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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
Thu Sep 30 11:37:39 PDT 2010

Update: Victory: Internet Censorship Bill is Delayed, For Now
 via @eff:
*Deeplink by Tim Jones <>*

> This morning's Politico <> brought
> with it great news for those who care about free speech and fair use online:

 A markup on SJC Chairman Leahy’s IP infringement bill was postponed late
Wednesday, as staffers anticipated the chamber would finish legislative work
and adjourn for recess before the hearing could commence. The change in
plans should delight some of the bill’s critics, at least, who expressed
concern that the legislation was moving forward quickly.

Translation: The Senate Judiciary Committee won't be considering the
Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" (COICA) bill until
after the midterm elections, at least.

This is a real victory! The entertainment industry and their allies in
Congress had hoped this bill would be quickly approved by the Senate
Judiciary Committee with no debate before the Senators went home for the
October recess.

Massive thanks to all of you who used our Action Center to write to your
Senators to oppose this bill. Thanks as well to the 87 Internet scientists
and engineers whose open letter to
Congress<>played a key
role in today's success, and to all the other voices that
helped sound the alarm.

Make no mistake, though: this bill will be back soon enough, and Congress
will again need to hear from concerned citizens like you. So stay tuned to for any new developments.

Related Issues: The COICA Internet Censorship and Copyright

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 10:25 PM, Mera Szendro Bok <meraszendro at>wrote:

> source:
> An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the Senate Judiciary Committee<>
> *Announcement <> by Peter
> Eckersley <>* September 28,
> 2010
> 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 Committee<>and 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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