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SOPA Protests 'Poisoned the Well,' Says Congressional Staffer

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the well-was-already-pretty-toxic dept.

Censorship 330

Techdirt has a story about statements from Congressional staffer Stephanie Moore, who had some interesting — and somewhat insulting — things to say about the 'net-wide protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). "Netizens poisoned the well, and as a result the reliability of the internet is at risk," she said. Moore went on, "Congress was criticized for not being tech savvy, but from a lot of the comments we got it became clear that the people who were calling us did not understand the bill any better than we did." The article also points out comments from Steve Metalitz, a lawyer who represents members of the entertainment industry: "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."

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Translation (5, Insightful)

Stirling Newberry (848268) | about 2 years ago | (#40420207)

The protests ruined the staffer's lobbying gig that is on the other side of the revolving door.

Re:Translation (5, Insightful)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#40420297)

The lawyer's comment is particularly funny, too. Most countries in the world already have the option at their disposal because, duh, they censor all sorts of things anyway.

Re:Translation (3, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#40420645)

Their lawyers say that no matter what country they are speaking about, so do their press releases, and their lobbyists, the only surprising thing is how many slashdotter's believe them. Really, I've lost count of the number of people who have told me Australia actually has "a great firewall" and if I try and set them straight they will argue the point with me from their basement in Texas.

Re:Translation (-1, Flamebait)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40420425)

she just exposed herself as a laughing stock of the world.

sometimes its just one speech or quote that does it.

now that she's done for, throw the stupid cunt out! she's useless and an insult to our legal system (yes, I'm serious).

anyone who would DARE say the shit she's said - she deserves no job in government. none. she's not even fit to clean my toilet.

I'm tired of these piece of shot congress people who are SO detached from normal peoples' lives and yet they get so much power to ruin our system and world.

again, throw that cunt out. she's not what we need in congress. let her join a circus and be a freak-show, there.

Re:Translation (5, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40420501)

She's not IN Congress. She's a staffer. Call her boss.

Re:Translation (3, Insightful)

iplayfast (166447) | about 2 years ago | (#40420571)

Yes we poisoned the well of censorship.

Embarrassment extractor (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420211)

When you go into politics, what kind of device do they ram up where to rip your ability to feel embarrassment out?

Re:Embarrassment extractor (5, Informative)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 years ago | (#40420317)

When you go into politics, what kind of device do they ram up where to rip your ability to feel embarrassment out?

The "device" is a large wad of cash and cheques which is shoved repeatedly into either the subjects hand or pockets. Other side effects of this treatment include: a deranged mindset, inability to distinguish fantasy from reality, and voluminous stools emerging from both digestive orifices.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420375)

That's the trouble with capitalism. Any philosophy which promotes the principle of selfishness is going to encourage behaviour which is harmful to others providing it is profitable - first people do away with morality/decency and just "stick to the rules", then they realise that actually it's fairly easy to ignore the rules too.

Unfortunately, the best progression we've ever had from raw capitalism - the balanced social democracies emerging in '50s and '60s Europe - were destroyed by the neoconservative project's battle commencing in the '70s. And now the latter have the cheek to blame the former.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40420513)

good post.

really, capitalism is greed. reduce it to what it really is and call a spade a space.

capitalism is greed, in action.

and we are SURPRISED AND SHOCKED that such a system has utterly failed us?

no boundaries, no limits and greed-driven laws and ethics.

its no wonder we are as fucked up as we are! I'm talking about the world, here; since the capitalism disease has spread thru much of the world and the US is intent on forcing it on every last nation, too.

that's what are 'democracy building' is. forcing our levels of greed on the rest of mankind.

nice......

Re:Embarrassment extractor (2)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#40420637)

It is not a secret that capitalism is greed, nor a shock.
This is why we have rules and regulations.
But 4 years ago, we suffered under an ignorant that repealed and ruined these powers for 8 years.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420695)

This is what someone who hasn't actually studied capitalism thinks. This is the propagandized version.

Capitalism is the other way around. It's people who are free to vote with their dollars. If you want to succeed, you need to provide something with value. The only way to divert from capitalism is to remove its freedoms. You force the money into places where there isn't value. You make people behave according to some arbitrary government agenda rather than market demands. You ALWAYS end up shrinking the economy.

The "no boundaries" bit is ignorant nonsense as well. There are always laws regarding financial transactions. There is a huge difference between greed and self-interest. Greed generally causes damage to one's reputation and leads to laws start being broken and opens up the door to competitors...unless you have a monopoly or are aligned with corrupt government.

One more thing, capitalism is the only way a country 16T in debt is going to crawl out of the hole. We need all the economic activity we can possibly achieve.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (1)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 2 years ago | (#40420521)

Damn, wish I still had mod points. You nailed.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (5, Insightful)

Gamer_2k4 (1030634) | about 2 years ago | (#40420553)

Humans are always going to have greed. Capitalism is simply the engine that makes the best use of it.

