy B. Lee - DECEMBER 27, 2011
"A growing number of right-leaning individuals and organizations have come out against SOPA. Last Wednesday, the Heritage Foundation, one of the nation's largest and most influential conservative think tanks, published an article by senior research fellow James Gattuso warning about the "unintended consequences" of SOPA. And on Thursday, he was joined in opposing SOPA by Erick Erickson, editor of the popular conservative blog RedState.
Blacknight does not support SOPA
Michele Neylon - DECEMBER 27, 2011
"Granting any entity the power to unilaterally remove entire domain names from the internet without a proper judicial process is an incredibly dangerous concept. Demanding that ISPs block access to domain names is censorship."
What is SOPA Bill 2012? 7 Things to Know About Controversial Legislation Melanie Jones - DECEMBER 25, 2011
"what happened to Wikileaks via voluntary censorship could now occur in a systematized and streamlined way, as long as someone, somewhere, believes their IP rights are being violated."
What You Need to Know About SOPA in 2012
Dan Rowkinski - DECEMBER 23, 2011
A good place to start to find out who supports SOPA, who opposes it, how bill affects search engines, payment processors and advertisers, and some of the discomforting conflicts of interest the bill would introduce.
The great SOPA conspiracy theory
Paul Tassi - DECEMBER 23, 2011
This article explores the possibility - and plausibility - that not only are the media companies lobbying for SOPA passage to "gain massive amounts of control over the internet, as they can deem which sites are harmful to their brand and effectively censor them should they link to anything remotely resembling their copyrighted material" but that they have been contriving to create the piracy epidemic by encouraging piracy software downloads through sites like CNET and Download.com.
Online Piracy and SOPA: Beware of Unintended Consequences
James Gattuso - DECEMBER 23, 2011
"The requirement that search engines omit links to rogue sites undercuts the role of search firms as trusted intermediaries in conveying information to users... Imposing such a mandate would represent the first step down a classic slippery slope of government interference that has no clear stopping point... Arguably, the limits placed on search engines as well as other third parties under SOPA would also violate constitutional protections of freedom of speech. But even if not barred legally, any such restrictions should be imposed only after the most careful consideration, only when absolutely necessary, and even then, to the smallest degree possible."
What is SOPA and how does it work? The Stop Online Piracy Act explained
Nilay Patel - DECEMBER 21, 2011
SOPA is a law borne of the blind logic of revenge: the movie studios can't punish foreign pirates, so they are attacking the Internet instead"...SOP.A and PIPA "deal with online sites that traffic in illegally copied content, but at extreme cost of remaking the architecture of the internet itself. That’s a high price to pay, especially since neither bill will actually curb real piracy"
SOPA: The End of the Internet as We Know It
Larry Tribe - DECEMBER 20, 2011
"The immunity provisions in the bill create an overwhelming incentive for advertisers and payment processors to comply with such a request upon receipt. Courts have always treated such cutoffs of revenue as a suppression of speech, and the silencing of expression in the absence of judicial review is a classic prior restraint forbidden by the First Amendment."
SOPA: A good example of failing to know your enemy... or your friends
Dave Piscitello - DECEMBER 20, 2011
"SOPA presupposes that criminals, faced with a DNS filtering shock and awe campaign, will fold tents and leave the Internet. Good luck with this."
Don't Break the Internet
Mark Lemley, David S. Levine, & David G. Post - DECEMBER 19, 2011
The bill "not only violates basic principles of due process by depriving persons of property without a fair hearing and a reasonable opportunity to be heard, it also constitutes an unconstitutional abridgement of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment."
How would SOPA be used?
Julian Sanchez - DECEMBER 19, 2011
"All the government needs for forfeiture... is a 'reasonable belief' that a domain is being used to 'facilitate' criminal infringement. This despite the fact that, in the context of obscenity laws, the Supreme Court has held that 'Mere probable cause to believe a violation has transpired is not adequate to remove books or film from circulation.'"
SOPA hearings cast debate as Old Media vs New Media
Washington Post - DECEMBER 17, 2011
"The circus atmosphere of the hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act, introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), reflected the high-stakes, emotional nature of the debate over how to protect copyrighted movies, songs or books online without trampling on the free speech of individuals and companies."
Why SOPA could kill the Open Education Resource Movement
Liz Dwyer - DECEMBER 16, 2011
"Many OER platforms are nonprofit, operating with Creative Commons licenses and allowing global users to upload content on the honor system... Under SOPA, if any copyright-infringing material is discovered on an OER, the organization 'could potentially have their domain name blocked by the goverment'—even if platform staff are unaware that it's been uploaded. And because OERs are by definition open to anyone, entire sites could become 'unavailable due to the behavior of a tiny minority of confused or malicious users.'"
Will the SOPA bill kill the Internet?
Jennifer Martinez and Michele Quinn - DECEMBER 16, 2011
"there are some real fears: Legislating new powers to law enforcement and rights holders could lead to the development of new, blunter Internet “blocking” tools to use on foreign websites suspected of infringing copyright — censoring what U.S. users can see and access online."
