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Meet the Strange Bedfellows Who Could Stop SOPA

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the oh-for-enough-mortar-and-enough-bricks dept.

Democrats 231

jfruhlinger writes "In a political environment that's become very strongly defined by partisan lines, the SOPA debate has offered an unexpected ray of hope: the two main Congressional opponents of the bill are Ron Wyden, an Oregon Senator deemed a 'hardcore liberal' and Darrell Issa, a California Representative who is one of the Obama Administration's fiercest critics. (There are both Ds and Rs in favor of the bill, too.)" (Read more below.)In the technical rather than political world, opposition seems easier to find: Trailrunner7 writes "A group of engineers, networking specialists, security experts and other specialists deeply involved with the Internet's development and growth have sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing the highly controversial SOPA and PIPA bills and imploring them not to pass the legislation, which they say would stifle innovation and 'threaten engineers who build Internet systems or offer services that are not readily and automatically compliant with censorship actions by the U.S. government.' The letter is signed by a long list of Internet pioneers and other respected figures, including Steve Bellovin, Paul Vixie, Vint Cerf, Jon Callas, Tony Li, Robert W. Taylor, Esther Dyson and Fred Baker, among many others. Both SOPA and PIPA have been criticized heavily by technologists, privacy advocates and security experts who say that not only would the proposed bills make it difficult for companies to create innovative new technologies, but they also would likely not even accomplish the goals their authors' had in mind, namely preventing copyright infringement and content piracy."

And (hat tip to Rob Malda), here's the letter itself (PDF).

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231 comments

And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (-1, Troll)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384282)

Well then piss off, because every /. reader should know every acronym always.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384358)

Or RTFA.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (1, Flamebait)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384438)

No. RTFA yourself. It describes SOPA, but doesn't bother to say what it stands for.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385900)

From the article.

"The letter is short and to the point, explaining that, under the provisions currently found in the Stop Online Piracy Act " stop being a dumb ass.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384452)

is it the Stop Online Privacy Act?

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (5, Funny)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384766)

In the same way that cyanide is a cure for over-eating... it just has side effects.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384936)

some moderate parent +trillion insightful with funny toppings :P

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (1)

davek (18465) | more than 2 years ago | (#38386000)

is it the Stop Online Privacy Act?

Paul, is that you? [yahoo.com]

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384456)

So you'd like such helpful parentheticals as Linux (an operating system derived from Unix), PHP (a programming language), iOS (the operating system run by Apple's mobile devices), etc...?

Sometimes you have to know your audience. The Slashdot audience can reasonably be expected to know or be able to search for SOPA and PIPA (Protect IP) at this point, considering how much they've been discussed lately.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (2)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384760)

PHP (a programming language)

You mean PHP (PHP [PHP {..to infinity..} Hypertext Preprocessor] Hypertext Preprocessor)

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385088)

Linux isn't an acronym
PHP is one of those stupid recursive acronyms So really the acronym is the name.
iOS apple never called it anything else. So it is its real name.

SOPA I would say isn't reasonable for everyone to know what it is or what it stands for. For one it is new. It is for a new bill, it hasn't been around for years. Secondly it is what the United States Congress calls it, Other countries are not always involved what the US is doing all the time... Also us Americans may not always be into seeing every bill that comes out of the US. Third Slashdotters don't always log in every day, or week or month. So when they come it these articles make no sense.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (4, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385512)

SOPA I would say isn't reasonable for everyone to know what it is or what it stands for. For one it is new. It is for a new bill, it hasn't been around for years. Secondly it is what the United States Congress calls it, Other countries are not always involved what the US is doing all the time... Also us Americans may not always be into seeing every bill that comes out of the US. Third Slashdotters don't always log in every day, or week or month. So when they come it these articles make no sense.

SOPA has been mentioned at least once a week on /. for at least a few weeks, if not months, and you still don't know what it is?

SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act AKA the U.S. Government Lets RIAA/MPAA Hijack DNS With No Oversight Act.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (2)

Azure Flash (2440904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385922)

Well, to be fair, SOPA could stand for a number of things, such as: Stop Online Publishing Act, Stop Online Pragmatism Act, Shit On Public Act, Severely Outrageous Politics Act, Shame On Politicians Act...

