Lamar Smith's Head-In-Sand Approach To SOPA Critics Inspires 'Lamar Smith Can't Hear You' Anti-Campaign Poster

from the speak-up-please dept

This is pretty awesome. Last week, Lamar Smith (once again) tried to dismiss any opposition to SOPA, by insisting that it was a tiny “vocal minority” who was peaking up, and insisting that “not one of the critics was able to point to any language in the bill that would in any way harm the internet.” Except… that’s not true. Tons of people have pointed out language that was problematic. Furthermore, spitting on and lying about the widespread internet community, just as it’s trying to make a difference, isn’t that smart. Via BoingBoing, we learn that this is just leading to further backlash, such as ChadRocco creating a brilliant “anti-campaign” poster against Lamar Smith: Lamar Smith Can’t Hear You:

As Chad notes:

Meet Lamar Smith, representative from Texas, and Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary.

As Chairman he can kill any bill he doesn’t like by denying it a hearing while giving priority to the bills he wants to pass, Like SOPA.

While addressing the massive outcry over SOPA he stated that:

?It?s a vocal minority. Because they?re strident doesn?t mean they?re either legitimate or large in number. One, they need to read the language. Show me the language. There?s nothing they can point to that does what they say it does do. I think their fears are unfounded.?

Above is a list of people that have pointed at the language, including law professors and computer experts.

You have a civil war among video game companies, and the successful boycott of a company. How do you ignore that?

It’s an election year. This November. Whatever happens, Texas, please kick this guy out of office.

If anything, I’d say that the graphic significantly underplays the opposition. The massive list of those opposed to SOPA is growing daily and has a lot more impressive folks than are just in that graphic (also, as far as I know, Microsoft has not publicly opposed SOPA — though it was rumored to have done so quietly to get the BSA to back off). Still, the graphic really is emblematic of the stance that Smith has taken on SOPA. As long as he ignores the loud, widespread and growing opposition, perhaps he thinks it will just go away.

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Comments on “Lamar Smith's Head-In-Sand Approach To SOPA Critics Inspires 'Lamar Smith Can't Hear You' Anti-Campaign Poster”

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55 Comments
GamerLEN says:

Re: Re:

I just got netflix on my Wii and I have to say I’m considering just cancelling the cable now. I can’t remember the last time I bothered to watch it…

… oh wait, it was last spring when the storm sirens went off and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t about to be blown to the magical land of Oz.

So yeah… a tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny bit obsolite there Time Warner.

E. Zachary Knight (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Welcome to the world of cord cutting. I haven’t watched Cable or Satellite television since I lived at my mom’s house and have never missed it. Every time I go there or to my in-laws, I am reminded just why exactly I don’t.

For example, I was at my in-laws over the Christmas holiday and I sat down to watch some tv. After flipping through the channels for the 3rd time looking for something, I switched over to Netflix and was watching something 1 minute later. Instant gratification beats spoon-fed crap any day.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No spoon

This is no joke, actually. I went to pay my rent this month, and the landlord is like 63 years old.

He was sitting at home in front of his 50″ flat screen with Fox News on. He starts ranting on about a lady he took out to dinner that spent the whole night looking at her phone each time it vibrated.

He said “This younger generation with all their gadgets, and computers; I just don’t understand it. I can’t believe anything that is said out there on that thing you call the Internet. I like the good old standby’s like Fox News for example. They tell it like it is. It’s real.”

I’m pretty sure the look on my face equated “Facepalm”.

He was smart enough to take one look at me and say, “Well, I guess there always comes a point in time where there is a generation gap.”.

I just smiled at him.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No spoon

Yes and no. I consider that dinner companion to be rude.

But maybe I’m just too old to appreciate a date who spends all her time paying attention to everything except me. Maybe it is a generational thing.

Contrariwise, I don’t have cable, don’t watch broadcast, consider Fox to be an unreliable news source, and I own a smartphone and multiple computers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 No spoon

Where as I do agree that people pay attention to their devices at times that is easily considered rude their is a lot of other rude things they could be doing that don’t use electricity.
Now if your date starts puts down the phone and starts rearranging the table or talking to somebody else you might take that as a clue that is you.

On the other side of the coin…. I often sit on the couch an cuddle with my wife while we look at our own devices, but we will share and show each other the cool and interesting stuff we find or are doing.

