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Letter Writing Sunday: Stop SOPA

Posted in Editorials on November 27th, 2011

By now you might have heard of SOPA – the Stop Online Piracy Act which has been introduced into committee in the House of Representatives. It claims that it’s goal is to protect copyrighted works on the internet, but in fact the definitions are so broad that many sites that are abiding by current law would be in trouble. In addition, there are no provisions for due process, as cnet news explains:

It allows the U.S. attorney general to seek a court order against the targeted offshore Web site that would, in turn, be served on Internet providers in an effort to make the target virtually disappear. It’s kind of an Internet death penalty.

More specifically, section 102 of SOPA says that, after being served with a removal order:

A service provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) that is subject to the order…Such actions shall be taken as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within five days after being served with a copy of the order, or within such time as the court may order.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has drafted this letter that you can send to your elected representatives here:

I am a constituent and I urge you to reject the Internet Blacklist Bills (PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House). I am deeply concerned by the danger these bills pose to Internet security, free speech online, and innovation. The Internet Blacklist Legislation is dangerous and short-sighted, and I urge you to join Senator Wyden and other members of Congress, such as Representatives Lofgren, Eshoo and Issa, in opposing it.

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