Would it be nice if there's a better way? Of course. But no such ways are feasible.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420577)

Humans are always going to have compassion.
Humans are always going to have rapists.
Humans are always going to have intelligence.
Humans are always going to have illness.

I don't see why greed ought to be the thing to pick to base your society on. And don't forget that humans are nature+nurture - you can play down or reinforce qualities in any community.

Also, how is the xkcd reviewing going? I do tend to picture neckbeards as dilettante libertarians, so thanks for confirming another stereotype. ;-)

Re:Embarrassment extractor (2, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#40420651)

I don't see why greed ought to be the thing to pick to base your society on.

Perhaps you should have a look at the historical record, and find out what happened in countries that claimed to be suppressing greed. They racked up a pretty hefty body count.

-jcr

Re:Embarrassment extractor (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40420643)

OF COURSE there are better ways.

curbs. curbs on how much power and wealth you can amass.

we have not tried that, not really. we have curbs on the stock market (or, we used to!) and that worked for a while.

no curbs on power in the capitalistic west. let the powerful get more powerful. and, due to that, those below that level sink even lower.

is this really the best that mankind can do? I hardly think so!

we are lazy and have given up trying to make better ways to govern and care for ourselves.

but there *are* ways to fix our broken system. its just that those in power keep the old system since it favors their situation.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (3)

chiefmojorising (114811) | about 2 years ago | (#40420575)

That's the problem with *douchebags*. Shitty people will be shitty no matter the political or economic system.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (2)

russotto (537200) | about 2 years ago | (#40420605)

You're blaming a politician's flunky knowing where her bread is buttered -- an act which would have been familiar in the days of the Roman Republic -- on capitalism?

Re:Embarrassment extractor (1)

MJordan666 (2632139) | about 2 years ago | (#40420619)

...the best progression we've ever had from raw capitalism - the balanced social democracies emerging in '50s and '60s Europe - were destroyed by the neoconservative project's battle commencing in the '70s...

That, and the assorted governments running out of cash to fund the programs.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (2)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#40420709)

That's the trouble with capitalism. Any philosophy which promotes the principle of selfishness

Capitalism doesn't promote the principle of selfishness, it just recognized self-interest as the primary driving force. Like Churchill said about Democracy, it sucks, until you compare it to all the other systems.

Re:Embarrassment extractor (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#40420453)

Can't be the rear end, that's where the hand of the puppet player is supposed to be put.

Wow you still don't get it (5, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#40420219)

Moore and Metalitz still don't get it. Its not about the Internet or site blocking, its about that fundamental characteristics of our nation. Its about due process and freedom of speech.

Re:Wow you still don't get it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420237)

Due process and freedom of speech get in the way of maximizing the bottom line.

Re:Wow you still don't get it (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#40420449)

Then maximizing the bottom line is unconstitutional, I guess...

Re:Wow you still don't get it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420527)

Yes, and putting out a hit-man on your competition in order to 'maximize your bottom line' is also unconstitutional. Just because something gets in the way of maximizing your profits doesn't mean you can legislate your way around such obstacles...... Oh, nevermind, I forgot.... that's EXACTLY how business maximizes profits in this country.

Re:Wow you still don't get it (5, Informative)

Macthorpe (960048) | about 2 years ago | (#40420253)

I'm not American, but I do agree - I thought the point was that the government already has the power to do exactly what SOPA is "for" - it just removed due process requirements to do it.

Courts and the Internet (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40420407)

The problem here is that due process means courts -- long, expensive procedures are used to decide if copyright infringement took place. Nobody can make the argument that such a system is appropriate in this century. As the RIAA discovered, you simply cannot sue everyone who infringes copyrights online, there are too many people doing it.

The copyright industry thinks that the problem is with due process, as opposed to attempting to apply a concept that originated in an age of printing presses to a society where everyone has the equipment needed to make perfect copies in their homes.

Re:Wow you still don't get it (2)

phrostie (121428) | about 2 years ago | (#40420493)

agreed, when they say, " Most countries in the world already have this option at their disposal ".

those are dictatorships

Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420221)

"Congress was criticized for not being tech savvy, but from a lot of the comments we got it became clear that the people who were calling us did not understand the bill any better than we did."

Soooooo, we (Congress) didn't understand a law we wrote (or at least the lobbyist wrote) and all of you protesting didn't understand it either - making you just as dumb as us!

In your face!

Re:Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420285)

That was my thought as well, if they didn't understand the bill any more than the protesters, that's a damn good reason not to be voting for it. These are our elected officials and they're supposed to have more of an understanding of the bills than the constituents do.