It is all about context and how you interact, not the device, or book or tv show or keg of beer.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 No spoon

The context appears to be a date. I consider it rude to ignore your date. You appear to be shifting the blame; fine, my hypothetical date is ignoring me because I’m a screaming bore. Oddly enough… it’s still rude.

Apparently it’s a generational thing; your generation was obviously raised with very different social values from mine. Good news: I won’t be asking you out on a date anytime soon.

P.S. It works both ways. It would be just as rude for me to ignore my date. I’m not trying to claim it’s all on her. Contrariwise, if I found that I couldn’t stand her, I’d try to remain polite and simply end the date as early as I could.

Designerfx (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

just make sure you don’t cord cut merely to create another (google tv, apple tv, tivo, roku).

All of the above products can be replaced merely by actually using a computer (as it is already capable of doing), and all of the above support drastic DRM/give you far less control over everything, for about 1/5th the cost of the above products.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Meanwhile, those of us in many other countries are still not allowed to access those services legally (yes, I know I can VPN but that’s not the same as being able to access the services normally).

I’m in a country that the US has recently been attacking, and whose services (which have been deemed legal in this country) bills like SOPA are being created to block. Said services being set up as a direct response to said material not being available legally.

Why, it’s almost as if servicing the market would take care of the problem without needing censorship laws…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s telling that if SOPA supporters (like Time Warner, the MPAA, the RIAA) put their names on pro-sopa political ads it would do a disservice for their cause. They would have to find another way to position the ad without their names on it.

When SOPA opponents put their names on ads critical of the bill, it’s likely to garnish even more support of the political ad and more opposition to the bill than had they not.

Tells you something about the companies supporting these bills and the public’s perception of them vs the companies opposing them and the public’s perception of them.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Smith says there’s only a small vocal minority. Says no-one has pointed to any controversial language in the bill.
The poster encapsulates the fact that he is lying. There is a massive outcry over this. If Smith says no-one is talking about the bill, and in fact there is, the only possible reason for his statement is…he is lying.
You just love censorship and falsehoods, Anonymous Coward. When are you going to come out and admit it?

anonymous says:

if Lamar Smith gets voted out of office at the next elections, do you think he will hear the ‘get the fuck out’ or do you think he’ll carry on pretending that ‘it was a tiny “vocal minority” who was speaking up’ against him?

answers to the ‘Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary’ only, please!

Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile) says:

Sympathy for the devilish

Oh, come on. Look at the position Lamar’s in. Granted, he put himself there, but what choice does he have now? It’s not like he can give back the money. He was purchased fair and square. It probably went down something like this:

LOBBYISTS: Lamar, I’m sure you’re concerned with stuff like America, jobs and stealing.
LAMAR SMITH: Of course. I’m here to serve my constituents and nothing would make them happier than America, jobs and… whoa… is that real?
LOBBYISTS (LB): Oh, this? Yeah, it’s real. It’s what we in the business call “a shit-ton of Benjamins.” You can touch it.
LAMAR SMITH (LS): Nice. Wow. I don’t I’ve ever seen this many, um, “Benjamins” in one place. I feel like Rick Ross. You know, “Ever seen a million cash, gotta count it carefully…” I think I’m going to count it! Let me get my lounge pants!
LB: Lamar. That’s really not necessary…
[10 minutes later]
LB: Anyway, Lamar, we’ve got a proposition for you.
LS: 250,300… 250,400… wha?
LB: Are you familiar with The Internet?
LS: A little. I get my email on it. Sometimes I watch some youtubes.
LB: Well, The Internet is great… in theory. The problem is that The Internet is never used for great things. Take a look at this.
[Plays presentation entitled “The Internet: Always On, Always Wrong.” Footage includes shots of Kim Dotcom driving a sports car while humming a copyrighted tune, a few Youtube comment threads, Eileen Siedler issuing DMCAs, Eileen Siedler issuing more DMCAs, some brief sapphic eroticism, /b/, someone being bullied on Facebook, the ultra-sad face of a creative ladder operator, pages full of DVD covers and foreign text, a LOLCAT and Terry Hart marking his own comment as “Insightful”.]

