SOPA, the internet censorship bill, is scheduled for a vote on January 24th in the Senate. (Read more about it here, here, and here.) Senators are under a lot of pressure from average Americans to vote down the bill, but according to Digital Trends, the chief sponsor of SOPA , Lamar Smith, says those protestations just don't matter:
When asked about the burgeoning opposition to the bill from online communities like Reddit.com, Smith added: “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.”
There are so many things just factually wrong about Rep. Smith’s statement that it’s hard to know where to begin. So let’s just take his asinine dismissal from the top, shall we?
First, Rep. Smith says that “not one of the critics” could point to specific language in the bill that would “in any way harm the Internet.” No? What about the 83 Internet pioneers — we’re talking people like Vint Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP; Jim Gettys, editor of the HTTP/1.1 protocol standards; Leonard Kleinrock, a key developer of the ARPANET; in other words, the very people who built the Internet — who say that SOPA (and the Protect IP Act, PIPA), “will risk fragmenting the Internet’s global domain name system (DNS) and have other capricious technical consequences” because of the bills’ requirement that Internet service providers block domain names of infringing sites.
This is a bad, dumb law, poorly written and solely in service of gigantic entertainment corporations. We need to stop it.