A US Senator is promising to stand up for the rights of Americans and Internet users by threatening to filibuster a bill that will allow the government to censor the Internet, and will cede "control of the internet to corporations", according to the Senator.
The PROTECT IP Act tried to give the government broad powers to stop online piracy by seizing domain names, altering DNS records, and effectively blacklist websites that private interests deem "inappropriate". Even though the bill was largely unpopular with the public, and opposed by experts including law professors and prominent Internet engineers, it had widespread support in the Senate. Just last week, the House held hearings on its own version of the bill, SOPA, and once again, it faced an overwhelming Internet backlash
, but is still expected to pass if given a vote.
Senator Wyden (D-Oregon) opposed the original PROTECT IP
Act (PIPA) by placing a hold on the bill, a rare procedure that has so far delayed the voting of PIPA. But with widespread support from his fellow senators, the Senate may have the 60 votes needed to overrule the hold.
And if that happens, the senator has promised to use a more common strategy to defeat the vote - a filibuster. And Senator Wyden has asked the Internet for help via stopcensorship.org
- instead of reading the phonebook or the dictionary, as happens sometimes, Senator Wyden will read the names of people who oppose the bill, and you can add your name to the list of names to be read by going to stopcensorship.org
and filling in a web form.
When Senator Wyden put the hold on PIPA, this is what he had to say: "By ceding control of the internet to corporations through a private right of action, and to government agencies that do not sufficiently understand and value the internet, PIPA represents a threat to our economic future and to our international objectives."
Have your name read out in the PIPA filibuster by going to stopcensorship.org