An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the U.S. Congress
Parker Higgins, Peter Eckersley - DECEMBER 16, 2011
"An open letter to members of the United States Congress from 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively."
Unintended Consequences: How SOPA could threaten Internet security
Paul Ferguson - DECEMBER 16, 2011
"The legislation as proposed could undermine the universality of domain names, endangering the basic functionality and ease-of-use of the Internet."
Former DHS Assistant Secretary Stewart Baker On SOPA 2.0: Still A Disaster For Cybersecurity
techDirt - DECEMBER 15, 2011
"sixteen years of hard work to build a system that will prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and keep the internet much safer... washed completely down the drain because Hollywood still can't understand basic economics of how to make money online. "
Mandates can't alter the facts
Paul Vixie, Danny McPherson, Dan Kaminsky, David Dagon, Steve Crocker - DECEMBER 14, 2011
"Focusing on the single provision in this bicameral legislative package which mandates that Internet Services Providers filter the results their customers receive from the Domain Name System, it is possible to observe simply that: it will do no good and it will do much harm."
The Internet Blacklist vs. The Constitution
Corynne McSherry - DECEMBER 14, 2011
"These bills go well outside those traditional contours to burden clearly non-infringing speech, e.g., search results, advertisements, and commentary on sites that also “promote” infringement, a burden that is not incidental but rather essential to the regulatory scheme."
Stewart Baker - DECEMBER 14, 2011
"Browsers implementing DNSSEC will have to circumvent and bypass criminal blocking, and in the process, they will also circumvent and bypass SOPA orders."
SOPA: Why do we have to break the DNS?
Tom Daly - DECEMBER 12, 2011
"Implementing such a solution breaks the distributed tree of authority concept used by the DNS by “injecting” U.S. nationalized pieces of DNS policy into the system... conditions that could occur where a SOPA-fed recursive DNS server could hand back incorrect DNS data or be circumvented all together... If the source of a SOPA feed were to ever be compromised, an attacker could take critical Internet infrastructure domains offline by adding them to the feed... [an infringer could set up a] 'free, non-SOPA”' recursive DNS server for users to use – one that additionally hijacked legitimate banking, ecommerce and business websites"
What's Wrong With SOPA?
Stanford School of Law/CIS - DECEMBER 7, 2011
A stellar panel of legal, business and technology experts discuss and debate aspects of SOPA. Read the handout, watch the video.
Technical Comments on Mandated DNS Filtering Requirements of H. R. 3261 ("SOPA")
Paul Vixie - DECEMBER 11, 2011
"SOPA contains a DNS filtering mandate similar to PIPA's, and our arguments about the technical unworkability of PIPA are entirely accurate about the technical flaws in SOPA...DNS doesn't work the way Congress needs it to work, and mandated interception in any form will not make it so."
The Good And The Bad Of The New OPEN Bill From Wyden And Issa
techDirt - DECEMBER 9, 2011
This article describes OPEN: Online Protection & ENforcement of Digital Trade Act, a bill submitted by Sen. Wyden and Rep. Issa as an alternative to SOPA/PROTECT-IP.
..."the technologies outlined in these bills will, in fact, not achieve the stated objectives. While some filtering techniques have been used in the past for cybersecurity purposes, in our experience cybercriminals have proven to be adept at exploiting or evading DNS and IP address filtering for many years and can readily avoid detection and “game” the system with little effort or cost... these technologies would unintentionally increase security risks to end users and create new cyber attack targets that could possibly endanger public welfare. The filtering technologies outlined in these bills also would significantly impact the currently reliable messaging processes that are depended on worldwide and would require drastic architectural changes to existing network operations. These bills, if passed in their present form, will make it exceedingly difficult – if not arguably impossible – to protect the Internet community from ongoing attacks on critical infrastructure, to block spam, child pornography and malware, and to prevent phishing attacks against individuals and commercial enterprises."
Paul Vixie: SOPA/PIPA Would Be Good For My Business, But I'm Still Against It
techDirt - DECEMBER 8, 2011
"one metaphor was used repeatedly through the evening.. that 'the toothpaste is just going to come out somewhere else.' It's a good way of noting the unintended consequences here. Plugging this "hole" and then putting pressure on sites may stop certain actions, but it won't deal with the real issue that Hollywood is facing."
Eugene Kaspersky - DECEMBER 6, 2011
"What bothers me is the complete “Americanization” of this Internet law. Of course, this is a matter of habit. Any state should, of course, think first of all about its citizens, their interests, protecting its own inventors, developers and manufacturers and about its economy. However, under this law, the interests of non-American authors/creators are not protected at all, while the nationality of the perpetrators is of no importance."
Shocker: MPAA Writes U.S. Anti-Piracy Bill?
