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Sunday, January 15, 2012

The PROTECT IP Act and Why Politics Still Surprises

I was a little surprised to learn the other day that my two senators, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are both on record supporting the PROTECT IP Act. This bill, along with the better known house version Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, are incredibly poorly thought out and, from a technological prospective, utterly naive. And, yet, the PROTECT IP Act currently has the bipartisan support of over 80 US senators.

The remarkable question is: how can two bills that are so woefully inept garner so much support? I don't expect every congressman to have an technical understanding of the internet, but don't they have any staff? Is this simply a case of, for all practical purposes, outright bribery? Is the political system this corrupt?

I can understand why the media moguls would like to destroy the Internet. They want everyone to obtain their media the old fashioned way, strictly under the control of their business interests. I just don't understand why our politicians, who are supposed to be working for the general good, would give them any help.

Today I took the time to compose a nice, old fashioned, but firm postal letter to my senators explaining my opposition. If you care at all about the internet, contact your legislators and let them know. If your legislator is a SOPA or PROTECT IP Act supporter, maybe you can even ask why they would collude with big business to dismantle the Internet. Just don't expect to get an answer.

Posted at: 3:33 PM
Categories: Science and Policy