OpenDNS Comes Out Against COICA Censorship
from the good-for-them dept
Broadband Reports points us to a blog post from OpenDNS's founder and CEO, David Ulevitch, highlighting the dangers of COICA. He notes that services like OpenDNS already allow individuals the choice to block access to certain websites, but having the government declare entire sites blockable at the DNS level is definite trouble -- especially considering how much accidental copyright infringement there is.
What COICA proposes would induce, and in some cases, force ISPs -- including yours -- to block websites for you without your input. The Internet is a global phenomenon and at OpenDNS we serve a global audience with customers around the world. If we are forced to block something due to a mandate by the U.S. federal government it would impact all our users, not just those in the U.S. That's a terrible precedent for the U.S. government to set.While it looks like there isn't likely to be much movement on COICA in the lameduck session, it'll definitely be back next year. It's important that more people recognize that COICA is all about censorship before the bill goes much further.
Furthermore, as we've seen with the ongoing Wikileaks.org saga, the government will try and utilize whatever resources it can to take sites offline. There is absolutely no need to arm them with a tool to automate it, let alone one that sits outside of any judicial review as COICA does.
Blocking a domain name is black and white act, meaning that if the Justice Department decided that one aspect of a website was enough to make infringement "central" their only recourse would be to block the entire website rather than systematically removing the infringing portion. For many sites this would lead to massive censorship of data and speech that was non-infringing.