TorrentFreak - DECEMBER 4, 2011
A Close Look at SOPA
Jonathan Zittrain, Kendra Albert and Alicia Solow-Niederman - DECEMBER 2, 2011
"a guide to the Stop Online Piracy Act as proposed in the United States House of Representatives. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), H.R. 3261, 112th Cong. (2011). It represents our notes as we sought to understand exactly what it does and how it does it — along with our corresponding sense for why its principal mechanisms make for poor law. Our aim is for this analysis to be useful to anyone wanting to understand the Act..."
Alternative To PIPA/SOPA Proposed; Points Out That This Is An International Trade Issue
techDirt - DECEMBER 1, 2011
"one key point has become clear: this isn't a law and order issue, but an international trade issue. Nearly all of the complaints are about the problem of "foreign" sites sending goods across the border into the US. So it makes absolutely no sense that this issue isn't under the purview of the Finance Committee, whose job it is to oversee international trade. "
Stop Online Piracy Act - Danny Goldberg & Jonathan Zittrain
The Colbert Report - DECEMBER 1, 2011
"Music manager Danny Goldberg defends Internet piracy laws, and Harvard law professor Jonathan Zittrain doesn't want Justin Bieber to go to jail for copyright infringement."
Business Software Alliance withdraws support for US SOPA anti-piracy plans
Rosalie Marshall - NOVEMBER 22, 2011
"while copyright claims are important they have to be dealt with in a balanced fashion and can't be used to destroy innocent web sites where user generated content may inadvertently cause infringement."
SOPA: What You Should Know & Why Dyn Opposes It
Jeremy Hitchcock - NOVEMBER 18, 2011
"this bill would give the government more control into shutting down websites they don’t agree with in general... Both the sites themselves and Dyn as their DNS provider could be penalized for simply providing a conduit in which someone can access or promote views the government doesn’t agree with — regardless of whether the source is based in the U.S. or not."
US Stop Online Piracy Act could affect UK web sites
Rosalie Marshall - NOVEMBER 17, 2011
"anti-piracy legislation being considered by the US government could block innocent web sites operated by UK businesses and consumers, according to experts...The documents are very vaguely worded, but we assume that the bill will extend power over web sites that we wouldn't normally think of as US web sites but that are routed through the US."
Analysis: Internet Blacklist Bill Is Roadmap to ‘the End’ of the Internet
David Kravets - NOVEMBER 17, 2011
"[The bill] amounts to the holy grail of intellectual-property enforcement that the recording industry, movie studios and their union and guild workforces have been clamoring for since the George W. Bush administration: The bill grants rights holders the unfettered power to effectively kill websites they believe are dedicated to infringing activities — without needing to get a judge’s permission."
Help Protect Internet Innovation
Albert Wenger - NOVEMBER 16, 2011
"SOPA contains anti-circumvention language that would essentially allow forgovernment control over essential privacy software such as VPNs, proxies, and even something as fundamental as SSH. SOPA also provides for an incredibly broad right of private action that would allow content owners to interfere with the operations of payment processors and social media services such as Twitter"
Stop Censorship: The Problems With SOPA
Julie Ahrens - NOVEMBER 16, 2011
"By failing to guarantee the challenged websites notice or an opportunity to be heard in court before their sites are shutdown, SOPA violates due process... And by ordering Internet service providers to remove any offending domain name, it would require the suppression of all sub-domains associated with the domain-- censoring thousands of individual websites with vast amounts of protected speech containing no infringing content."
Growing Chorus of Opposition to "Stop Online Piracy Act"
Center for Democracy & Technology - NOVEMBER 15, 2011
"the blunt instrument of domain name filtering... won't work; threatens significant collateral damage in a number of areas, including cybersecurity; and sets an international example that would encourage balkanization of the global Internet."
The color of lies: DNSchanger, error resolution services, and ProtectIP/SOPA
Dave Piscitello - NOVEMBER 2011
"rather than propose bills out of frustration, isn't it worth considering how to improve and accelerate processes that are working, and to consider ways to make them scale and work smoothly, internationally?"
The PROTECT IP Act Will Slow Start-up Innovation
Brad Burnham - JUNE 23, 2011
"when considering legislation or regulation that would impact the basic structure of the Internet, we believe that legislators and regulators should be guided by a key tenet of the Hippocratic Oath 'FIRST DO NO HARM'."
"All technical approaches to DNS blocking, and even more so attempts to circumvent the blocking, will have some impact on the security and/or stability of users and applications, and on the coherency or universal resolvability of the global namespace."
Internet Piracy and How to Stop It
New York Times Editorial - JUNE 8, 2011
"The broadness of the definition is particularly worrisome because private companies are given a right to take action under the bill."
Security and Other Technical Concerns Raised by the DNS Filtering Requirements in the PROTECT IP Bill
Steve Crocker,David Dagon, Dan Kaminsky, Danny McPherson, Paul Vixie - MAY 2011
This paper describes technical problems raised by the DNS filtering requirements in S. 978, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (“PROTECT IP Act”).
Contact me at securitysceptic at gmail dot com if you have articles you'd like to see mentioned here. I'll maintain this as a living document as long as PIPA, SOPA or any successor bill that poses the same threats is discussed in the USG>