So, the Stop Online Piracy Act has been the subject of controversy lately, especially since Universal Music Group decided to demonstrate what a bad idea it was to give private corporations the ability to censor other people by trying to stamp out MegaUpload’s protest song on YouTube, turning them into a free speech martyr in the process.
Anyway, Lamar Smith, the author of this awful bill, has realized that maybe his fellow Congressmen are shockingly smart enough to realize that fiddling with the Internet is a bad idea, so he went back and rewrote certain portions of it. Among the changes:
- A study has been mandated to see if the government needs these powers, to be conducted by…the Department of Homeland Security. “I’ll give those bitches a study! Bitches LOVE studies!”
- Instead of taking an entire site offline, now you can just take an entire branch of the site offline. Because that’s SO MUCH BETTER!
- New language says that blocking orders can’t compromise the security of the rest of the network. How that would be achieved? Not Smith’s department.
- Perhaps the most relevant, any “targeted” sites must be off-shore, and “offer goods and services in violation of U.S. intellectual property law”.
- It’s also been rewritten specifically to pick on Google because BAAAAAW THE GOOGLES TOOK OUR MONEYS! SOMEHOW! Seriously, what is with this obsession over Google? It’s like they don’t understand techno-OH WAIT.
Notably unchanged? The government and private corporations can still curbstomp any website they want that’s not based in the US, on the flimsiest of pretexts.
In short, it’s a crappy bill, it’s just a more narrowly focused crappy bill. Great. Please, do you part in stopping this abortion — call your representatives in Congress.