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384560)

You should actually piss off if you don't know what SOPA means by now. You obviously don't care.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384894)

Actually, I did already know what SOPA is. I don't know what PIPA is, though...

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (2)

LordThyGod (1465887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385212)

Only someone who lives in a cave would not know about this.

Re:And if you don't know offhand what SOPA is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385368)

only someone who lives in a cave would think that everyone lives in their cave with him/her.

All this and we still don't have a budget (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384294)

The only thing Congress can agree on is that something must be done to "stop those thieves!"

Meanwhile people on every side lie to them. Ruthlessly so.

Re:All this and we still don't have a budget (1)

mjr167 (2477430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384324)

Why would we need a budget? We didn't have one for 2011. It's not like the budget is the only thing they are actually required to do...

Re:All this and we still don't have a budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384400)

Or 2010.

Re:All this and we still don't have a budget (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385000)

It adds transparency to see what money is being spent where.

Another reason is to avoid these budget battles that result due to not having a budget.

Re:All this and we still don't have a budget (2)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385522)

In addition to this, the real reason we do not have a budget is that the last budget past was an emergency budget. That gave our fearless leaders an opportunity to cram the bill full of special cashouts for their friends. Unfortunately, under current conditions they would never get those passed. So instead, they pass continuing resolutions - so that the same friends continue to get rich, but no one can single out a bad line item...

Re:All this and we still don't have a budget (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385864)

Almost all the money is transparent.

What, you need someone to hold your hand?

Gosh we can't have that (2)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384488)

People lying to politicians. I'm shocked.

Obviously, that must cease, politicians should be allowed to lie to people but the converse must be banned or it will destroy our entire way of life.

Re:All this and we still don't have a budget (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384490)

The only thing Congress can agree on is that something must be done to "stop those thieves!"

Meanwhile people on every side lie to them. Ruthlessly so.

You mean the foxes guarding the henhouse could actually be entrusted to propose actually guarding the henhouse?

Trusting Congress to do the right thing is like expecting a snake to get up and walk in a straight line -- they may get about where you'd like them to be, but only with a lot of twisting, turning, amending and consulting with their friendly neighborhood lobbyists to leave in loopholes where more evil legislation could easily be inserted later, perhaps wadded up in a 662 billion dollar defense bill.

Re:All this and we still don't have a budget (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385416)

There is one saving grace here, they may take away our internet freedom in their legislature, but they are far too stupid to enforce it, I'd still say there is a bigger pool of unorganized talent in the states than in a place like china. Still this can get scary, the talent might just *shock* go to another country. Seems like since Bush, a lot of people are starting to part ways with this country in favor of something like Europe (only some countries) and Australia. If it ever becomes "most people", the US is probably dead in the water as a world power.

They're NOT opposed to SOPA (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384312)

This summary makes it sound like they're heroes fighting for our freedom or something. In actuality, they're just advocated for their own alternative Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act [wikipedia.org] (OPEN). And the only difference between their bill and SOPA is that SOPA will put enforcement in the hands of the Justice Department and OPEN will put it in the hands of the United States International Trade Commission [wikipedia.org], which in practice will make ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE to most sites being busted.

The only reason Darrel Issa and Ron Wyden are supporting it is because it provides more protection for the Googles, Facebooks, etc. and they're both from states where those companies are big players.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (2, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384392)

Sometimes advocating a less offensive alternative is the only viable means of effectively opposing something vile.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384454)

This is the mindset that has caused the US to move steadily to the right for the past 30 years. The lesser evil is still evil.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (4, Insightful)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384568)

The mindset of drawing battle lines in terms of 'right' and 'left' is what has allowed politicians to move steadily into lobbyist pockets (like hermit crabs) for the past 30 years... I can't think of a better illustration than the SOPA, ACTA, DMCA et cetera garbage that has been getting pushed through lately with bipartisan support and almost zero outcry or media coverage. Everyone is too busy fighting about stem cells and carbon credits and which politician is banging their stenographer.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384648)

"[...] and carbon credits and which politician is banging their stenographer."

