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[liberationtech] [Liberationtech] An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the Senate Judiciary Committee in Opposition to COICA

Mera Szendro Bok meraszendro at
Wed Sep 29 22:25:00 PDT 2010


An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the Senate Judiciary
*Announcement <> by Peter
Eckersley <>* September 28,

Today, 87 prominent Internet engineers sent a joint letter the US Senate
Judiciary Committee, declaring their opposition to the "Combating Online
Infringement and Counterfeits Act" (COICA) <>. The
text of the letter is below.

Readers are encouraged to themselves write the Senate Judiciary
ask them to reject this bill.

>  "We, the undersigned, have played various parts in building a network
> called the Internet. We wrote and debugged the software; we defined the
> standards and protocols that talk over that network. Many of us invented
> parts of it. We're just a little proud of the social and economic benefits
> that our project, the Internet, has brought with it.
> We are writing to oppose the Committee's proposed new Internet censorship
> and copyright bill. If enacted, this legislation will risk fragmenting the
> Internet's global domain name system (DNS), create an environment of
> tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously
> harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key
> Internet infrastructure. In exchange for this, the bill will introduce
> censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by deliberate infringers
> while hampering innocent parties' ability to communicate.
> All censorship schemes impact speech beyond the category they were intended
> to restrict, but this bill will be particularly egregious in that regard
> because it causes entire domains to vanish from the Web, not just infringing
> pages or files. Worse, an incredible range of useful, law-abiding sites can
> be blacklisted under this bill. These problems will be enough to ensure that
> alternative name-lookup infrastructures will come into widespread use,
> outside the control of US service providers but easily used by American
> citizens. Errors and divergences will appear between these new services and
> the current global DNS, and contradictory addresses will confuse browsers
> and frustrate the people using them. These problems will be widespread and
> will affect sites other than those blacklisted by the American government.
> The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open
> Internet, both domestically and abroad. We can't have a free and open
> Internet without a global domain name system that sits above the political
> concerns and objectives of any one government or industry. To date, the
> leading role the US has played in this infrastructure has been fairly
> uncontroversial because America is seen as a trustworthy arbiter and a
> neutral bastion of free expression. If the US suddenly begins to use its
> central position in the DNS for censorship that advances its political and
> economic agenda, the consequences will be far-reaching and destructive.
> Senators, we believe the Internet is too important and too valuable to be
> endangered in this way, and implore you to put this bill aside."
> *Long list of signatories at source.<>
> *
Mera Szendro Bok

Full time communications coordinator @newmediarights
Media Reformer @sdmediareform
Founder of @commisyourright, supporting communication rights.

My blog:
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