Tag Archives: Patrick Leahy

The Protect IP Act Another Proposed Anti-Internet Law

This is 71 year old Senator Patrick Leahy, one of the backers of  PIPA, the Protect IP Act.  It was designed to combat illegal online commerce and guard against copyright  infringement, but many high-tech entrepreneurs and investors believe its implementation would have a severe chilling effect on innovation and competitiveness. Ebongeek has covered things like this in the past, but nothing quite like PIPA. One would think that the DMCA was enough of an overreach, but apparently it is not enough. According to cnet “The Protect IP Act would hand the U.S. Department of Justice the power to seek a court order against an allegedly infringing Web site. The order could be served on search engines, certain Domain Name System providers, and Internet advertising firms which would in turn be required to “expeditiously” make the target Web site vanish.” Such an idea if it were to become law in the US would carry with it implications that extend well beyond its intended scope to merely protect intellectual property from copyright infringement. A letter sent to the US congress and signed by numerous tech savvy Silicon Valley entrepreneurs stated that PIPA; “will ultimately put American innovators and investors at a clear disadvantage in the global economy. For one, services dedicated to infringement will simply make their sites easy to find and access in other ways, and determined users who want to find blocked content will simply shift to services outside the reach of U.S. law, in turn giving a leg up to foreign search engines, DNS providers, social networks, and others. Second, PIPA creates a dangerous precedent and a convenient excuse for countries to engage in protectionism and censorship against U.S. services. These countries will point to PIPA as precedent for taking action against U.S. technology and Internet companies.” Source” Ars Technica

It is somewhat odd that PIPA is up for serious consideration given the fact that back on February 15th of  2011, Hillary Clinton spoke boldly on the topic of internet freedom when she said; “the freedoms to assemble and associate also apply in cyberspace; in our time, people are as likely to come together to pursue common interests online as in a church or union hall. Together, the freedoms of expression, assembly and association online comprise what I have called the freedom to connect.  The United States supports this freedom for people everywhere, and we have called on other nations to do the same.
Read more and you can also read the full text of the proposed law.