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Regarding SOPA, government says users “poisoned the well”

Apparently, the government thinks we’re all stupid. That’s the only conclusion we can come to after reading what Stephanie Moore, chief counsel for the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, had to say about the online SOPA protests. Bloomberg reports that Moore believes the groundswell of anger against SOPA was a misinformation campaign perpetrated by a small number of large technology giants. At a panel discussing SOPA and PIPA, Moore stated:

“Netizens poisoned the well, and as a result the reliability of the internet is at risk,”

The discussion appears to have been very heated. Steven Metalitz, a lawyer in Washington, DC, claims that the DNS blocking provisions in the law were overstated and that if they were a problem, we'd already know:

“Most countries in the world already have this option at their disposal to deal with this problem. If site blocking broke the internet, then the internet would already be broken.”

To test this statement, TechDirt dug up the list of countries that do indeed have DNS blocking: China, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, Burma (Myanmar), Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. That’s hardly “most” countries, and isn’t a list of the most upstanding countries in the world.

The biggest issue with SOPA and many other bills is that the language in the actual bill doesn’t match what people are being told it’s for. One of the panelists addressed this point by saying, “If you want to get consensus on passing legislation then you need to have what it says match what you say it does.

Sources: Bloomberg, TechDirt

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