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Posts Tagged ‘SOPA’

VC note:  Several days ago, I shared a piece from Jamie Radtke regarding her opposition to Stop Online Piracy Act or SOPA for short.  This evening, I’m pleased to offer another article on the topic from Karen Kwiatowkski. 

While we don’t believe ten-term congressman Goodlatte speaks Mandarin, he has a lot in common with the Communists in Beijing, at least when it comes to regulating and controlling the Internet.

Goodlatte is the author of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, a costly regulatory attack on the Internet.  It is supposed to reduce copyright infringement – a problem already on the wane due to new software business models, encryption and other technological breakthroughs that America used to be known for.

In reality, SOPA will cause rapid and unnecessary government shutdowns of websites, and drive rights-holders and Internet service providers to do the same, all without due process.  If 6th District voters want a law that violates the 1st and 4th Amendments, crushes free speech and small businesses, we should support Bob’s SOPA.

SOPA is expensive and burdensome.  If 6th District voters want a $50 million tax-funded spending hike in the coming years, we should support Bob’s SOPA.

SOPA would interfere with the architecture of the Internet.  One of the creators of the Internet, Vinton Cerf is extremely upset.  He notes, “collateral damage of SOPA would be particularly regrettable because site blocking or redirection mechanisms are unlikely to make a significant dent in the availability of infringing material and counterfeits online, given that DNS manipulation can be defeated by simply choosing an offshore DNS resolution provider, maintaining one’s own local DNS cache or using direct IP address references.”

In simple terms, Vinton Cerf knows that if 6th District voters want to destroy the current workability the Internet domain name system AND drive American businesses and jobs overseas and underground – we couldn’t do better than to support Bob’s SOPA.

SOPA won’t prevent online copyright violations.  It is expensive, wrong-headed, harms both business and Internet architecture, and messes with the technological progress that has been made in the past 15 years.

What can 6th District voters do?  First, we should require that Bob Goodlatte cease and desist, and do no harm.  While Goodlatte’s SOPA might be appealing in Communist China, North Korea, and Hollywood – it makes no sense, and runs counter to the letter and the ideals of the Constitution.

Bob doesn’t learn from his legislative mistakes, and he’s in too deep with Hollywood and West Coast lobbyists.   These mistakes include SOPA, his steadfast support of the Patriot Act, and his destruction of online gaming businesses in Virginia and across the country – in all of this, Bob just doesn’t get it.

SOPA has been described as handing out “chainsaws in an operating room.”  I have a strong suspicion that, in addition to not being able to understand how the Internet actually works, Bob Goodlatte has never used a chainsaw.

There is good news, though.   I’ve got several chainsaws Bob can borrow, and I’d be glad to give him lessons.  Bob with a chainsaw, while certainly a frightening prospect, would be a lot safer for the nation than SOPA, and way more productive.

Karen Kwiatkowski, conservative Mt Jackson cattle farmer and veteran, is challenging Bob Goodlatte in the GOP Primary on June 12, 2012.

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VC Note:  This article comes from Jamie Radtke, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.  Although the idea to “stop online piracy” sounds reasonable, the bill has a lot of other consequences that, whether intended or not, should trouble liberty-loving Americans.  Unfortunately, my Representative, Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) is a strong supporter and co-sponsor of this legislation.

It’s dumb to use a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito, but it’s criminal if the mosquito is sitting on someone’s head at the time.

The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, is criminal in the same way. Through SOPA, the U.S. government and private companies will be able to censor free speech by killing web sites they claim are engaging in, enabling or facilitating infringement of copyrights. The Attorney General (Eric Holder!) would have the power to kill any web site he desires by denying it access to search engines, advertisers and payment processors like Visa. By the time the web site appeals the government’s attack, it may already be out of business.

Furthermore, it is a short step from there to using the power of censorship to stop “hate speech,” “incitement,” or any other form of dissent through speech. Don’t forget, our own Department of Homeland Security issued a report not long ago called “Right Wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” in which it branded as potential terrorists:

“…those that are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

Sound like anyone you know?

This is why I support the effort by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky to stop SOPA and similar bills that restrict freedom and give government more control of the Internet.  I encourage you to visit Senator Paul’s “Don’t Censor the Net” website and lend your support to his efforts as well.

Online piracy and copyright infringement are serious issues that must be addressed.  But empowering the U.S. government and private companies to unilaterally censor and shut-down alleged abusers is a dangerous over-reaction to the problem, and will almost certainly lead to greater censorship of free speech that the government doesn’t like.

SOPA must be stopped! The question is: Where does George Allen stand on protecting our 1st Amendment rights? Does he stand with the Special Interests and power-hungry bureaucrats in Washington who support this bill, or does he stand with the individual and his right to free speech?

Update:  I just got a request to link to two additional articles regarding SOPA and Representative Bob Goodlatte.  The first is written by Karen Kwiatowski and is entitled Bob Goodlatte-Protecting Us Online? Not so Much!  The second is by Kaleb Matson and is called Bob Goodlatte-Enemy of the Internet.

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