Re:Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420463)

These are our elected officials and they're supposed to have more of an understanding of the bills than the constituents do.

Well, that's kinda "schools should be doing the parenting," isn't it?

I mean, the original comments are really dumb, don't get me wrong.

But IMO the populace - especially those members with a vested interest - should be more educated than pols about a given issue.

Politicians should execute the will of the people (and no, I'm not so naive as to think [that's all] they do).

If the people were better educated about pols and policy, better pols would execute better policy in better ways.

For a simple example (at least the 'better policy' part), see the SOPA protests....

Re:Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420561)

And even before that, politicians are supposed to consider the opinion of the masses as THE WORD, not as something to judge. That's how democracy is supposed to work. People express an opinion and public servants MUST IMPLEMENT IT. Don't like it? tell us why and find another job.
The common attitude instead is: "the public is dumb, and we must drive them out of ignorance with our enlightened decisions". (Decisions as dictated by lobbies and think tanks, but this is another problem).

Captcha: demoniac

Re:Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (2)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#40420429)

Sounds exactly like every other bit of lawmaking I've seen. Ignorant protesters on one side try to shout down the ignorant protesters on the other side. Even the ones who happen to be right usually don't have the faintest idea what they're talking about. The few who actually do know what they're talking about are indistinguishable from the equal-and-opposite pundits handed to their opponents, except to each other.

It's no excuse for being stupid, and I suppose I'm happy that the right side won this time. But I don't think anybody actually learned anything from it.

You don't need know. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420479)

Whenever lobbyists write a bill for Congress (and that's most bills), it is always - ALWAYS - to the detriment of the public. Therefore, an individual being against a bill is always the right thing to do.

Re:Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#40420445)

Well, politicians are just elected people of the population. Garbage in, garbage out.

Re:Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420507)

Um, Obama care got passed with Pelosi saying "we have to pass the bill to see whats in it" and people who pointed out how stupid that was then were called racists and bigots.

So could you explain why I was called a bigot for making simiilar statements about ObamaCare and you are not a bigot for the same thing now?

Re:Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (5, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40420523)

At least we were smart enough to understand we didn't want to give the government new powers we didn't understand. That may not be genius level but it ain't stupid.

Re:Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420627)

Exactly, if their understanding of bills is no better than of the average person then instead of elected represantatives you might be better off selecting Congressmen at random like juries.

Re:Ha! You're just as stupid as we are! (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#40420659)

Exactly, if you don't understand the bill, why are you even thinking about voting for it? I am willing to accept that a Congressperson might choose to vote for a bill that they do not understand, but that several of their staffers do (but just barely). However, this was one of the staffers telling us that not even the staffers understood the bill. If you pass a bill that you don't understand, isn't it likely that it will do things that you would rather not have done?

A strategic victory (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420225)

When we do it, it is "poisoning the well", but when they do it, it is a well executed strategic victory and they should all get bonuses.

Re:A strategic victory (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 2 years ago | (#40420545)

When they do it, it's equivocation. File sharers are called "thieves" and "pirates." Surely you can't be for "piracy?" And of course you can't think copyright violation is a problem but also think shutting down what could be wholly innocent operations without due process is bad.

Translation: If you understood, you'd agree (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420231)

Sorry, that didn't work in the third grade and it doesn't now that I'm 44.

Re:Translation: If you understood, you'd agree (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#40420683)

Except that they didn't even claim that. They claimed that it was bad to oppose the bill without understanding it, but good to support the bill without understanding it. Which is the exact inverse of what I would consider to be the correct sentiment for a person in Congress. If someone in Congress does not understand a bill, they should vote against it. You might be able to make a case that they could take the word of a trusted staffer who understands the bill, but in this case the "trusted staffer" is admitting that they didn't understand the bill either.

The Main Problem with SOPA (5, Insightful)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 2 years ago | (#40420235)

"Congress was criticized for not being tech savvy, but from a lot of the comments we got it became clear that the people who were calling us did not understand the bill any better than we did."

So you were passing legislation that you did not understand. That is not why you were elected. You were not elected to be a rubber stamp. If we wanted one of those we could probably have bought on at Staples and it would have been been way cheaper than your salary.

Re:The Main Problem with SOPA (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420345)

I think the problem comes from the fact that laws are being written by lobby groups. If the people sitting in congress can't figure it out, they should call on the public to read and react to it. Every Time.

If there is something underhanded in the laws being debated, the SOPA type protests should happen, and the congress people will realize they have to fix it or abandon it.

For the most part this part of the process is broken. Why are we letting corporations dictate laws that only benefit themselves? If "corporations are people" then they should be jailed and executed for murder anytime a law they wrote results in peoples deaths. This obviously isn't going to happen, so we should stop pretending corporations are people.

