GoDaddy's Chief SOPA Supporter Now Running For Arizona Governor Highlighting Her 'Internet' Experience
from the oh-really-now? dept
As anyone who followed the SOPA fight remembers, GoDaddy was an early (and vocal) supporter of SOPA. This was mainly the work of its General Counsel, Christine Jones, who (prior to SOPA specifically being released) testified before Congress in support of a law sounding very much like SOPA (supporting making search engines, service providers, credit card companies and others liable). When SOPA was released, she wrote an op-ed strongly in favor of it for Politico (who appear to have made it disappear), calling the bill “a welcome step in the right direction.” She did this even though — under the bill’s initial definition — GoDaddy itself was clearly “dedicated to theft of property.”
As you probably remember, the internet backlash was strong, and GoDaddy had to drop its support, giving the company a major black eye. Since then, a very large percentage of the management team has changed, including Jones, who left the company a few months after SOPA collapsed.
What’s she up to these days? Oh, she’s just running for governor of Arizona… on the basis of her wonderful “internet” experience. That seems… wrong. The “about” section on her campaign page kicks off with this:
Christine made it a priority to establish Go Daddy as a leader in the fight to make the Internet better and safer for users, particularly children. She has testified numerous times before U.S. Congressional Committees in Washington, D.C. about various issues related to the Internet. She also helped drive federal Internet-related legislation, including laws to keep the Web safe from child predators and rogue online pharmacies. For example, she helped push through bills such as the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act, the Protect Our Children Act, and the Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act. These bills were signed into law by President Bush in October 2008 and have been used by law enforcement and others to shut down illegal online drug sellers and to prosecute online child predators.
Nothing about SOPA, you see. But she does highlight these kinds of grandstanding laws that have great titles that sound like they’re trying to make the internet safer from evil things like fake drugs and sexual predators. In reality, most of these bills have done nothing particularly useful. That’s because they were all about getting headlines so politicians could claim they were doing something about some “big problem” without tackling the actual underlying problems. In some cases, they have serious problems. The “Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators” made all registered sex offenders register their emails in a weak attempt to keep them off of social networks (even when the “offenders” did not have a history of being predators or anything like that).
These are the kinds of bills that someone supports because they want more political cred, not because they have any interest in actually solving real problems. Either way, it just seems really wrong for a person who was heavily involved in supporting SOPA in the early days to now be running for political office arguing that she was focused on making the internet “a better place.”