They're called 'office assistants' now, get it right.

;-p

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (3, Funny)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384832)

Well, I didn't want to single anyone out by saying "Intern" or "Videographer" or "Babysitter" or "Sheep".

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385204)

... so instead, you singled out the poor stegographer? I think "assistant" is far more general...

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385004)

In other words secretaries, which in certain circles is a synonym for certain kind of service providers X)

close, but no cigar (2)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384758)

"The mindset of drawing battle lines in terms of 'right' and 'left' is what has allowed politicians to move steadily into lobbyist pockets (like hermit crabs) for the past 30 years"

The mindset of viewing money as speech, and thus allowing 0.05 percent of the citizenry of the US to fund all political campaigns is what has moved our critters into the lobbyists pockets. The only practical solution to this is to legislate that all elections are State-funded, and any outside money found in any campaign is the end of that campaign. The problem is, how do you legislate this when the 0.05 percent of the citizenry currently funding campaigns opposes such reform quite loudly with their billions of dollars worth of "speech?"

Re:close, but no cigar (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385276)

The only practical solution to this is to legislate that all elections are State-funded, and any outside money found in any campaign is the end of that campaign

That's also open to abuse, because how do you determine who qualifies for state funding? If the barrier to entry is too high, then you risk keeping the same oligarchy you have (or swapping it for a new one). If it's too low, then people can easily use it to funnel money to their own pockets (e.g. set up a leaflet printing company, nominate 10 candidates that all use you to print their own content-free leaflets, profit). Or they can simply flood the system with generic like-the-opposition candidates. For example, in the UK a few elections ago we had a Literal Democrat candidate, who got enough votes to get their deposit back because people confused him with the Liberal Democrats and split the Liberal Democrat vote just enough to cause them to lose the election to the Conservatives (who weren't running against a Conservatory Party candidate in that election). If you have a constituency that is 60% liberal and 40% conservative and the barrier to entry is sufficiently low, the best strategy for the conservatives is to back half a dozen liberal candidates...

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (3, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385086)

Of course, this is enabled by the consolidation of media control into the hands of 5 or 6 corporations. In effect, a few dozen people get to decide what is news in the United States, based on the orders of a half-dozen CEOs. And where the interests of the corporations coincide with each other there will be casual collusion to promote or bury stories, as the case may be. If the CEOs who run the corporations that own the majority of the news media don't want anyone talking about SOPA, (for example because they think it will boost the revenues of their entertainment divisions) then they are perfectly able to make it known that it is in every employee's best interests to make sure it is not covered in any depth, if it absolutely has to be covered at all.

Of course, the flip side is the issue just isn't nearly as interesting to most people as celebrity gossip, so they may not even have to do that. After all, bread and circuses is a very old formula.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38386058)

I can't think of a better illustration than the SOPA, ACTA, DMCA et cetera garbage that has been getting pushed through lately with bipartisan support and almost zero outcry or media coverage.

I can. The War on Drugs. This policy has been a complete and utter failure for at least 40 years. No independent group of experts has ever recommended this policy. There is not, nor has there ever been an honest, well meaning argument in favor of the War on Drugs. 40 years later we can see the carnage this policy has wraught, and we cannot even get our politicians to discuss the possibility of change.

If you want to see how totalitarian America really is, look no further than the War on Drugs.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384610)

I take it you vote for cthulhu? By your logic, why vote for the lesser evil. If you are going to vote for evil lets just go all out!

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384674)

That and the fact that most liberals are douchebags.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384998)

and most conservatives are ignorant cocksuckers.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (5, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384692)

This is the mindset that has caused the US to move steadily to the right for the past 30 years. The lesser evil is still evil.