Let's bring the literacy rate up, and put an "app" on peoples devices, phones, tablets, computers, etc that allows everyone in their country read bills being proposed, who wrote them, lobbying for them, and actually participate in the process.

The SOPA law as proposed, would break the internet, because pieces of the internet are operated by US corporations, like root zones and SSL signing. If you start arbitraily blocking sites (see India's recent backlash) you're moving responsibility from those that should be responsible (the site operators) to the ISP's (thus raising costs) and DNS registrar's.

Here's a simple blocking-type of solution that doesn't break the internet, nor make it a pain in the ass for ISP's to implement. All home users have a cable or DSL modem (or some other router locked down by the ISP), if a site, like TPB is a huge problem, then null-route that IP address in the router for users. Then list in the end-user router's software what routes are blocked for their own safety. The end-user can then delete these null routes once per reboot cycle if they know what they are doing. Once it reboots, it redownloads the null route list.

Problem solved, users who delete the routes from their hardware, know exactly what they are doing, everyone else just gets a destination unreachable. ISP's don't have to deal with anything other than maintaining a list of null routes. No 3-strikes bullshit, and technically proficient users don't have to hack the hardware or run tunnels to bypass blocked sites. This is the low-hanging fruit.

It's unfortunate that we'd need to block anything, but it's not just piracy sites that are unsafe, there's also malware C&C servers that should be blocked.

Re:The Main Problem with SOPA (4, Informative)

dead_user (1989356) | about 2 years ago | (#40420539)

Adding thousands and thousands of null routes to a home router would bring it to its knees. Most households can't afford a full blown Cisco router. The burden of processing the null routes would have to go to the ISP, whose systems could handle an extraordinarily large routing table. Once that happens, you'd have to add static routes on either side of the bad route to bypass it. VPN would still bypass it, but it would certainly be non-trivial for most users and would greatly increase the amount of total traffic required by the internet at large, as the pathing is no longer efficient by design but rather being bounced around the world. So yeah, it would break things.

Re:The Main Problem with SOPA (2)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#40420671)

I think the problem comes from the fact that laws are being written by lobby groups

That's a secondary problem. It comes from the fact that the congress has usurped vast amounts of power to grant economic favors to their cronies that were never granted by the constitution.

-jcr

Re:The Main Problem with SOPA (2)

DaMattster (977781) | about 2 years ago | (#40420403)

"Congress was criticized for not being tech savvy, but from a lot of the comments we got it became clear that the people who were calling us did not understand the bill any better than we did."

So you were passing legislation that you did not understand. That is not why you were elected. You were not elected to be a rubber stamp. If we wanted one of those we could probably have bought on at Staples and it would have been been way cheaper than your salary.

Very well said! Furthermore, politicians have a duty to their voters to understand what laws they are passing. Although corporations are now considered people, a politician is supposed to represent the will of the actual people, not the the will of corporations. This was one empiric victory for the individual.

Re:The Main Problem with SOPA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420459)

Not to mention a rubber stamp doesn't get a lifetime of high-end health insurance funded entirely by taxpayers.

Re:The Main Problem with SOPA (2)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#40420509)

SOPA and ACTA were both wrote so you needed to be a lawyer to under stand them. Well most ppl don't know lawyer talk so people that did know lawyer talk aka lawyers, read the bills and explained them and put them in terms that everyone understands. They explained how vague and open the bill is and what it COULD allow which is the key to the bills. Not what they wrote to do, but what way they are worded that they could do.

Cunt. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420249)

1988 Chevy Ignorant Cunt.

How do you know a politician is lying? (3, Funny)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#40420257)

Her lips are moving.

It is broken in those countries. (5, Insightful)

p0p0 (1841106) | about 2 years ago | (#40420261)

In those countries where they do filter and block websites, the internet is broken. No one has any free speech. Political opposition is just blocked along with anything "offensive" like pornography. Anything the government does not agree with is shut down. That is very broken and for a country that considers itself the home of the free, then those systems would be considered completely corrupt and unethical.

But who cares. It's all for the greater good.
The greater good.
The greater good.

Re:It is broken in those countries. (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about 2 years ago | (#40420409)

Or for the benefit of the corporations that stand to make beaucoup bucks supplying, deploying, and mantaining the infrastructure. It isn't about the greater good at all. Its about money.

Gobsmacked (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#40420263)

I think the entertainment industry's tactic to silence the opposition is to leave them speechless from such over the top claims. "Internet at risk"?

Most countries have this (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420273)

"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."
Countries like China and Iran. Do we want the Internet controlled like those countries?

It would already be broken (5, Insightful)

Narrowband (2602733) | about 2 years ago | (#40420275)

Well, yes, for residents of countries that have that power, the Internet is, in fact already broken.

surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420279)

Yes, and as long as people keep voting for more republicans and democrats, we'll just get more of these moronic comments and worse, attempts at legislation.

