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White House Responds To SOPA Petitions

by Emily Price | January 16, 2012

The White House has responded to the anti-SOPA petitions it has received, releasing a statement on what the Obama administration will support from legislation such as SOPA, the Protect IP Act, and the Online Protection and Digital Enforcement Act, and what it will not.

Essentially the White House has indicated that while it feels like online piracy is a serious issue that should be addressed, it “will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”

Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small. Across the globe, the openness of the Internet is increasingly central to innovation in business, government, and society and it must be protected. To minimize this risk, new legislation must be narrowly targeted only at sites beyond the reach of current U.S. law, cover activity clearly prohibited under existing U.S. laws, and be effectively tailored, with strong due process and focused on criminal activity. Any provision covering Internet intermediaries such as online advertising networks, payment processors, or search engines must be transparent and designed to prevent overly broad private rights of action that could encourage unjustified litigation that could discourage startup businesses and innovative firms from growing.

We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security. Our analysis of the DNS filtering provisions in some proposed legislation suggests that they pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online. We must avoid legislation that drives users to dangerous, unreliable DNS servers and puts next-generation security policies, such as the deployment of DNSSEC, at risk.

An anti-SOPA rally is currently scheduled to take place in NYC on Wednesday (Jan 18), and several websites (including TechnoBuffalo) have plans to join the protest by going dark between 8am and 8pm on the 18th as well.

Still not sure what SOPA is? Check out Noah’s awesome What is SOPA? post.


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Emily Price

Emily has been obsessed with computers since the early 80s when she discovered she could play Ghostbusters on her father's Commodore 64. She...Emily has been obsessed with computers since the early 80s when she discovered she could play Ghostbusters on her father's Commodore 64. She...


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