The Right? Damn, man. I've been alive and aware those 30 years and you're so wrong. It's been moving steadily toward totalitarianism, which is neither Right (limited government) nor Left (social welfare). Left and Right in America aren't opposites of one another, they just happen to use the same resources (like a family does). Social welfare *in moderation* is what makes a great country. They're two players on the same team. If you bring in totalitarianism, that's unlimited government (anti-right), and temporarily, the Left is unrestrained, and everyone thinks it's great to get all this free stuff (because people will always be greedy)... until the totalitarian decides that enough bread and circuses have been given out, and then it's time for Social Inequity, Totalitarian's partner in the league of super-villainy, to enter into the picture and slay the Left (because people will always be greedy). Limited Government died a while back, and Social Inequity is rising. The Left needs to help the Tea Party bring back Limited Government before society has no one that fares well, save nobility.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (2, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385220)

Limited Government died a while back, and Social Inequity is rising. The Left needs to help the Tea Party bring back Limited Government before society has no one that fares well, save nobility.

You're joking right? The biggest threat to this country is unrestricted growth of the upper class on the backs of the lower classes. The government does have a very important place in the lives of the populace, and one of the primary roles is to protect it citizenry from abuses just like SOPA. Limiting government too much just give the businesses more power. The government ostensibly has the serve the populace. The corporation only has to serve its shareholders and they don't have to give a good god damn about your rights as an individual unless you have a vested interest in the company. Cutting social welfare just to give economic welfare to corporations and the wealthy are exactly the agenda that the tea party, knowingly or unknowingly are pushing with their idiotic "no taxes on job creators" nonsense. Seemingly, the whole agenda of the tea party is social inequity through government limitation and unrestricted economic incentives for the wealthy.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (3, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385606)

[government] protect[s] it citizenry from abuses just like SOPA

SOPA doesn't have teeth without the might of the government. Totalitarianism (we have to pass the bill before you can read it) is the mechanism through which the social inequity is being forged. With a limited government (note I didn't say *lack of government*), the nobility has a much shorter sword to threaten the populace with.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385914)

To clarify, limited government WITH TEETH is much more effective than a totalitarian government.

A limited government, in charge of socialist mandates (mandates to help the people as a whole) who can make good on punishments for those who abuse the system, will enable a balanced society without preventing freedom of action by individuals within that society.

Think of such a government as protecting your house with a guard dog. Think of the alternate as protecting your house with an encompassing swamp, complete with alligators.

The dog is fed and groomed by you, has a specific job to do, and does it well. The swamp is only in it to survive and grow... possibly at your expense, and definitely at the expense of most people attempting to visit your house. Only those who can navigate the changing ways of the swamp will survive the visit.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385998)

I should add... if the dog fails to perform properly, you can have it put down and train another... can't do that to a swamp without bringing in large machinery to dredge, drain, and burn. And then you've got a bill for the job, a bunch of machinery, and some very hungry alligators with nowhere to go on your hands.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (3, Informative)

number6x (626555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385532)

Very good post, thanks. I think you will find it even easier if you stop thinking about right and left as being aligned with limited government and social welfare. The political right is not about limited government. Political 'right' and 'left' have nothing to do with where the solutions to problems come from. There are plenty of right wingers that believe in increased government and in government vs private sector solutions.

Think about how complacent we are that large corporate special interest groups get government help on the taxpayer's dime. Guitar maker Ernie Ball was raided by the BSA [slashdot.org] using local law enforcement to conduct the raid. Laws have been passed forcing businesses accused by the BSA to pay fines up-front, guilt can be decided later. People just seem to expect that government should drop everything and do what corporations want, no expenses spared. This is right wing, but certainly not conservative and limited government. copyright and license infringement that Ernie Ball was accused of is a civil not criminal matter. Law enforcement should have no role beyond serving a warrant, and law enforcement should only be called upon if private efforts to serve the warrant fail.

In the late 19th until the mid 20th century in America, the right wing tended to believe in limited government and be more conservative, and the left wing has been more socialist asking for government based solutions to problems like poverty, homelessness and loss of jobs. After World War II the trend for corporate America to feed at, and become dependent on, the government and the taxpayer has been constantly increasing. The people who back this kind of socialist welfare for the corporations has also increased.