As if anyone's really UN-educated. (5, Insightful)

YankDownUnder (872956) | about 2 years ago | (#40420283)

There are more than enough people and resources behind each and every bill brought up before the Senate and/or Congress. There is more than enough study and research behind the scenes. Playing out "ignorance" in any respect is merely a show, merely another part of the "smoke and mirrors" game. The unfortunate advantage of the intelligent "netizens" is that we DO know, we DO have facts, we DO have experience and in general, it's those of us that helped to build what is called "The Internet" - old school BBS Sysops and hackers and the likes - that are speaking out - and we're the one's that actually understand the entire paradigm. This, to me, is mere BS marketing.

Same with EU/ACTA (5, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 2 years ago | (#40420291)

EC member Anders Jessen, Trade, suggested that the negotiations surrounding ACTA were unfair; not because of all the shrouded-in-secrecy/hidden-agenda stuff, but because of 'threats' against governments (hacks on government websites, threats to release data if governments voted in favor of ACTA) and the focus on the 'digital' section.
He suggested that if that section had not been there, ACTA would have been accepted, and that would have been a good thing with regard to fake physical articles such as clothes and parts (specifically pointing out aircraft parts).

Yet it doesn't dawn on him that maybe they should remove the 'digital' section and re-submit. Or, more likely, it does - but he knows as well as anybody else that the 'digital' part is actually the meat and the 'physical' is just to get major manufacturers and their lobbying prowess on board.

Some of that shines through in his statement that Google's revenue is now bigger than that of all newspaper publishers together, noting that in this era you can make copies much, much faster and that 'online users have cannibalized offline users'.

He does admit to some mistakes and that this is a time for self-reflection for the EC as the EP critized him and suggested that next time something is put forth to which a yes-or-no vote is to be cast, they should better coordinate and cooperate with the EP.

Source:
http://www.nu.nl/tech/2841489/europese-commissie-vreest-gevolgen-bij-afwijzen-acta.html [www.nu.nl]

Translated (horribly):
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=nl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nu.nl%2Ftech%2F2841489%2Feuropese-commissie-vreest-gevolgen-bij-afwijzen-acta.html [google.com]

Re:Same with EU/ACTA (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#40420485)

Yea ACTA was SOPA jr. they used a trade agreement to bypass all the gov red tape straight to the president to be signed in. Reason people got up in arm's over it was no one knew a thing about it til it was leaked. When people heard it was a back room agreement wrote up in back room with only content industry input. Everyone knew it wasn't gonna have public's best interest in mind.

Re:Same with EU/ACTA (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | about 2 years ago | (#40420703)

ACTA isn't quite dead yet, it's just "a little sick".

There's the up/down vote on it in the Parliament scheduled for the 6 July, but the recommendation from the international trade committee is "no".

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120614IPR46889/html/Parliament-should-say-NO-to-ACTA-says-International-Trade-Committee [europa.eu]

"Most governments in the world" (5, Insightful)

popo (107611) | about 2 years ago | (#40420295)

Wow. Did she really just justify US policy-making by making a "majority of nations" argument???

There are 87 UN member states that are full-fledged democracies or "fully free" according to Freedom House. There are a total of 193 UN member states.

Which means that even in the United Nations (which doesn't contain all autonomous national entities) ONLY 45% ARE EVEN DEMOCRACIES.

Dear Stephanie, if policy makers used the "most countries in the world" argument to justify policy decisions, the WORLD would be broken.

Re:"Most governments in the world" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#40420435)

Well, according to a former prez of the US it was a "heck lot easier"...

Re:"Most governments in the world" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420467)

She, personally, deserves to be on anonymouss' hit list for people to publically find dirt on and shame all to hell.

Come on, anon. Teach her a lesson she won't forget. Make an example out of her so that others won't be so stupid in the future.

I think this is needed. Those idiots in office think more about themselves than the country they supposedly serve. Let them have some bad times as punishment. Please?

Re:"Most governments in the world" (1)

jcr (53032) | about 2 years ago | (#40420673)

Did she really just justify US policy-making by making a "majority of nations" argument???

Yes she did; it's a frequent tactic used by those who seek to expand the power of governments.

-jcr

Huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420323)

"If site blocking broke the internet, then the internet would already be broken"

Most countries aren't at the center of the Internet and most countries don't play such a pivotal role in core Internet technologies like America does.

Re:Huh? (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#40420473)

Yea most sites in the work are hosted either US, Canada and the Europe. Countries that have those blocks are countries barely anyone in world visit's sites in those countries less they have to. Plus the people in those countries haven't had many rights to start with and they aren't about to give them rights anytime soon.

