Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

PIPA Sponsor Will Cut Domain Name Blocking Provision From Measure

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, January 12 2012

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, (D-Vermont) said on Thursday that he will cut a controversial domain name blocking provision from an online intellectual property protection bill he is sponsoring in response to concerns expressed by the public, but especially from his constituents.

The provision of the Protecting Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2001 would have enabled the Justice Department to obtain a court order to force Internet Service Providers to block access to domains of web sites that Justice had determined were "dedicated" to infringement.

Dozens of the internet's founding engineers have said that the provision would end up messing up the architecture of the global network, and rights groups decried the provision as being reminiscent of the censorship schemes of undemocratic countries.

In the statement that he issued Thursday Leahy said that he'll substitute the provision as it currently is with a section in the manager's amendment that will commission a study of the pros and cons of blocking access. The senate floor is scheduled to move the legislation January 24.

Leahy made the concession somewhat grudgingly, mentioning that the provision had been OKed by the cable companies:

I remain confident that the ISPs – including the cable industry, which is the largest association of ISPs – would not support the legislation if its enactment created the problems that opponents of this provision suggest. Nonetheless, this is in fact a highly technical issue, and I am prepared to recommend we give it more study before implementing it.

The move appears to be a significant, incremental win for the grassroots activists. FightForTheFuture.org, the online activism arm of the Center for Rights in Worcester, Mass., and Public Knowledge had organized a campaign for call-ins and and in-person meetings between constituents and congressmen at their town halls before congress convenes again on January 23th.

News Briefs

RSS Feed monday >

After Election Loss, Teachout and Wu Keep Up Net Neutrality an Anti-Comcast Merger Campaign

The Teachout/Wu campaign may have lost, but their pro net-neutrality campaign continued Monday as both former candidates participated in a rallly in New York City marking the final day to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's Internet proposals and kept up their pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo. GO

friday >

NYC Politicians and Advocacy Groups Say Airbnb Misrepresents Sharing Economy

A coalition of New York election officials and affordable housing groups have launched an advocacy effort targeting Airbnb called "Share Better" that includes an ad campaign, a web platform, and social media outreach. GO

First POST: Data Dumps

The Internet Slowdown's impact on the FCC; Uber drivers try to go on strike; four kinds of civic tech; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Positive Sums

How Teachout won some wealthy districts while Cuomo won some poor ones; DailyKos's explosive traffic growth; using Facebook for voter targeting; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Emergence

Evaluating the Teachout-Wu challenge; net neutrality defenders invoke an "internet slowdown"; NYC's first CTO; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

De Blasio Names Minerva Tantoco First New York City CTO

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Minerva Tantoco as first New York City CTO Tuesday night in an announcement that was greeted with applause and cheers at the September meeting of the New York Tech Meet-Up. In his remarks, De Blasio said her task would be to develop a coordinated strategy for technology and innovation as it affects the city as a whole and the role of technology in all aspects of civic life from the economy and schools to civic participation, leading to a "redemocratization of society." He called Tantoco the perfect fit for the position as a somebody who is "great with technology, has a lot of experience, abiltiy and energy and ability to create from scratch and is a true New Yorker." GO

First POST: Fusion Politics

The Teachout-Wu Cuomo-Hochul race as it comes to a close; more criticism for Reddit as it prepares a major new round of funding; First Lady Michelle Obama as an Upworthy curator; and much, much more. GO

More