There are plenty of examples of both right wing socialism and right wing totalinarianism throughout history. You can have someone with right wing ideals, like say a preference for management vs labor. Some of these right wingers will be conservative and think that we need less governement and more free market, knowing full well that this could result in the failure of many businesses who take too many risks(no safety nets). Others among these right wingers will be more socialist, like most of the Republicans in the USA. These socialist right wingers expect huge government backing of corporations and work to implement their beliefs in redistributing the taxes from middle class Americans to businesses and corporations.

Right and left does not translate to conservative and liberal. They are orthogonal attributes. Your conclusion that the liberals need the Tea Party to get government limited down to size again is spot on. Its not about right vs left, its about socialist solutions vs private sector solutions. Both right and left need to create private sector solutions to issues they are concerned about. Government is not always the solution.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384908)

This is the mindset that has caused the US to move steadily to the right for the past 30 years. The lesser evil is still evil.

It's going to be a lot of work to come up with an alternative. As a US voter, I voted in the 2008 election for a mainstream candidate, McCain precisely because he was the lesser of two evils (a view unfortunately confirmed by subsequent history).

Personally, I'd rather third parties like the Libertarians or Greens get enough influence to matter at the national level, but I'm aware that the system is set up to favor the two dominant parties and any change, currently, would require both parties to cooperate (which IMHO isn't going to happen under current conditions).

So in other words, the choice has been "framed". I hope to see that changed in my lifetime, but at the same time, I have to deal with the current reality. I'm not going to cast a vote for a non-Republican unless the Republican candidate is similarly harmful (in that case, an awful Democrat president at odds with Congress is a better alternative). Moving steadily to the right is currently the lesser of two evils. It may be otherwise by the time 2014 comes around in which case, I can cast my vote elsewhere.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385268)

As a US voter, I voted in the 2008 election for a mainstream candidate, McCain precisely because he was the lesser of two evils (a view unfortunately confirmed by subsequent history).

I voted for McCain too for the same reason. I can't share your conclusion, though: The evilness measures of either scenario are probably well within error bars.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385460)

I voted for McCain too for the same reason. I can't share your conclusion, though: The evilness measures of either scenario are probably well within error bars.

Then you should have voted for a third party candidate. I voted for McCain (and Palin) because he had both greater integrity than Obama (yes, I'm not being sarcastic here, I'm aware of many of McCain's foibles), took some bold risks which I approved of, and because Obama looked to be a remarkably serious problem should he get electe.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385402)

As a US voter, I voted in the 2008 election for a mainstream candidate, McCain precisely because he was the lesser of two evils (a view unfortunately confirmed by subsequent history).?

And if we were in a war with Iran right now, you would be to blame.

Personally, I'd rather third parties like the Libertarians or Greens get enough influence to matter at the national level

Then vote for them.

So in other words, the choice has been "framed".

Agreed. Break the frame.

I'm not going to cast a vote for a non-Republican unless the Republican candidate is similarly harmful

Democrat and Republican policies are both so incredibly harmful that the differences are really insignificant. The only issue that matters is breaking the hegemony. Period.

Not right or left, statist (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384956)

This is the mindset that has caused the US to move steadily to the right for the past 30 years. The lesser evil is still evil.

We have not really moved left or right exactly, so much as we have moved towards statism - where the state controls everything. That is what we must withdraw from to regain freedoms we have lost.

However it must be noted that currently the Left is far more into promoting statist ideals than the Right (which was body-checked by the Tea Party over this issue).

Re:Not right or left, statist (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385906)

However it must be noted that currently the Left is far more into promoting statist ideals than the Right (which was body-checked by the Tea Party over this issue).

Two observations about this. First, the republicans don't control the government right now. So obviously they're not going to want to increase the power of the government. Put republicans back in charge and they will rapidly increase the power of the state just like they've done every time they held power.

Second, the Tea Party alternative to statism is corporatism which is even worse than statism.

Re:Not right or left, statist (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385980)

However it must be noted that currently the Left is far more into promoting statist ideals than the Right (which was body-checked by the Tea Party over this issue).

One more thing. Barack Obama is not a leftist. He is a center rightist, somewhere between Reagan and Nixon.