The content industry is an entitlement problem (5, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about 2 years ago | (#40420325)

I think the content industry has an entitlement problem. We live in a democracy, not a utopia. Churchill said something to the effect of "a democracy is a terrible form of government, but its the best one anyone has come up with so far"; I am butchering the quote.

The only way for a democracy to ever be a utopia is if everyone agreed with everyone else on everything. That is not likely to happen. We all have rights, and sometimes in exercising those rights we are going to infringe in some mild way on the rights of others. Its unavoidable. One of the stated goals of our organizing document is to promote the general welfare; a big part of that is maximizing each individuals ability to exercise their rights, and putting some minimal controls in place to limit the amount of infringement on the rights of others that occurs. That infringement can't be eliminated so where permitted it should happen in a fair way, in that harm is spread around equally.

The content industry does not seem to recognize that society has already given them all sorts of concessions; which limit the rights of others in order to protect them. They have copyright extensions that go well beyond what the Constitution stated the aim of copyright to be; they have tools like DMCA, the have FBI acting like the own team of private investigators, the have the FCC requiring completely unnecessary content control features in electronics, the list goes on.

None of those things are sufficient to eliminate copyright violations. I think may of them already go to far but in any case the amount of copyright infringement going on out there is at a perfectly acceptable level. Why, well because the content industry is wildly profitable, and while I think private property is the cornerstone of freedom, these guys are not hurting they don't need more protection for the state to hold on to what is theirs. Any good it would do them is in no way proportional the harm it does to others.

Lots of folks are limited by what the content industry already has. Indie artists can't use all sorts of material because is locked up under copyright in perpetuity, small manufactures are locked out of the market because they can't implement mandatory DRM, tinkers are locked out of their hobbies by draconian FCC rules, citizens have the privacy violated by the FBI and others all the time. Giving the content industry the right to completely curb stomp our ability to express ourselves on the Internet, with no process and no appeals; is simply unjustified.

Re:The content industry is an entitlement problem (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#40420351)

The content industry does not seem to recognize that society has already given them all sorts of concessions

That is because despite all those concessions, they still do not have the things they want:

  1. Unlimited copyright terms (see: debate on the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act)
  2. Control over all communications systems
  3. A world without the Internet
  4. Profits measured in quadrillions of dollars

Re:The content industry is an entitlement problem (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#40420455)

The content industry does not seem to recognize that society has already given them all sorts of concessions; which limit the rights of others in order to protect them. They have copyright extensions that go well beyond what the Constitution stated the aim of copyright to be; they have tools like DMCA, the have FBI acting like the own team of private investigators, the have the FCC requiring completely unnecessary content control features in electronics, the list goes on.

SOPA was gonna do same thing DMCA did in a way, give them more power to enforce their copyright. Problem with DMCA is they have abused its power since day it was signed taking down content they don't even have rights to. More power won't help them fix their broken and 40 year old business model. Time to start living in today guys not 40 years ago

Re:The content industry is an entitlement problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420625)

Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. - 11th Nov 1947

WTF? (2)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 2 years ago | (#40420337)

Congress was criticized for not being tech savvy, but from a lot of the comments we got it became clear that the people who were calling us did not understand the bill any better than we did.

Those are two separate areas of understanding. Understanding technology and understanding a particular bill don't necessarily translate, particularly when said bill is 78 pages of legalese in it's final form, and was subject to a number of amendments and changes.

There's this thing called 'mob rule', and its not always right.

She seems to be confused as to the reason why mob rule is not always right. It's not right when it allows the majority to oppress a minority. Not allowing the majority to be oppressed by a minority is not mob rule.

Re:WTF? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40420491)

mob rule?

like, when The People get railroaded and forced to accept bills, treaties and laws that are NOT in our best interest and would have never voted or chosen them if we had a say in the matter?

I feel the mob, with suits and ties and titles, has been in control of this country the last few decades.

in fact, things might be BETTER if 'fat tony' were to run things. a real mobster, with no false pretenses.

at least with a mobster you KNOW where he stands and he does not pander just to get more election funding. you know where the mobster stands and you have a chance to deal with that.

seriously, politicians, today, are worse than mobsters. I know which one I'd trust, if I had to have one help me.

Everybody else is doing it! waaahhh (4, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 years ago | (#40420339)

I love the argument that "everybody else is doing it!" Yes: China, Pakistan, India, and Iran block free speech. So why can't we? If it works for them, it has to work for us, right?

but from a lot of the comments we got it became clear that the people who were calling us did not understand the bill any better than we did

This is probably true. It is a frustrating part of fighting any legislation. Most people are emotionally motivated, not logically motivated. They don't understand what the heck they are talking about. Yet you need sheer numbers so you can't say "don't call your legislator unless you have a CS degree and can explain all this." So unfortunately, no matter what the issue, most of the people standing with you don't know what they are talking about. Same goes for most of the people standing against you too.

not just some random staffer (4, Informative)

zhub (1877842) | about 2 years ago | (#40420357)

From the title on her LinkedIn [linkedin.com] page, she most likely represents the establishment position.

