Lamar Smith and Patrick Leahy blink: take DNS-blocking out of SOPA and PIPA

After repeatedly insisting that establishing a national censoring firewall with DNS-blocking was critical to the Stop Online Piracy Act, the bill's sponsor (and chair of the House Judicial Committee) Rep Lamar Smith has blinked. He's agreed to cut DNS-blocking from the bill, in the face of a threat from rival Rep Darrell Issa, whose House Oversight and Government Reform Committee was preparing to hear expert testimony on the harm that this provision would do to national security and the Internet's robustness against fraud and worse.

Even without its DNS provisions, SOPA remains terminally flawed, creating a regime that would be terminally hostile to any site that contains links and any site that allows the public to post comments on it. But attention has shifted to PIPA, the Senate version of the bill, which is nearly as bad, and which is rocketing towards an imminent vote.

"After consultation with industry groups across the country," Smith said in a statement released by his office, "I feel we should remove DNS-blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the [U.S. House Judiciary] Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision.

"We will continue to look for ways," Smith continued, "to ensure that foreign Web sites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers."

Smith's decision comes a day after Sen. Patrick Leahy, announced he would strip SOPA's sister bill in the senate, known as the Protect IP Act, of all DNS requirements.

DNS provision pulled from SOPA, victory for opponents (via Deeplinks)


  1. Emphasis on “industry groups.”  Because remember American citizens: nobody gives a damn about you; the “people” that these bills are supposed to benefit are corporations.

  2. Boy, I remember watching Leahy during the Alberto Gonzales hearings and thinking, “Wow, this guy is hard-nosed! Principled! A bulwark against corruption! And he guest starred on Batman: The Animated Series, which is the best Batman!”

    We’re always so desperate to be taken in by our masters. 

    1. I too thought that Leahy was “one of the good guys”. I probably should have been paying more attention.

    2. It isn’t wrong to want to see the best in people, especially those that seem to stand out doing the Right Thing in a sea of corruptness. You end up bitter and resenting Everything and always seeing the wrong in even the most selfless acts otherwise.

  3. We’re winning!  Keep it up!  Remember, they tried to rush these bills through behind our backs because they knew they would get eroded down to nothing if they were stalled.

    It might be wise to push for the OPEN Act after SOPA finally dies.  It’s not perfect either, but it’s much more sensible, and perhaps a bill like that would be a cork to plug the copyright crooks’ overflowing whining.  They should have a harder time pushing for new legislation if they already have the tools they asked for established.

    After all, they say they want to stop foreign piracy, even though anyone with a brain should know that’s bull.  All SOPA and PIPA have really been about is gaining more power so that one day the Buy ‘N’ Large corporation can shoot us off into space after it decimates the planet.

    1. No, they’re going to just keep pushing. There is unfortunately no room for compromise, because piracy is never going away.

      1. There is unfortunately no room for compromise, because piracy is never going away.

        By the same token, there is no room for compromise because failed and anachronistic business models should not have legislative validation.

      2. There can be no compromise here unfortunately. They who have bought out congresscritters to try winding the clock back to when they had a stranglehold on the distribution pipes rather than innovate will not accept OPEN. They will demand it be amended. Will try until they succeed then see that in success is their own demise.

        I’m cautioning friends that we have only won a minor victory. We’ve made the puppet flinch. Now we have to go for the throat.

  4. I truly do think that the only thing that anyone understands anymore is money. So when the dark days do arrive,and they will be prepared to shut it off. It will be a bit painful at first but that will fade. When millions of us call the god damn ISPs  maybe they will suddenly wake of from their deep corporate sleep. The US government is straight up evil. It really could not get anymore evil. What is more disturbing is that they are not even trying to hide yet millions vote these creeps into office?

  5. You’re assuming either of these two (long string of expletives removed here) had their eyes open in the first place.  

  6. The only way to show the copyright fascists that the people are in charge is if we demand, and get, an extreme reduction in the insane copyright terms now in force.

    In the meantime, this just means they are ready to push forward the vigilante provisions.

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