The true left hasn't had a voice in Washington in the past 30 years.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385074)

If we are to assume that by the 'right' you mean conservative (as most people in the US interpret the term 'right' in politics), then you are wrong. The US has not become a more conservative nation, especially in the last 30 years.

You are correct about the lesser evil still being evil. In the case of SOPA, the intent is questionably good but the outcome is not. It is better to do nothing than to enact SOPA or any current variant.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385080)

Bash republicans, get +5.

Bash democrats, get -1.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (3, Interesting)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385128)

This is the mindset that has caused the US to move steadily to the right for the past 30 years. The lesser evil is still evil.

Well...I suppose it is better than moving steadily to the WRONG for the past 30 years :D

I kid, I kid! In all seriousness, I really wish our political system was a little less one-dimensional. We look at everything in terms of "left" and "right", never even considering that there might, perhaps, be an "up", a "down", a "forward" and a "backward" as well. For all I can tell, the two major political parties are just two sides of the same coin; they are more interested in wresting power from the other party than in actually fixing any of the problems this nation faces. That's the real problem, IMHO.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385168)

"This is the mindset that has caused the US to move steadily to the right for the past 30 years. The lesser evil is still evil."

What 30 years are you looking at? We have been PROGRESSIVELY heading towards the left. This bloated size of government is all the proof needed.. Did you forget that the farther (what you call) 'right' you go, the less government you have? The furthest 'right' is Anarchy.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385942)

Did you forget that the farther (what you call) 'right' you go, the less government you have?

So ultra right wing governments, like say, Saudi Arabia are the freest in the world?

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384464)

Sometimes proposing something super-vile and "allowing" it to be watered down to something that is merely vile ...... for now ..... is good (as in evil) politics.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384512)

No, no, a hundred thousand times NO. That's known as "changing the window," and it's a well known problem with politics.

Example: For the kids, we're now going to conduct random warrantless household searches across the nation.

With your approach, we should approve of a less offensive alternative, like, say, "but this will only happen twice a year, instead of once a month." You feel like you "won" something when in reality, by any measure, you have objectively lost. This is basically how the Constitution and our "inalienable rights" have been eviscerated over the last century or so.

This approach is extremely common in politics, and less offensive alternatives are absolutely NOT the way to address it! Wholehearted refusal of THE ENTIRE PREMISE is required, potentially along with civil disobedience if either version does get enacted.

CAPTCHA: frauds. How appropriate.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (5, Informative)

TheLuggage2008 (1199251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384694)

Exactly this.

I've used this very tactic at home; I started out telling my wife that our entire AV setup is outdated, the larger living room in our new home necessitated a 70" TV and surround sound to fill the room, as well as my aging computer no longer being able to handle the demands of a home theater PC server...

What I actually really wanted: The green-light on building a new computer. We negotiated down from the TV, surround sound and new computer to just the new computer. My wife feels that that she managed to put the breaks on a lot of needless spending and I got exactly what I wanted short-term. In truth, I eventually want all three, but I have the patience to wait a while before complaining loudly that I can never hear the TV properly because of the crappy speakers, and the game will be afoot again. I wonder how long after the passage of SOPA or OPEN before they start complaining loudly that they can't fully protect us without expanding their reach to U.S. sites as well...

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (2)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384566)

So powerful are the media interests. I say boycott them all and make them feel the loss of profits, so substantially that they will abandon the idea.

Otherwise in our capitalistic system, just get used to the fact that the entire internet will be in private hands and those foolish enough to believe in social or economic justice can simply go extinct.

The choice is yours as only you can do anything about it.

Its ironic that the old, the sick, the poor, the young are not entitled to any government benefits, but wealthy media corporations are entitled to your money and your political and economic voice as a corporate birthright. Soon the only people left will be corporations.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384828)

You've lost the battle when play the low-middle-high game of negotiations for you have now accepted an inherently evil premise.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385122)

I think I'd prefer Jefferson's method of refreshing the tree of liberty to settling for the lesser evil.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385808)

Sometimes advocating a less offensive alternative is the only viable means of effectively opposing something vile.

And sometimes advocating a more offensive alternative is the only viable means of getting your less offensive bill to be accepted by the majority, vileness and all.

