Canadians Realizing That Their Websites Will Get Swept Up By SOPA Censorship

from the narrowly-targeted? dept

More and more problems with SOPA keep coming up. Michael Geist took a look at the bill from a Canadian perspective and realized that the bill would lead to censorship of Canadian websites as well, thanks to the ridiculous broad manner by which SOPA sets up its censorship mechanism:

It defines ?domestic Internet Protocol addresses? ? the numeric strings that constitute the actual address of a website or Internet connection ? as ?an Internet Protocol address for which the corresponding Internet Protocol allocation entity is located within a judicial district of the United States.?

Yet IP addresses are allocated by regional organizations, not national ones. The allocation entity located in the U.S. is called ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers. Its territory includes the U.S., Canada and 20 Caribbean nations. This bill treats all IP addresses in this region as domestic for U.S. law purposes.

To put this in context, every Canadian Internet provider relies on ARIN for its block of IP addresses. In fact, ARIN even allocates the block of IP addresses used by federal and provincial governments. The U.S. bill would treat them all as domestic for U.S. law purposes.

I’m sure supporters of the bill don’t mind a little unintended consequences hitting the Canadians, but as a sovereign nation that probably would prefer that other countries don’t start poking around with our own sliver of the internet, running roughshod over foreign websites (while pretending they’re domestic) seems like setting a dangerous precedent.

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Comments on “Canadians Realizing That Their Websites Will Get Swept Up By SOPA Censorship”

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A Guy (profile) says:

So, I guess Canada will have to set up its own uncensored DNS server to work around the US laws.

If only we here in the United States could easily and freely use that Canadian server to avoid any ridiculous censorship of our free speech…

Wait a minute every operating system has its own settings to change DNS servers.

It’s almost like the people behind this bill don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

A Guy (profile) says:


I’m sure that’s the intent of some. However, outlawing the internet version of a foreign phone book is going to be even harder to get through the courts than this stinking pile of a bill. At some point, maybe at the 100th degree of separation between the actual infringement and some guy talking about the many, many holes in the plan, the courts will rule on the side of free speech.

Either that or we will scrap the first amendment and the long history of precedents that define it.

MrWilson says:


The article says, “Canadians.” Michael Geist is a Canadian. It doesn’t say Canadian companies, so why the demand for statements from companies? Let me guess, you only consider the opinions of companies to be important since that’s where your funding comes from…

Also, why do you ask for a reference to a company’s fears if you’re also expecting the statement to be grassroots-based?

You don’t seem to be trying very hard to troll. You might not get your Christmas bonus if you don’t step up your game.

G Thompson (profile) says:


I haven’t commented on much about SOPA because I’m not qualified enough to comment on your congress & statutes and watching from the outside is utterly fascinating though.

Though something I wrote elsewhere about what I suspect a lot of the International community thinks, and especially what I do has bearing here if SOPA and it’s ilk come to be passed into your laws.

I wish the USA well in the coming decade when it becomes more isolationist then even before WW2 and when the rest of the world is enjoying the Internet, Equality in Trade, and the hopeful removal of the US$ as a world monetary standard.

I look forward to the increased immigration of highly skilled US citizens to the rest of the world since they will not be able to be curious or innovate due to the self inflicted harm their own government and backwards thinking bricks & mortar industry moguls will of placed into legislation creating a wide range of chilling effects.

I look forward to welcoming the USA back into the world community after it and its citizenry come to their senses and understand that Equity goes both ways and understands that having only 330million people they should only be having a 5% say in the worlds affairs, not the 100% they seem to think they are owed.

Somehow though, I suspect that my welcoming will be a long time to come and might be dependant on a civil war or worse, hopefully that is not the case.

I wish you all well in your struggles with SOPA though I am pragmatic enough to understand that even if this version does not go through, the next most likely will


BearGriz72 (profile) says:


ARIN = American Registry for Internet Numbers (not Americas)

Established in December 1997, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is a Regional Internet Registry (RIR) incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia, USA. ARIN is one of five (5) RIRs. Like the other RIRs, ARIN:

*Provides services related to the technical coordination and management of Internet number resources in its respective service region.
    — The ARIN service region includes Canada, many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands, and the United States;
*Participates in the global Internet community;
*Facilitates the development of policy decisions made by its members and the stakeholders in its region;
*Is a nonprofit, membership organization;
*Is governed by an executive board elected by its membership.

Conspiracy Troll says:

everyone against this bill has been brainwashed by china since china is brainwashing americans to oppose IP because they want to undermine the U.S. economy for their own benefit. and what’s more amazing is that everyone falls for it. you all believe their brainwashing propaganda but you don’t realize that the people pushing for this are the chinese.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:


I haven’t commented on much about SOPA because I’m not qualified enough to comment on your congress & statutes

Neither are many commenters here (myself included) but we’re an opinionated lot. I admire your restraint. 🙂

and watching from the outside is utterly fascinating though.

Sort of like a train wreck in slow motion, yes?

Somehow though, I suspect that my welcoming will be a long time to come and might be dependant on a civil war or worse, hopefully that is not the case.

Yeah, that’s what I’m afraid of. What I’m hoping is that something will break so badly that it’ll be obvious to even the most stubbornly reactionary that the thing is broken, but not so badly that it can’t be fixed in a reasonable time period.

But I’m betting on civil war.

PaulT (profile) says:


Kind of my point. Our low fore-headed friend above seems to be trying to imply that people only want to fight SOPA to protect their ability to infringe. A popular tactic around here, unfortunately, as actually addressing reality would make them agree Mike has a point, and maybe even agree that the major reasons to oppose “anti-piracy” measures have nothing to do with piracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Another Canadian here watching from the outside. No offense to my American friends but your politics, laws and everything else going on in your country these days has made you nothing but a laughing stock for the rest of the world.

Between your impotent government and biased media (OWS doesn’t even know what their message is, bunch of dirty hippies, class warfare on the rich!) it’s like watching trashy reality TV.

I’d compare the MAFIAA to Flava Flav. Completely crazy and useless and just looking to screw someone.

MadCanadian says:

USA taking over the world

The world does not belong to the USA, this is a huge violation, this will end large contract from canadian ISP.
This is an ACT OF WAR. Canadians, arm yourself and fight back!
DDOS is not enough. Now we need to do real damage. Infect and destroy and USA politic, net “security”, large corporation websites. Erase databases, spread the word, we will not let USA take over the cyberworld. We are canadians, we do not forget, we do not forgive. Expect us.

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