Dispatches from the Digital Revolution
By KEIRA LYONS
In this Saturday’s New York Times, a small article highlights a huge victory for opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). According to the article, “the Obama administration said Saturday that it strongly opposed central elements of two Congressional efforts to enforce copyrights on the Internet, all but killing the current versions of legislation that has divided both political parties and pitted Hollywood against Silicon Valley.”
Thankfully, the Obama administration recognized the real threat of tampering with the structure of the Internet as Congress was proposing. It is believed that the White House denunciation of the two bills came in response to a letter from more than 80 Internet engineers, including Vint Cerf of Google, on December 15, 2011. In the letter, the technology companies compared what Congress was attempting to the censorship of the Internet in countries such as China and Iran.
The New York Times reports that in its blog post on Saturday, “the White House said any proposed legislation ‘must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet.'” The article goes on to explain that because the bills “provide for filtering or blocking through the Domain Name System—the Internet’s address book—[they] could drive users to unreliable routes through and around the blocked sites”, and “would ‘pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online.'”