Just saying.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385950)

Only if you're experiencing duress, which in all honesty guarantees a disaster further down the road.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384562)

This summary makes it sound like they're heroes fighting for our freedom or something. In actuality, they're just advocated for their own alternative Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act [wikipedia.org] (OPEN). And the only difference between their bill and SOPA is that SOPA will put enforcement in the hands of the Justice Department and OPEN will put it in the hands of the United States International Trade Commission [wikipedia.org], which in practice will make ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE to most sites being busted.

The only reason Darrel Issa and Ron Wyden are supporting it is because it provides more protection for the Googles, Facebooks, etc. and they're both from states where those companies are big players.

They should rebadge it Digital Online Protection Enforcement.

It would be most fitting.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (4, Informative)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384616)

This isn't actually true. OPEN makes it harder to transfer money to sites that have been ruled "infringing" by a court. It doesn't include capabilities for takedowns, blocks from searches, etc. SOPA, on the other hand, could possibly require deep packet inspection to keep people off infringing sites.

Basically, OPEN only goes after commercial infringement, and only does so in a commercial way. I'm OK with that.

Re:They're NOT opposed to SOPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385778)

I am not opposed to shutting down all my websites and closing my business and hunkering down until this government of treason is cleansed.
Fuck job hiring, fuck banks and investing, fuck politicians and voting, and finally fuck police (if they have this unconstitutional directive)

Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favorite (5, Interesting)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384398)

There are both Ds and Rs in favor of the bill, too.

Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favorite Republican [cnet.com].

He may be a Tea Partier from rural Texas with an "A+" rating from the National Rifle Association," but the TV, movie, and music industries are the top donors to Smith's 2012 campaign committee, according to data complied by the Center for Responsive Politics [opensecrets.org].

The Tea Party are marks. His donors are his real constituency.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384584)

The Tea Party are marks. His donors are his real constituency.

Because the Tea Party has staked out such a strong opinion on copyright? I'll bet if you explained this bill to random people on the street, 5% would be in favor, 5% would be opposed, and the rest would stare at you blankly. Copyright affects programmers directly since we are content creators, but most people are as interested in copyright law as they are in foreign-fish importation law.

When voters don't care about a subject, it leaves the congress-people free to do whatever they want. So they do.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384704)

They'll care when someone shuts down YouTube and Facebook.

It's all in how you explain it.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38384838)

They'll care when someone shuts down YouTube and Facebook. It's all in how you explain it.

You mean if you lie to them, they'll understand your explanation? No, if you tell them that the government is going to shut down YouTube and Facebook, they won't believe you. And they would be right, the government is not going to shut down Youtube and Facebook, this is to PROTECT Youtube and Facebook.

The harshest part of this law (in my opinion, as I understand it, which is little considering it is a long law and rather confusing), is that it will increase the penalties for illegal downloading of songs. Soon you won't hear about a single mom who got charged $500k for using p2p, you'll hear about a mom who got sent to jail for a year because of p2p. But once again, people didn't care when the single mom got charged $500k, so why do you expect them to care about a year in jail? The $500k is arguably worse.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384918)

No, SOPA is not just a harsher version of DMCA, It would force U.S. internet companies like Google to censor search results as a response to a copyright allegation.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385160)

the government is not going to shut down Youtube and Facebook, this is to PROTECT Youtube and Facebook

No, it is not.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385336)

Yes, it is (once again, I don't claim to be an expert on the law, it's too long to read and this is according to my understanding of it). The law explicitly gives the executive branch the power to block foreign websites, which is why people are comparing it to China's censorship. China wanted to promote their own internal version of Twitter, Google, etc, so they blocked Twitter, Google, etc.

When the president, or one of his minions, decides that DailyMotion.com is causing problems for Google, they can now block it. Do you believe they won't?

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385846)

", it's too long to read "

then shut up.

You haven't read it, and you don't understand it.

"Do you believe they won't?"
no, they won't. That;s the part I'm not even concerned with. It wold be apolitical disaster. It's the same reason Marshal Law has never been declared.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (2)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385332)

When voters don't care about a subject, it leaves the congress-people free to do whatever they want. So they do.

