Letter: Protect-IP Bill is bad for free speech - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letter: Protect-IP Bill is bad for free speech

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Posted: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 7:00 am

The upcoming Protect-IP Bill being debated in the Senate is bad for the Internet, in fact it is bad for America. This bill, in essence, would allow the government to block sites they deem "dangerous." Sites that allow users to share data such as music or movies. This in itself is not bad. What's bad about this bill is the ambiguous wording, and strict laws it creates. Protect-IP simply prohibits free speech.

The bill, had its creation been years ago, would have allowed the United States to block Wiki-Leaks when diplomatic cables were leaked. It would allow the government to shut down and sue YouTube due to copyrighted material.

Worse, it would make sites responsible for what their users post, effectively eliminating the availability of free speech on the Internet. Other countries are comparing this bill to China's "great cyber wall" which prohibits words like "freedom" and "democracy." What is worse, is that the inner workings of the bill would not effectively cut out pirating, because it only blocks domain names. One could simply post the IP address and still get away. This mockery of a law limits free speech through the only true universal connection we still have left.

Christopher Scott

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