LS: [absently thumbing stack of $100s] I see. Well, nothing more needs to said or viewed, especially /b/. You can count on my tireless support of this legislation, which you have yet to detail for me but I’m sure that [waves in the general direction of the money] I’ve got the gist of it. Jobs, foreigners, America, right?
LB: That’s pretty much it. We’ll be needing to break The Internet to pull it off, but as you can see, it clearly offers nothing but theft, misspellings and tentacle porn. And don’t worry about your email. We can always build you an intranet, which is much like The Internet, only it locks from the outside.
LS: Swell! I do like to get my email!
LB: There will be tons of opposition to this but don’t let it dissuade you. Remember, the opponents are nothing but a bunch of thieves who can’t spell, hate America, live in their mom’s basement and violate themselves while watching anime.
LS: Those… those bastards! Sorry. I normally don’t swear but the money and the tentacle porn and the Rick Ross thing sort of took over.
LB: Alright. We can count on you?
LS: What opposition?
LB: [LAUGHS EVILLY, POINTS TO NOSE]
LS: [LAUGHS EVILLY, SCREWS UP AND POINTS TO LOBBYIST’S NOSE]

The Logician says:

To ignore such numerous and widespread protestations as Lamar Smith does is most illogical. However, it is not unusual given that he represents interests whose very goal involves the ignorance of technology and its capabilities, as well as human nature itself. It is a classic case of the blind leading the blind. Both will fall into the ditch, and it will be of their own doing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

From working with Comcast, when they blocks a computer from spam, virus, malware, etc, it is usually by the port that it is broadcasting on and not by DNS. But this is for individual computers and not domains. I haven’t heard of a domain being blocked because of those reasons but I suspect they would do the same thing.

Machin Shin (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The main difference that will be causing the issue is the sites being filtered. The bill makes it far to easy for someone to attack a site they don’t like and get it on a blocked list. OpenDNS offers a filtering service but from what I can tell that is kind of a separate layer on top of their DNS. You can setup an account and choose what you want filtered. It is not actually messing with the core DNS.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because those virus/malware filters are:
1. Not mandatory, for the people who implement them or for you. (It’s not yet a federal crime to switch DNS servers.)
2. Not defined by politicians who enjoy bragging about how little they understand the technology they regulate.
3. Not blocking anything anyone would ever actually want for any reason ever. (Does a spam filter deny spam companies’ free speech rights? Answer: Nobody cares about spam companies, so whatever.)

ZeeBat (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Ask yourself who or what is doing the blocking for these bad locations.

Ask yourself if you have a real choice about how you are connecting to the Internet.

Ask yourself about who is compiling this list of bad locations.

Ask yourself how this list is compiled, implemented and managed.

Now ask yourself how you could get around these bad site filters to investigate for yourself.

Finally, ask yourself who might claim that a location is infringing on copyright and what the result of that could be under SOPA.

One short answer from me is that all of those bad locations you’re referencing can be gotten to via DNS right now, one way or another, via DNS name resolution. Their DNS presence has not been hijacked.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

From a security stand point, pure and simple if you open a backdoor for legitimate uses it will be used for bad things too so that weakens DNSSEC.

From a trust point of view, if you start blocking anything that is not accepted universally everywhere you are not going to succeed, people don’t go after viruses to get infected, they don’t go out and learn how to bypass anything in great numbers to go view pedo material, but they will create solutions to view other things and that will be used by criminals too. So instead of one route you now have to secure and take care of alternative routes and that is no easy task since nobody knows what they will look like in the future.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Also the problem with “policy” is that it is arbitrary, someone decides what can and cannot happen, at the moment we have a lot of people who decide on their own they have no pressure to get it right and that is a good thing it keep costs down and make the cost of making mistakes low since the guy in charge can remedy that problem by himself on the other hand by allowing the government to interfere that liberty no longer exists and the price for getting wrong could be your freedom so people will exclude everything they can to be in compliance bad or good indiscriminately, how is that good?

FM Hilton (profile) says:

He's deaf on purpose

It’s the money coming in through the back door that has made him deaf-millions of dollars in campaign contributions, plus he meets real celebrities!
How can he not be deaf to smart people when he can say he knows some Hollywood big wigs who can line up a hot date for him any time?

It’s better than some Internet dating service, that’s for sure!

what about vpn? says:

The blacklisting provision isn’t all that needs to be dropped. What about the one that bans proxies and vpn services? Nothing is more important than that one, not even the blacklist itself. It would do serious harm to people fighting oppressive regimes, and Lamar Smith doesn’t seem to give a damn about it. If just that one provision was dropped, I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with what he wishes to accomplish.

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