Yes. True leaders tell their constituents things that they need to know, so they can be better informed about the issues at hand. Conmen and grifters always try and befog their marks with a blizzard of words and concerns about extraneous things. The marks may mean well, but they're still being played.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385670)

Yes. True leaders tell their constituents things that they need to know, so they can be better informed about the issues at hand.

Heh, once again, imagine if during a debate a candidate started talking about the finer points of lumber-importation policy. It wouldn't matter how great a leader he/she was, because people aren't interested in that. They want to hear about the things they are interested in.

The only times we get great leaders is during wartime, because that's when everyone is paying attention. As soon as voters stop paying attention, we get grifters. As they say, democracy doesn't guarantee good government, it guarantees the government people deserve.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385344)

This falls under the same category as articles that think everybody will want Android because it can be hacked.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385712)

if you explained this bill to random people on the street, 5% would be in favor, 5% would be opposed, and the rest would stare at you blankly.

Heh. Well said, and it applies equally to most important issues, bills or policies. Disinterested, incurious and apathetic people make a perfect breeding ground for opportunistic politicians.

Re:Meet SOPA author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's favor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385124)

Yep, when stuff like this starts passing, it's time to leave the country.

And this is good? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384428)

So these two politicians can do what countless citizens petitioning,calling,and writing cannot... What a tragedy.

no comment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38384540)

Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: BlueScreen
    OS Version: 6.1.7601.2.1.0.256.48
    Locale ID: 1033

Ron Wyden, hardcore liberal? (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385078)

I'd like to know who is calling Ron Wyden a hardcore liberal, because they clearly haven't been paying attention to Mr. Wyden recently. Just his co-sponsoring of this bill that would partially privatize Medicare [oregonlive.com] should convince anyone that he's not a 'hardcore liberal.'

He's quite moderate, actually, which explains why he's trying to cut through the bullshit and actually work with people from the "opposition" party.

Bait and switch. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385148)

Wait. So the main opponents to such a bill are Ron Paul and Pelosi, but IT World would rather poo-poo Ron Paul because they (like so many other liberals I could mention) would rather cut their nose to spite their face, and support a watered down version of the bill coming from more mainstream politicians? And Pelosi isn't worth mentioning at all?

Yeah, fuck you IT World.

Toothpaste Factory (1)

Saint Dharma (1755726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385420)

Here's the crux of the biscuit: SOPA and PIPA is the latest attempt of the MPAA, the RIAA and a whole alphabet soup of organizations representing billion dollar babies who have been crying about the internet killing their business since Napster reared its' nappy head up. This is also them trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube after realizing they should have bought a stake in the factory. This will not pass, and a watered down version of it won't pass either because the RIAA doesn't think it would go fast enough. Quit crying and adapt, people.

Crooked Government (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385504)

FYI, My New York Senator Kirsten Gilibrand is a cosponsor of PIPA (the senate equivalent of SOPA) and is the top recipient of campaign financing from the TV / Movies / Music industry [opensecrets.org]. In a decent society an elected official would recuse themselves from taking a position if they received bribes campaign funding from anybody that might benefit from that position. It's a disgrace that our government comprises of crooks like Gillibrand.

yuo fai7 i7! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38385648)

to work I'm Pdoing, One Here but now The curtains flew claim that BSD is a that should be to this. For Volume of NetBSD the top. Or were, centralized models can connect to prima donnas, and Like I should be

I like Wyden (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385794)

But the fact that he is now considered a 'hard core liberal' really show how far the party line has moved toward republicans.

Entertaining (2)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38385926)

Does anyone with any amount of technical training actually think this bill is a good idea? No.

Why do they think this isn't a good idea? Because they understand the internet, its design, and the people affected better than these lawmakers. Sadly, these lawmakers only here the sound of "bling bling and clink clink" as they sell out their constituents for what must be the thirteen-thousandth time. Someone should sit them down, use small words, and explain to them just how badly they're selling out their own offspring. But I digress, our culture is one of being wealthy for one day, and poor for the rest of time.

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