|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] IP Wars III
|From owner-hangout-outgoing-at-mrbrklyn.com Thu Dec 15 07:11:55 2011
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Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 07:13:38 -0500
From: Ruben Safir
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] IP Wars III
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The godfathers of the internet oppose SOPA and PIPA
EFF wants a button pushed on internet laws
By Dave Neal
Thu Dec 15 2011, 09:27
A GROUP OF INTERNET HEAVYWEIGHTS have written to the US Congress with
their arguments against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect-IP
The letter comes from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and is
undersigned by internet engineers like Vint Cerf, Paul Vixie, author of
BIND, and Jim Gettys, editor of the HTTP 1.1 protocol standard, and is
in no doubt that SOPA is a very bad thing.
"We, the undersigned, have played various parts in building a network
called the Internet. We wrote and debugged the software; we defined the
standards and protocols that talk over that network. Many of us invented
parts of it. We're just a little proud of the social and economic
benefits that our project, the Internet, has brought with it," they
write in the letter, which is signed by over fifty of their peers.
The letter is a follow-up to one sent last year about proposed COICA
copyright and censorship legislation. Now they have repeated their
concerns with respect to SOPA and PIPA, saying "in many respects, these
proposals are worse than the one we were alarmed to read last year".
They warn that if the bills are enacted they will bring down a curtain
of fear over the internet and technological innovation that will
"seriously harm the credibility of the US in its role as a steward of
key Internet infrastructure".
The bills could break DNS, according to the letter, and have other
"capricious technical consequences", while creating the sort of
two-tiered internet that no one wants.
"Such legislation would engender censorship that will simultaneously be
circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties'
right and ability to communicate and express themselves online," they
"All censorship schemes impact speech beyond the category they were
intended to restrict, but these bills are particularly egregious in that
regard because they cause entire domains to vanish from the Web, not
just infringing pages or files. Worse, an incredible range of useful,
law-abiding sites can be blacklisted under these proposals."
These are internet engineers of course, and they have concerns that run
deeper than the headline opposition to SOPA and PIPA. The letter warns
that Congress wants to make censorship and compliance a design
requirement for internet software, which is counter to the way they
worked when they were developing their software and protocols.
"This can only damage the security of the network, and give
authoritarian governments more power over what their citizens can read
and publish," adds the letter as it reminds the US government not to
make the sorts of decisions and rules for which it criticises other
"The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and
open Internet, both domestically and abroad. We cannot have a free and
open Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the
political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry,"
"Senators, Congressmen, we believe the Internet is too important and too
valuable to be endangered in this way, and implore you to put these
bills aside." Âµ