Tag Archives: PIPA

The New Face of Silicon Valley’s Political Activism

Sarah Lai Stirland at Tech President discusses the massive online and offline presence seen on January 18th in response to SOPA and PIPA, and what it could portend for further engagement of Washington DC by members of the tech community. In particular, Stirland spoke with Engine Advocacy‘s Mike McGeary, who sees the potential for a variety of tools enabling entrepreneurs and others to better convey to policymakers their positions on the issues and legislation. McGeary is also setting up a steering committee for this effort; among its members, Tech Dirt’s Mike Masnick, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and Marvin Ammori.

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The Latest On SOPA / PIPA

Yesterday, six Republican senators of the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Harry Reid, telling him that PIPA is not ready to be brought to a vote and that significant work must be done on it. The letter expressed concerns over the “cybersecurity implications” and “dilution of First Amendment rights” the current legislation poses. This comes as another Republican, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania,  declared he was unlikely to support PIPA.

Meanwhile, the White House issued a response to two petitions urging the President to veto SOPA, stating:

While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.

That may seem like significant statement, but as Politico points out, “it stopped short of saying whether that includes two bills that have sent the tech industry into a panic.”

And earlier today, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) announced that a hearing scheduled for January 18th on technical concerns about SOPA has been postponed following assurances from Rep. Lamar Smith that the legislation won’t move forward without a consensus. Smith also said that the DNS blocking provisions would be removed from the bill.

Despite these developments, opposition remains fierce. The SOPA blackouts are still on for the 18th. And on the 17th, Marvin will be doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. Be sure to check it out.

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Morning Stories (1-13-2012)

  • The Hill reports that Sen. Patrick Leahy will be putting forth a manager’s amendment of PIPA for the January 24 vote, pledging to cut the DNS blocking provision from the legislation. Mike Masnick at TechDirt provides some critical analysis.
  • Meanwhile, Rep. Jared Polis has taken to the League of Legends gaming forum to rally the opposition to PIPA and SOPA. And Carl Franzen at TPM asks what the upcoming January 18th “Blackout” and House Oversight Committee hearing will accomplish.
  • Gen. Keith Alexander, head of US Cyber Command,  reiterates that active defenses are increasingly necessary to thwart cyber threats, suggesting the current approach used by most businesses is akin to the “Maginot Line.”
  • At the Technology Liberation Front, Berin Szoka, Geoffrey Manne, and Ryan Radia have a thoughtful piece on Google’s Search Plus Your World:

All the usual blustering and speculation in the latest Google antitrust debate has obscured what should, however, be the two key prior questions: (1) Did Google violate the antitrust laws by not including data from Facebook, Twitter and other social networks in its new SPYW program alongside Google+ content; and (2) How might antitrust restrain Google in conditioning participation in this program in the future?

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More Opposition to PIPA and SOPA

Internet entrepreneurs and innovators, including Sergey Brin, Elon Musk, and Pierre Omidyar, have added their voices to the increasing opposition to PIPA and SOPA in a full page open letter to Congress. The letter is running in major DC publications this week.

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