COICA: Giving the government the power to shut down dissent

posted at 11:30 am on November 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Thanks to a bill that has received bipartisan support in the Senate, the Department of Justice may soon have the power to suspend domain names if the Attorney General deems a site as having copyright infringement “central to the activity” conducted by the site owners.  Hollywood and the recording industry has pushed the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) to get the government in position to seize Internet sites that damage the property rights of intellectual property producers, bypassing the existing remedies of lawsuits and damage recoveries.  However, the ambiguous nature of the definition and the wide latitude it gives the executive branch in imposing remedies without due process should have everyone in the First Amendment space nervous — especially the blogosphere:

COICA is the latest effort by Hollywood, the recording industry and the big media companies to stem the tidal wave of internet file sharing that has upended those industries and, they claim, cost them tens of billions of dollars over the last decade.

The content companies have tried suing college students. They’ve tried suing internet startups. Now they want the federal government to act as their private security agents, policing the internet for suspected pirates before making them walk the digital plank.

Many people opposed to the bill agree in principle with its aims: Illegal music piracy is, well, illegal, and should be stopped. Musicians, artists and content creators should be compensated for their work. But the law’s critics do not believe that giving the federal government the right to shut down websites at will based upon a vague and arbitrary standard of evidence, even if no law-breaking has been proved, is a particularly good idea.  …

In short, COICA would allow the federal government to censor the internet without due process.

As Wired reports, the Obama administration and Congress are engaged in a little hypocrisy here.  Hillary Clinton just got done warning China not to censor the internet in almost exactly the way this bill would allow Eric Holder to do.  It’s not the first time in recent weeks that we’ve barked at China for actions that the US has either proposed taking or actually has taken, like devaluing currency to boost exports.

On the surface, this bill addresses a real problem, which is piracy of copyrighted materials.  No one really disputes that piracy costs Hollywood and the recording industry a lot of money, and the Internet makes it a lot easier to accomplish.  However, this bill threatens to go much farther, and hands far too much power to the executive branch to act as a virtual executioner.  Instead of going through the legal process of suing violators and forcing them into court — a process which favors the side with the most lawyers, like Hollywood and the RIAA — the bill bypasses a trial to test the facts of the case and puts the Attorney General in position as a judge as well as a prosecutor.  That alone should set off alarm bells.

Furthermore, the ambiguous nature of the infringements covered and the definition of centrality could make this a bill with much more impact in the blogosphere.  Many of us link to media articles and excerpt under the “fair use” provision of copyright law, designed to further debate and discussion without damaging the critical concept of intellectual property.  However, it’s no secret that mainstream media organizations are mainly hostile to this process and occasionally threaten bloggers for engaging in it.  If an administration decides it doesn’t much like a blogger or an alternate-media site — or a whole bunch of them — it won’t take many complaints from lawsuit-happy media outlets to convince an Attorney General in some administrations to suspend the domains involved, leaving the alternate media no recourse at all and no platform from which to dissent.

In effect, it hands the executive branch a big weapon to silence dissent, or at the very least, to threaten those who engage in it.

The Attorney General has plenty of weapons at his or her command to fight actual piracy, as do the powerful media organizations that are backing COICA.  Those require judicial review and due process, two important concepts missing from COICA.  This bill would seize property (domain names) without either, and would destroy businesses and remove the means for those who own them to defend themselves from an overreaching government.

Update: HA reader Michael T sends me this response:

If you read the bill, you will find that the actions of the AG are subject to both judicial review and due process. The bill simply gives the AG the power to bring an IN REM action in FEDERAL COURT against the domain. The AG must provide service on the owner of the domain.  The judge may then, at her discretion and following the in rem procedure, issue an injunction. Furthermore, “a defendant or owner or operator of a domain name subject to the order, or any party required to take action based on the order, may petition the court to modify, suspend, or vacate the order.” The order can additionally be appealed.

Clearly, the bill does not, as you wrote, put “the Attorney General in position as a judge as well as a prosecutor.” Unless y0u think that in rem actions generally violate due process, you are on pretty shaky ground here.
Well, yes, I would still object to an in rem action in a case of copyright infringement.  As described, the AG only has to provide service on the respondents before getting a judge to shut down the domain.  Appealing the order requires time and resources, and an Internet business without Internet access will have plenty of the former and none of the latter.  That kind of action should only come at the end of a process where the complainant proves in a full trial that their central business is copyright infringement.  What’s the rush?  And why should the AG even be in this position between two sides of a civil lawsuit?
The Constitution protects Americans from government seizure of property without the full due process of law.  What is being proposed — again by a bipartisan group of elected officials — is a method of confiscation before an infringement case is properly adjudicated, and it’s in service not to some overriding public interest but to protect one set of private sector individuals.

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Comment pages: 1 2

I’m not reading all your crap today…

Are you actually equating a bill passed in congress with bringing the attention of people to stories in the press?

Only someone who wants to control dissent could possibly think that is a close comparison!