Re:not just some random staffer (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#40420495)

it seems she went to a bullshit school, too.

why am I not surprised....

Reminds me of a Yes Minister quote (1)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#40420379)

"In government, many people have the power to stop things happening but almost nobody has the power to make things happen. The system has the engine of a lawn mower and the brakes of a Rolls Royce."

Re:Reminds me of a Yes Minister quote (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#40420419)

when corp $$$ is involved and elections are not close, its more like engine from a zr1 corvette and breaks of a bike.

Re:Reminds me of a Yes Minister quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420519)

and sounds like a 50,000 lb. semi loaded with live hogs locking up brakes at 80 mph.

Re:Reminds me of a Yes Minister quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420677)

Wups. forgot the attribution. "Phineas Freak, in a "The Fabulous Furry Freak Bros." installment, ca. 1969, by Gilbert Sheldon."

"I'm here to liberate the fuck books!"
                                                                                      --Fat Freddy Freak
                                                                           

Re:Reminds me of a Yes Minister quote (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#40420427)

Considering the laws that were passed in the more recent past and how beneficial they were for the general population I can only say: I WISH IT WAS SO!

not a matter of breaking (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 2 years ago | (#40420381)

Its a matter of you deciding what sites to censor with 0 input from people in the country. Only input you get on if site should be blocked is copyright industry input which they only have their profits in mind when they block a site. This Country was built on freedom not the copyright industries profit margin. They have no right to say what sites i can and can't go to. If they don't want to provide a means for me to get the content I want i have every right to go to sites that provide it. On top of the blocking there were other vague things in SOPA that would allow them to do a lot of other things that the bill wasn't intended to allow which they will say its not ment for that but when they got the power they will sure use it, case in point would be the DMCA. They got the power to take videos off youtube they don't like under copyright grounds even if they don't have the rights to the video to start with.

the well was poisoned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420387)

The well was poisoned by the public ... when electing the Congress

don't you get it, staffhole? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420391)

we don't want your stupid shit

Since when have we cared about the world? (2)

halfkoreanamerican (2566687) | about 2 years ago | (#40420413)

Well if the internet is already broken does America, the land of the 'free and brave' and all that crap, etc. etc., need to jump on the bandwagon? We are supposed to be world leaders, doing what is best for our citizens, but yet we entertain such idiocy. I don't care how the rest of the world does it, honestly. Listening to our internet engineers might be a wise idea. Oh, and if we only understood the bill as well as they do then they are still a joke as far as I'm concerned. It is their job to know the policies they enact and for us to decide if we think they should lose their jobs/lives over their decisions. That's why it's best to ask first, then create laws.

So we want to learn from "most countries" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 years ago | (#40420421)

like China and Iran? Great role models you have there, indeed.

Wait... wasn't there something about the Iran not being a role model but ... what do we call people we don't like today... No, Communist was a few years ago, what again was the boogeyman du jour?

We don't care about third world countries, (1)

xcfx (844022) | about 2 years ago | (#40420431)

IMO, because we don't consume content from their networks. Most of the Internet traffic ends up in the United States. We don't need more copyright technologies, we need NEW copyright laws. And they need a new business model.

Tough shit (1)

neokushan (932374) | about 2 years ago | (#40420437)

Guess what, you just learned a hard lesson about legislation - if you take the piss too much, the people will outrightly reject it to the point that you won't even get a chance to implement something half as draconian. All someone has to do is say "it's the new SOPA!" and people will instantly hate it.

Word Game Experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420443)

Let modify her statement slightly:

"Most countries in the world already have this option at their disposal to deal with this problem. If banning guns broke the world, then the world would already be broken."

Do you think she still agrees?

What nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420515)

Usually, when people write their congressional delegation about any issue, they know almost nothing about it. They write because they received an inflammatory letter from some interest group, and much of the time what they send is a form letter. I doubt very much whether the SOPA letters were any less well informed than letters on any other issue.

Address the real problem (2)

Corwyn_123 (828115) | about 2 years ago | (#40420551)

SOPA isn't the problem, it's just a symptom of a larger issue, copyright law, the DMCA to be specific.This whole thing came to a head when the DMCA was passed, and now it's just getting worse, like a festering wound. but if it weren't for the DMCA, SOPA wouldn't have stood a chance on it's own or it's own merits.

