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.