The power of government versus the power of citizen speech. That is the difference! Law-go to jail.
Speech-listen or don’t listen. That’s similar?

petunia on November 19, 2010 at 2:30 PM

ANYTHING sponsored by Sen Patrick Leahy, (D-Stalingrad), should be opposed for no other reason than the fact that it has Leahy’s name attached.

oldleprechaun on November 19, 2010 at 2:32 PM

O/T…..recount for NC-02 is finsihed. Results show Renee Ellmers the winner.!!!!!!

unseen on November 19, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Wow a Republican won a close race in a recount. That makes the count Democrats 2612, Republicans 1.

angryed on November 19, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Cosponsors:
Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN]
Sen Bayh, Evan [IN]
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD]
Sen Coburn, Tom [OK]
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL]
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA]
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY]
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC]
Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA]
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT]
Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK]
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN]
Sen Kohl, Herb [WI]
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ]
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY]
Sen Specter, Arlen [PA]
Sen Voinovich, George V. [OH]
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI]

KS Rex on November 19, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Oh joy. My two NY Senators. Not surprised.

OTOH it’s sad to see Coburn and Inhofe involved with this – I thought they were a wee bit more libertarian.

YehuditTX on November 19, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I’d like to see them suspend a domain from another country. This won’t accomplish anything. All of the major copyright infringement sites are already based in countries other than the US.

thphilli on November 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Let’s address your feeble strands.

Secondly, let’s remember the macro issues of ideology and of who values free speech and who vitiates it. The history of the Left is one of hostility to dissent. This is evident through every leftist movement, is plainly observable to any person with an able political consciousness walking the earth, and has been manifested in every Leftist regime in history through their inevitable criminalizations of dissent, from post-Revolution France to Soviet Russia to communist China to Cuba to Venezuela. Do you plan on contesting this?

Rove and Bush/Cheney essentially said that anyone in the US that didn’t support the war with Iraq was unpatriotic and a dangerous fool.

False. Here is what Cheney said:

“The suggestions that’s been made by some U.S. Senators that the President of the United States or any member of this administration purposely misled the American people on pre-war intelligence is one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city.”

Here is what Bush said:

“It’s irresponsible to use politics. This is serious business making, winning this war, but it’s irresponsible to do what they’ve done.”

But what were “they” doing? They were alleging calculated lies to engage a war — to put US soldiers at risk for political purposes.

Why isn’t it within the president’s rights when accused of lying (directly accused by Howard Dean and Al Gore) to defend himself and his administration from lying? That’s also part of free speech.

He did not attempt to delegimitize the dissenters, but to counter the charges they made.

And even though he said this ONCE, even though he never accused critics of being unpatriotic, he took pains after his deliberately misinterpreted comments to qualify every speech on the war, and every point of exception to the criticism he received, to reaffirm the right of dissent. This rhetorical reaffirmation became a mantra by Bush for the rest of his presidency. Because he believed it. It is not something I’ve ever heard from Barack Obama. I have never heard him make a point to accept the legitimacy of dissent. Because he doesn’t. He doesn’t respect it or appreciate it as fundamental to freedom. He never has.

Furthermore, Bush consistently demonstrated decency in discourse and respect for his opponents, e.g., lavishing praise on Nancy Pelosi when she became House speaker, and refraining during his entire administration of singling out or even making an issue of his numberless slanderers. Bush served eight years under the most withering siege of personal attacks directed at any president in our history, including 78 studio-distributed anti-Bush and anti-war “documentaries” (the greatest flowering of dissent in American history) and also including several feature films calling for his assassination, along with a booming hate-Bush cottage industry on colleges and in the fringe media, but never reduced himself or the presidency to attacks against anybody or against the right of dissent. He never attacked MSNBC or Air America.

Rove played favorites with news reporters and television stations and newspapers, depending on whether he liked what they were writing.

So what?

Bush didn’t allow dissenters to attend many of his rallies when he was running for re-election.

Who does? Has any president in modern times invited hecklers to campaign rallies? This does not signifiy hostility to free speech, just an appreciation a certain campaign orderliness. The fact is, every time Bush addressed the media he was facing “dissenters.” Who among them was ever singled out had their taxes audited? Who among them, like Joe the Plumber, had their personal lives laid open on the op-ed pages of major newspapers just for asking an inconvenient question?

Cheney personally attacked several of his critics.

Name them. How were they “attacked”? But if so, good for him, because most were filthy liars like Joe Wilson and deserved being called out for who they were. That’s called free speech and the marketplace of competing speech. He never tried to SHUT THEM DOWN.

Cheney would not allow access to the records of people he met with to determine his proposed Energy Policies.

Cheney was vindicated on this as appropriate under Executive Privilege (which by the way, Obama has invoked more times now in two years than Bush-Cheney did in 8). Hillary Clinton, let’s remember, was fined $200,000 by Judge Lamberth for NEVER revealing the names from her Healthcare meetings.

Again, none of this has ANYTHING to do with suppressing the right to dissent.

Some of Bush’s early records have disappeared, including some of his arrest and service records. Shall I go on?

What? Yeah, sure, go on. If they’re as lame as these, we can all share a laugh.

