Protecting You From Reality: Government Targets “Rogue” Web Sites and Alternative Media
October 28th, 2011
On the surface and in the talking points, the Stop Online Piracy Act is designed to quell the distribution of intellectual property like software, movies and music.
US lawmakers introduced a bill on Wednesday that would give US authorities more tools to crack down on websites accused of piracy of movies, television shows and music and the sale of counterfeit goods.
The Stop Online Piracy Act has received bipartisan support in the House of Representatives and is the House version of a bill introduced in the Senate in May known as the Theft of Intellectual Property Act or Protect IP Act.
The legislation has received the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce and other groups.
“Rogue websites that steal and sell American innovations have operated with impunity,” Smith [House Judiciary Committee chairman] said in a statement.
“The online thieves who run these foreign websites are out of the reach of US law enforcement agencies and profit from selling pirated goods without any legal consequences,” he said.
“The bill prevents online thieves from selling counterfeit goods in the US, expands international protections for intellectual property, and protects American consumers from dangerous counterfeit products,” Smith said.
The bill, if passed, would require Internet Service Providers to initiate a China-style lock down of web sites, foreign or domestic, that engage in activities violating provisions of the new law. Essentially, once the regulatory entity in charge decides that a particular web site has gone ‘rogue’ they will have the ability to shut down access by blocking the IP addresses in question, in effect taking the web site offline to all U.S. internet users.
But the Stop Online Piracy Act isn’t just about piracy of music, movies and software. It goes much further than that. Like everything emanating from Washington, the devil is in the details, and the details (all 78 pages of them) suggest their is an ulterior motive for pushing through the new bill: