After the Hearing: SOPA Down But Not Yet Out
Posted in: Government & Policy at 27/11/2011 16:20
Last week proved to be an important one in the ongoing saga of the horrendous Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the House of Representatives' Internet blacklist bill: the House Judiciary Committee held the first hearing on the bill Wednesday. Over the past several weeks, we've been highlighting why this bill is such a disaster; how it could take your favorite sites offline, how it could endanger software innovation, how it could threaten whistleblowers and human rights, and how, no matter what the US Chamber of Commerce wants to call it, it's definitely a blacklist bill.
So the stakes were high, and the hearing faced problems from the start. In spite of widespread opposition to the bill, the scheduled testimonies consisted mostly of known supporters, including many who had helped draft the legislation in the first place. Public interest groups, independent artists, technology companies and Internet engineers were largely shut out of the discussion. To compound the problem, the webcast of the event was extremely unstable, making it even more difficult for the public to observe and participate.