14 January 2012

PIPA is a Pip Mr. Franken

Dear Senator Franken,

As a supporter who has agreed with most of your progressive positions, the PROTECT IP Act (S 968), or PIPA, is ill-conceived.

Save The Internet
I was disappointed to learn that one of my US Senators had cosponsored this bill.

Many respected legal scholars agree that PIPA constitutes a prior restraint on speech with insufficient process. As such I am concerned that it poses potential damage to freedom of speech.

It concerns me that PIPA might stifle Internet entrepreneurship and perhaps damage Internet integrity (i.e., the stability and security of the Domain Name System) which many of us indirectly depend on for our livelihood.

The PIPA bill seems only to appease big media lobby groups, rather than to promote the common good.

PIPA would grant the US government the power to force Internet service providers and search engines to redirect users' attempts to reach certain websites arbitrarily deemed "dedicated to infringing activities."

Many organizations I respect have spoken out against this bill including the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It is noteworthy that PIPA is opposed by Mozilla, Facebook, Yahoo!, eBay, and Google. PIPA is also opposed by Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch. Not surprisingly, various civil, human rights and consumer rights groups, as well as many educational and library institutions, oppose PIPA.

Is PIPA an appropriate solution? To quote Google's Eric Schmidt,
"...the measures called for in PIPA are overly simple solutions to a complex problem, and that the precedent set by pruning DNS entries is bad from the viewpoint of free speech and would be a step toward less permissive Internet environments, such as China's.”
I urge you to Stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation. Please reconsider your position and support of this bill.

Bob MacNeal

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