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 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.

Filed Under: copyright, dns, hosting, infrastructure, internet, pipa, protect ip, sopa

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 24 Dec 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re:

    "Those working on the DNSSEC do have a point, but they aren't concerned in the slightest over security... that's just a layman's smoke screen."

    Do you have any proof of that, or is this just your way of saying "I don't like what they're saying so I'll assume they have ulterior motives"?

    "Now the ISP's can be seen as a middle man... but they aren't going to redirect you. Rather, they're going to say "okay, this DNS entry is illegal... so we won't forward the request and send back a 404 error."

    ...which is why people will start using alternative DNS methods. Meanwhile, legitimate sites may be shut down in the same way.

    "DNS Spoofing is more likely to occur over "unsecure connections", open wifi, tunneling, or anything where a middleman is involved."

    Nobody is saying otherwise. Listening to the arguments actually being made helps.

    "I mean, saying that Youtube shouldn't be responsible for the piracy that occurs is like saying that a movie theater shouldn't be responsible for playing downloaded movies"

    No, it's absolutely nothing like that. I really wish people would at least think about their insanely flawed physical analogies - it took me microseconds to understand the flaws here.

    A cinema prescreens all the content it shows, only shows around 20-30 hours of content per week, and uses material sent directly to them by the studios. Many don't even screen independent product, let alone pirated material.

    Please explain how this is in any way analogous to a service that receives hours of footage *every second*, that can come from content owners and infringers alike and is impossible for a human being to prescreen (and a computer cannot be programmed to understand the subtleties of context). Bear in mind that fair use and public domain aspects have to be considered in your answer.

    "using the DMCA as a cover."

    Oh, another asshole who thinks that obeying the law is some kind of smokescreen, and thinks that (if the same logic is applied) that the postal service should be shut down because some people use it to send pirated DVDs. Never mind.

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