On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a bill that would give the Attorney General the right to shut down websites with a court order if copyright infringement is deemed Ã¢??central to the activityÃ¢?? of the site Ã¢?? regardless if the website has actually committed a crime. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) is among the most draconian laws ever considered to combat digital piracy, and contains what some have called the Ã¢??nuclear option,Ã¢?? which would essentially allow the Attorney General to turn suspected websites Ã¢??off.Ã¢??
There need not even be illegal content on a site â?? links alone will qualify a site for digital death. Websites at risk could also theoretically include p2pnet and pirate-party.us or any other website that advocates for peer-to-peer file sharing or rejects copyright law, according to the group.
In short, COICA would allow the federal government to censor the internet without due process.
_________ – big news! Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to send the Internet blacklist bill to the full Senate, but it was quickly stopped by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) who denounced it as “a bunker-buster cluster bomb” aimed at the Internet and pledged to “do everything I can to take the necessary steps to stop it from passing the U.S. Senate.”
Wyden’s opposition practically guarantees the bill is dead this year – and next year the new Congress will have to reintroduce the bill and start all over again. But even that might not happen: Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Hollywood’s own senator, told the committee that even she was uncomfortable with the Internet censorship portion of the bill and hoped it could be removed when they took it up again next year!
This is incredible – and all thanks to you. Just a month ago, the Senate was planning to pass this bill unanimously; now even the senator from Hollywood is backing away from it. But this fight is far from over – next year, there’s going to be hearings, negotiations, and even more crucial votes. We need to be there, continuing to fight.