Journalists And Key Engineers Who Built The Internet: Completely Opposed To SOPA
from the as-they-should-be dept
Another day, and another group of influential folks have come out against SOPA. First up, the more surprising one: the American Society of News Editors (ASNE), a large group of journalists and editors have spoken out against the bill. And these are people who SOPA supporters are including in their list of the “copyright intensive industries” and yet they don’t want this bill, because they know it’ll increase liability for doing what they do every day.
Separately, a who’s who list of 83 internet engineers has come out against SOPA. This is basically everyone who built the core infrastructure that the internet is based on, and they’re not at all comfortable with the bill. That should say something. Remember the House’s SOPA hearing that didn’t have a single technical expert on the panel? Perhaps they should have held a hearing that included some of these people, who all seem very opposed to the bill.
Censorship of Internet infrastructure will inevitably cause network errors and security problems. This is true in China, Iran and other countries that censor the network today; it will be just as true of American censorship. It is also true regardless of whether censorship is implemented via the DNS, proxies, firewalls, or any other method. Types of network errors and insecurity that we wrestle with today will become more widespread, and will affect sites other than those blacklisted by the American government.
The current bills — SOPA explicitly and PIPA implicitly — also threaten engineers who build Internet systems or offer services that are not readily and automatically compliant with censorship actions by the U.S. government. When we designed the Internet the first time, our priorities were reliability, robustness and minimizing central points of failure or control. We are alarmed that Congress is so close to mandating censorship-compliance as a design requirement for new Internet innovations. This can only damage the security of the network, and give authoritarian governments more power over what their citizens can read and publish.