More And More Internet Infrastructure Players Coming Out To Say How Bad SOPA/PIPA Are

from the anyone-support-it? dept

We've noted in the past that most of the people who actually understand the basic internet infrastructure have come out against SOPA and PIPA. That includes both individuals and companies (such as OpenDNS and Dyn), but it appears that we may be reaching a tipping point with tons and tons of internet infrastructure companies speaking out against these bills. We've already talked about the massive GoDaddy backlash... but it's interesting to note that many registrars and hosting companies are using this as an opportunity to speak out against SOPA and PIPA. Hover, Dreamhost, NameCheap and Name.com have all made explicit statements on their blogs. Back in the DNS space, EasyDNS has written a blistering anti-SOPA post on its blog:

If this becomes law, it's a short stretch from SOPA to NODA (No Online Dissent Anywhere) and if you think I'm a nutcase for saying so, I'd like to remind everybody what happened just over a year ago, when US politicians were tripping over themselves to shut down wikileaks (a royal fiasco in which this company was embroiled) and to this day, they have not been charged with a crime anywhere.

Many of the "dirty tricks" employed against Wikileaks would be enshrined in law under SOPA (and someday, NODA):

  • A requirement that service providers block access to offending domains, including that they stop resolving their DNS
  • Search engines to purge search results for offending domains
  • Payment processors to sever ties to offending domains

And they added an extra provision that it will be an offense to knowingly create a service or system to provide a workaround to a banned domain or host. So for example, they would no longer have to hassle Mozilla to remove that firefox plugin that lets you reach ICE blocked websites, it would be illegal to make it or distribute it.

And that's not all. As if to drive home the point, a relatively new group called the SaveHosting Coalition just came out with a letter signed by over 300 execs involved in internet infrastructure companies, saying they're against SOPA. The full letter, embedded below, is well worth a read. It's quite comprehensive, and basically makes it quite clear that SOPA isn't just bad for internet infrastructure, but it's bad for jobs and the economy, as well as pretty much anyone who does anything online. Here's just a snippet:
We write to express that, after careful review of H.R.3261 - the Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011 (SOPA), we believe that this legislation will lead to significant loss of high-wage, high-tech jobs in our industry and other industries that are directly or indirectly supported by our industry. This impact will diminish the attractiveness of U.S. companies to foreign customers, while also reducing the U.S. hosting industryís ability to compete with foreign competition within our own borders. Further, and of equal importance, weaknesses in SOPA may actually lead to less protection for intellectual property owners by undermining the stability of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Finally, SOPA undermines the U.S. judicial systemís reputation as a fair and transparent method of resolving business disputes.
It's getting more and more ridiculous for anyone to suggest that SOPA isn't harmful to the wider internet infrastructure, when pretty much anyone who knows anything about that infrastructure has come out against the bill.

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  1. identicon
    Beech, 23 Dec 2011 @ 1:34pm

    As heart warming at it is to see so many people and companies coming out to support the open web, it's heart breaking that even if it is defeated this year, next year there will be another bill just as bad, or maybe just a smidge better so as to look less insane by comparison. And if that doesnt pass it will show up again the next year, and again, and again, until the douchebags paying congress for them get their way. Every year they make their demands just a BIT less oppressive so they can say "Well, these other guys just dont want to compromise AT ALL!!!" and every time another bill comes up it will get just a bit harder to mobilize as much support. Look at all the opposition to this bill. Now, if the bill wasnt quite as bad as it is now, how many would be rallying against it? And if it gets brought back again next time, how many of those opposing are going to start seeing it as a 'boy who cried wolf' scenario and not take it as seriously? So every time it comes up, the MAFIAA's position seems slightly less ridiculous, and the defenders will get slightly more apathetic until it finally gets pushed through.

    Or it will just get attached as a rider to a completely unrelated bill and snuck through while no one is looking.

    But thats the real tragedy of our system, that something so blatantly unpopular can get shoved down the populaces throats just because a monied party demands it.

    Actually...the real real tragedy is after they get this bill, they'll be back asking for even more....

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