Want to know who are the enemies of liberty in Congress? Here’s a list of 19 Senators who just voted to censor the Internet.
On November 18, 2010, the lame duck Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to move forward with censoring the Internet via the COICA bill, S. 3804, although the bill is a clear violation of the First Amendment.
Here’s what the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization based in the United States, says about S. 3804:
The “Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act” (COICA) is an Internet censorship bill which is rapidly making its way through the Senate. Although it is ostensibly focused on copyright infringement, an enormous amount of noninfringing content, including political and other speech, could disappear off the Web if it passes.
The main mechanism of the bill is to interfere with the Internet’s domain name system (DNS), which translates names like “www.eff.org” or “www.nytimes.com” into the IP addresses that computers use to communicate. The bill creates a blacklist of censored domains; the Attorney General can ask a court to place any website on the blacklist if infringement is “central” to the purpose of the site.
If this bill passes, the list of targets could conceivably include hosting websites such as Dropbox, MediaFire and Rapidshare; MP3 blogs and mashup/remix music sites like SoundCloud, MashupTown and Hype Machine ; and sites that discuss and make the controversial political and intellectual case for piracy, like pirate-party.us, p2pnet, InfoAnarchy, Slyck and ZeroPaid . Indeed, had this bill been passed five or ten years ago, YouTube might not exist today. In other words, the collateral damage from this legislation would be enormous. (Why would all these sites be targets?)
There are already laws and procedures in place for taking down sites that violate the law. This act would allow the Attorney General to censor sites even when no court has found they have infringed copyright or any other law.
Although countless experts have said S. 3814 would be ineffective, unconstitutional, bad for innovation and the tech economy, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved of the bill anyway. Hypocrites that they are, many of the same senators who voted in favor of net censorship have been speaking out against internet censorship in other countries.
Here are the Dirty 19 (12 Demonrats, 7 RINOs):
- Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Maryland)
- Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma)
- Chris Coons (D-Delaware)
- John Cornyn (R-Texas)
- Dick Durbin (D-Illinois)
- Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin)
- Dianne Feinstein (D-California)
- Al Franken (D-Minnesota)
- Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)
- Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
- Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)
- Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
- Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin)
- Jon Kyl (R-Arizona)
- Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vermont)
- Chuck Schumer (D-New York)
- Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama)
- Arlen Specter (D-Pennsylvania)
- Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)
[Source: Aletho News]
H/t beloved fellow Joseph Fasciani.