Dodd Hints At The Return of SOPA While The FUD Campaign to Support It Gets Into Full Swing

despdIn mid-January the battle over SOPA and PIPA hit a peak with an unprecedented show of opposition. We saw Wikipedia go dark for the day while other large site put black censored bars over their logos. At the end of this the SOPA and PIPA backers in the Senate and the House of Representatives decided they needed to change their direction. Lamar Smith, the sponsor for SOPA made the official announcement that SOPA was being shelved. Many hailed this announcement as a victory, but it seems they did not see the finger crossed behind Smith’s back.

Since the announcement that SOPA was being shelved (for now) we have watched a carefully orchestrated PR campaign that has been aimed at the average internet user. When things kicked off we got the feeling that something was up, but could not put our finger on it. Then only two days ago the last of the pieces fell into place.

When the government in the US wants to push something through they traditionally hide behind two major issues. The first is national security and the second is children. We already have the head of the NSA and the FBI trying to drop Anonymous and other online activists groups into the terrorist category (with reports that Anonymous might go after critical infrastructure assets). Now there are “suddenly” reports of China hacking US businesses (according to some statements these are Chinese pirates trying to steal US IP) right beside Microsoft and Sony kicking sexual predators off of the PSN and Xbox Live networks. Do not get me wrong, the removal of sexual predators from Xbox Live, PSN, Facebook, or any other social media  is a great thing, but it should be something that happens all the time, not just in an election year or when they want to push a bill through.

So now you have foreign countries attack us to steal our IP, and children at risk on the internet; the two biggest flags that our lawmakers wave when they want to push something through the voting population. We have not even touched on the two botnet scares that have been announced in the last few weeks. Remember Microsoft was crowing about taking down two command and control servers that were part of one Zeus malware ring. Now we find that 600k Macs are infected with flashback, where were Sophos, MacAfee, and AVERT when this happened and why only release this information now?  If you want to know the answer to that all you have to do is look at what the MPAA’s CEO Former Senator Christopher J. Dodd is saying.

According to multiple reports Dodd is already dropping hints to test the waters about reviving SOPA (here, here, and here). Unfortunately for Dodd (who has made more than one foolish comment trying to throw his weight around) this has caused many to get the ball rolling to block any attempt at reviving the ridiculous bill. In fact the MPAA has been trying very hard to retract what Dodd said.

However there is more to this story that just SOPA, PIPA, ACTA or even TPP. Right now there are multiple pieces of legislation going around designed to put surveillance into place on the internet all to watch for copyright and trademark infringement. The problem lawmakers face is that the “the internet is a dangerous place” tactic is slowly being eroded away by a campaign of real information that shows these tactics for what they are. We also now have real examples of how easily abused laws like SOPA are (the Sinde Law is a great one). To make matters worse for lawmakers the opposition has finally pulled out the big guns. Before the argument was that putting the infrastructure for SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and others would hurt the structure of the internet and create new security risks (they cannot even secure the internet as it is), now the argument is that surveillance of the type needed to check all traffic is a violation of basic Civil Rights. If ALL traffic is checks there can be no guarantee of private communication. The attorney-client privileged communication is out as any emails sent can be scanned and read, as is doctor-patient. The lawmakers pushing for this have to acknowledge they are more concerned with businesses and their interests than they are with the people that voted them in or they have to change their tune.

The general public is now better armed than they ever have been to combat the restrictions of their rights and privacy by lawmakers who have forgotten who they are supposed to work for. We will oppose any resurgence of SOPA just as we have opposed ACTA, TPP and other laws that only protect corporate interests while leaving the rest of the population out in the cold and under surveillance.

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