Feeds

SOPA bins DNS blocking after White House wades in

Come up with something better, Obama's three czars plead

The essential guide to IT transformation

The sponsor of the anti-piracy bill SOPA has agreed to drop DNS blocking of websites from the proposed legislation after a joint statement from leading White House officials.

Rep. Lamar Smith said in a statement that:

After consultation with industry groups across the country, I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision.

SOPA is one of two similar bills being discussed by Congress, and contains a range of measures against foreign digital piracy sites, including financial countermeasures and, most controversially, removing them from the domain name system that translates readable web addresses into numeric network addresses.

It's strongly backed by unions, and entertainment and software businesses who rely on intellectual property, who have argued that the 1998 DMCA doesn't oblige ISPs, service providers such as Google, or financial payment processors to behave with any social responsibility.

Silicon Valley web companies have come out swinging against it. Now the White House is getting nervous, and Smith's decision followed a strongly worded blog-post by three leading administration appointees.

Copyright enforcer Victoria Espinel, Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra and Obama's cyber-security co-ordinator Howard Schmidt expressed the view that:

We must avoid creating new cyber-security risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet.

In case anybody missed the point, that part was in bold type on their missive.

So SOPA may not be dead, but looks becalmed. Yet attracting much less comment were several remarks that new tools are needed to protect US businesses from theft - and a rather sarcastic reference to the free speech opponents of IP protection.

"We should never let criminals hide behind a hollow embrace of legitimate American values," they write, setting out what anti-IP should be. It should be "narrowly targeted" at sites beyond US law, be Constitutionally tickety-boo, and should not encourage new, speculative litigation by the copyright industries.

It also says doing nothing is not an option.

"Don’t limit your opinion to what’s the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what’s right," the three bigwigs agree, essentially calling the anti-SOPA campaigners bluff. "Washington needs to hear your best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue websites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders."

But for the foreseeable future, a law that stops Americans from peeking at Pirate Bay - a proposal that many sympathetic to IP enforcement find hard to support - looks dead. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.