House Judiciary Committee Refuses To Hear Wider Tech Industry Concerns About SOPA
from the this-is-not-democracy dept
Ever since SOPA was introduced, we’d heard that the eventual House Judiciary Committee hearings on the bill would be an unfairly stacked deck. Despite such wide opposition to the bill, and the fact that this represents a massive change to the regulatory and technological framework of the internet, we’d been told, repeatedly, that the hearings would be set up with three representatives in favor of the bill, and just one against. Apparently, the supporters of the bill are simply too afraid to actually listen to that many concerns and have to surround themselves with “yes men” to think they’re doing the right thing.
Turns out that the decks are being even further stacked.
Today, we’re hearing that the head of NetCoalition, who many people expected to represent the wider tech and internet industry’s significant concerns about SOPA has been denied a seat at the hearings. This is the same group that has been requesting a seat at the negotiating table all along, and has been denied by the MPAA and its supporters. Basically, the decks are being stacked so far in favor of SOPA, that next week’s hearing will be a total joke. We’re even hearing rumors that it will now be 4 representatives in favor of SOPA, and no one who will represent the wider concerns of the internet industry that’s about to be regulated. Instead, the committee is looking for someone who will only raise some specific narrow concerns about the bill.
I guess I have a simple question: just what are Reps. Lamar Smith, John Conyers and Bob Goodlatte afraid of? Are they really so fragile that they can’t handle the idea that the wider internet industry is seriously worried about this bill? Must they only hear from those who helped write the bill in the first place? What kind of democracy is that?