Thread US Internet Blacklist

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Nov 11, 2008
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http://theintelhub.com/2010/11/19/end-of-free-internet-us-senate-committee-approves-internet-blacklist-bill/

It seems the lame duck Congressional session is becoming anything but unproductive. Yesterday, we saw the cloture of the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), and today the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act was unanimously approved by the US Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday with a 19-0 vote. The COICA has been overwhelmingly viewed by bloggers as a corporate hijacking of the Internet by mega-media cartels. Indeed, its eventual passage will be the end of the free Internet as we now it.
The Associated Press reported on the COICA vote:

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which has the support of the entertainment industry but has been strongly criticized by digital rights and other groups, was approved by a vote of 19-0.
“Few things are more important to the future of the American economy and job creation than protecting our intellectual property,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont who co-sponsored the bill.
“That is why the legislation is supported by both labor and industry, and Democrats and Republicans are standing together,” Leahy said
The bill gives the Justice Department an expedited process for cracking down on websites engaged in piracy or the sale of counterfeit goods including having courts issue shutdown orders against domains based outside the United States.
“Rogue websites are essentially digital stores selling illegal and sometimes dangerous products,” Leahy said. “If they existed in the physical world, the store would be shuttered immediately and the proprietors would be arrested.”
“We cannot excuse the behavior because it happens online and the owners operate overseas,” he said. “The Internet needs to be free — not lawless.”
This legislation may be the most dangerous weapon against free speech in modern history. The infringing activity that may land a website on the “Blacklist” is defined very broadly. It appears that the blacklist can be enforced without a court order via ISPs. This is total information tyranny and all independent voices need to stand up and protest or surely we’ll face the arbitrary blacklist. David Segal reported on the blacklist regulations.

COICA creates two blacklists of Internet domain names. Courts could add sites to the first list; the Attorney General would have control over the second. Internet service providers and others (everyone from Comcast to PayPal to Google AdSense) would be required to block any domains on the first list. They would also receive immunity (and presumably the good favor of the government) if they block domains on the second list.
The lists are for sites “dedicated to infringing activity,” but that’s defined very broadly — any domain name where counterfeit goods or copyrighted material are “central to the activity of the Internet site” could be blocked.