Yes, copyrights have been around for a long time, and yes, they've been used in the past as a way to control and in some cases, monopolize, but with the coming of the DMCA, it's taken a whole new turn, and who wrote and pushed for the DMCA, the RIAA and the MPAA and all of their cronies. They lobby congress to handle an issue that's not congress' to handle, this is an issue that should have been left to the copyright owners to deal with through proper legal channels in the first place, or to change their business models so it wouldn't be an issue to begin with. The recording industry has to learn to change with the times, instead of living in the past, but they are incapable, unwilling, and/or too greedy to change.

Along with the overturning of Citizens United, and the passing of DMCA, the playing field has changed in favor of large corporations, like the recording companies and motion picture industry, and the publishers, who can now use the courts as their personal hitmen to go after alleged copyright infringes, with no proof. They can send take down notices on material they don't even own, and have it removed from sites like YouTube, which ends up making the real owner have to work that much harder to have their own material out there, because they didn't go through the recording or motion picture industries to do so. People like photographers who self publish their works on their own websites now have to deal with people stealing their work, and then get blindsided by those very thieves, and accused of stealing their own works, all because the DMCA made it possible.

If people really want to fix the situation, some changes need to be made:
1: Overturn the DMCA, it's bad law and only works in the favor of deep pocket corporations.
2: Overturn the ruling in Citizens United, and put corporations back where they belong, and have them stop meddling in politics.
3: Find a way to get our Congressmen and women to start working for us, the people, again, like it's supposed to be. Let corporations work their things out themselves, and stop using congress and the courts as their personal tools and WMD's.
4: And for the sake of everyone's sanity, the people need to start taking an interest in government, learn how it works, learn the issues, read the proposed bills, and take a stand on issues they don't agree with. Write their congressmen when they want their voices to be heard on issues, make public statements in a clear and concise manner, so others who wish to, can add their voices to that cause.

What was done to stop SOPA was a good example of people making their voices heard and sticking with the same issue, and in that case it worked. It won't always work, especially if 'The People' don't stand up for what's right, and get the government doing what it's supposed to do, work for the people.

Occupy Wall Street had a good idea, but it got out of hand, it wasn't well organized, and too many others, with their own agendas, tried to take it over. Their are ways to do things, and ways not to, this was an example of how not to do something. Once you get something started, keep it going in a positive direction, and don't get sidetracked, don't let others use your cause for their cause, unless they are the same, otherwise, all it'll do is water down your voice and cause, and people will not respect or wish to side with you.

And finally, contact your congressmen and women, and get them to make changes for the better, change the way the courts are used as hitmen for special interests. The government works for us, 'The People', not for the corporations. The corporations are supposed to be non-entities, they are not "people", so why are they allowed to act like "people"?

Stand together for change and for the future, be a part of the solution and not sheep or lemmings. Don't be a part of the problem.

Re:Address the real problem (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420589)

The corporations are supposed to be non-entities, they are not "people", so why are they allowed to act like "people"?

Because legally, they are in fact people, and have been for quite some time.

Didn't understand the bill any better than we did (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420555)

>didn't understand the bill any better than we did
But yet they were going to pass the law lol,
Law makers need to be one term and after that term all the laws they passed need to be reviewed.

Excellent Arguement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420563)

"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." -Steve Metalitz

If anti gun laws stopped gun related crime, then the gun crime would already be stopped?

A Window into the Mind of Washington (3, Interesting)

DaKong (150846) | about 2 years ago | (#40420573)

That's what Moore's comments are. In front of the cameras all of the Washington crowd crows about democracy and rights and thinking of the children and the like, but they secretly despise all of those things and all of us who cherish them. They mock honesty because dissembling is the air they breathe. They hate action because the status quo fills their pockets. They hate freedom because it curbs their power. Think of the worst cartoonish super villain you can think of, then imagine an entire city filled with them, and you have the capitol of the United States. They're all psychopaths.

That's why we need to clear all of them out and do a serious reboot of the country. We know a lot of things now that we didn't know 200 years ago when the first iteration of the Constitution was written, and we've had 200 years to watch the outputs of the first system. We can engineer a system of government that does not select for the psychopaths we have now.

Poisoned the well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40420613)

Sure, like the CDA protest "poisoned the well". More like some pols and the people pushing these things had to "go back to the well." It was only one battle, but it's clear the protest was effective. No, the war's not over, of course. Some thought in that direction needs to be given, I'll agree.

I must say that every one of my elected representatives (or certainly their office) took the time to respond to my concerns about the legislation, and I appreciate that.

Bad argument (1)

beep54 (1844432) | about 2 years ago | (#40420623)

"Congress was criticized for not being tech savvy, but from a lot of the comments we got it became clear that the people who were calling us did not understand the bill any better than we did." What kind of an argument is that??

She Must Want More Pay (2)

jesseck (942036) | about 2 years ago | (#40420657)

She already makes 6 figures a year as a staffer... Here is a summary [legistorm.com] . She must be running short on cash or gunning for her boss's job.
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