Oh, and I didn’t see alot of people on the right defending the comments of Rick Sanchez of CNN. He said, correctly, that Jews “control” the networks (or something very similar).

Rick Sanchez is an idiot and made defamatory statements even he admitted. If people didn’t line up to defend idiocy they can hardly be accused of suppressing the right to speech or supporting institutional barriers and arbitrary authoritarian control over speech like the bill in question does. Sanchez can go write a book.

I’ll overlook your ugly comments about the “Jews.” The antisemitism of the Left is a whole other chapter in its sick history.

I don’t pat myself on the back. But you can take your “we’re equally guilty” charge and eat it. I’m not equally guilty. I’ve gone to the streets for freedom of speech, for Michael Moore and for Pat Robertson. I understand Voltaire’s maxim that mine is tied into yours (something the Left can’t understand simply because it cannot afford to — it cannot survive true “equality”).

The Left wears the blood of millions of deaths from the suppression of freedom, the blood of millions of dissenters who challenged that suppression. It seeks the same suppression now as it has throughout history. In America, its path is legislation. The police state follows.

Your sorry examples don’t come close to addressing the larger issues raised, and the great ideological Leftist drift toward the eclipse of freedom.

rrpjr on November 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM

The language of the law is too broad, but something has to be done about piracy and filesharing sites. A future bill with narrower language may have my support.

They also should do something about the porn sites, way too easy to access and every kid is a certified hacker these days compared to their parents and their firewalls.

Daemonocracy on November 19, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Oh, and I didn’t see alot of people on the right defending the comments of Rick Sanchez of CNN. He said, correctly, that Jews “control” the networks (or something very similar). If you do even a bit of research, you’ll see that the President or CEO of at least two of the three major networks is Jewish, as are the heads of many media companies. Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Ed? Are you paying attention?

Sanches was fired from his job
for saying this. Jimbo gets a pass? Or did I miss the falling of the banhammer?

Akzed on November 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Rove and Bush/Cheney essentially said

“Essentially said”? Weasel words.

Rove played favorites with news reporters and television stations and newspapers, depending on whether he liked what they were writing

LOL, and this “Administration” doesn’t?

Bush didn’t allow dissenters to attend many of his rallies when he was running for re-election

Wow, Jimbo is shoveling with 2 hands.

Cheney personally attacked several of his critics.

F-

Cheney would not allow access to the records of people he met with to determine his proposed Energy Policies

So what? He wasn’t violating any laws by doing so, was he?

Some of Bush’s early records have disappeared, including some of his arrest and service records.

LOL! And yet you have absolutely no problem with the total lack of a paper trail for O’bama. What a hypocrite.

As for Bush’s military records, al-AP sued the White House in 2004 to get them, while at the same time covering up for the Democrat “candidate” when he refused to release all of his military records.

F-

And don’t forget what conservatives did to Helen Thomas.

Oh, please. She got herself fired by opening her mouth.

You really need to try harder.

Del Dolemonte on November 19, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Sanches was fired from his job for saying this. Jimbo gets a pass? Or did I miss the falling of the banhammer?

Akzed on November 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Jimbo didn’t willingly enter a contract to provide prolefeed to the masses, he isn’t on public broadcast, and at least SOME of what he said is true:

the President or CEO of at least two of the three major networks is Jewish, as are the heads of many media companies. Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Is it a coincidence that COICA is so close to BOHICA?

cthulhu on November 19, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Could this apply to anyone that might currently receive a random ‘take down’ notice? While this seems like a stretch, I could see some politically connected government workers making such claims on a regular basis.

Freddy on November 19, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM

I think they are stock companies, and I doubt that the majority of their stock is held by teh Joooooooooooooooooz.

Akzed on November 19, 2010 at 3:57 PM

“All your domain name are belong to us” or something.

Akzed on November 19, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Reminds me of these asset forfeiture laws that SOMEHOW are in place in the United States of America! Anybody looked in to this criminal enterprise?

Accusing land of a crime and stealing it with no charges or convictions?

What the hell is going on here?

golfmann on November 19, 2010 at 4:08 PM

rrpjr on November 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Oh, that’s gonna leave a mark.

gitarfan on November 19, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Oh, and I didn’t see alot of people on the right defending the comments of Rick Sanchez of CNN. He said, correctly, that Jews “control” the networks (or something very similar). If you do even a bit of research, you’ll see that the President or CEO of at least two of the three major networks is Jewish, as are the heads of many media companies. Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM
Ed? Are you paying attention?

Sanches was fired from his job for saying this. Jimbo gets a pass? Or did I miss the falling of the banhammer?

Akzed on November 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Why should I get the ban hammer and why should Sanchez have been fired because of this? It’s true. Do a litle research. (This does not mean that the shows put on by these networks reflect a Jewish viewpoint or a pro-Israeli bias or that any of these people themselves are inserting such a viewpoint or bias in the shows)

NBC–Jeff Zucker (currently); Jewish.

CBS (and Viacom, MTV, BET and others) –Sumner Redstone (chairman and majority owner through companies); Jewish. (And, I believe, Leslie Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation; