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Committee Goes 22-12 For China-Style Internet Censorship

December 15, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

During today’s mark-up of the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” a bill that would establish the first internet censorship system in the U.S., the House Judiciary Committee rejected a key amendment that would have removed provisions from the bill that call for entire sites to be blacklisted from the internet via DNS blocking, the same system used in the Great Firewall of China. Wired:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) urged panelists to remove the DNS and firewall aspects of the bill.

Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina) said he was not a technological “nerd,” but said he did not “believe” security experts who said that the internet would become less secure unless Issa’s amendment was adopted. “I’m not a person to argue about the technology of this,” Watt said before he voted against the amendment. Issa’s amendment failed 22-12.

Full roll call details on that forthcoming…

The DNS filtering provision wasn’t removed because, despite what the bill’s proponents want you to believe, censoring websites is the core of this bill. The corporate backers of the bill want special rules that will allow them to stop dealing with individual violations of the law and instead take down entire networks just because legal violations are possible. They want the law to reflect their complete apathy towards the fact that a lot of legitimate speech is going to be censored in the process.

Stay tuned to this blog for more SOPA coverage as the mark-up continues.

Image from reddit user pantsmcawesome.

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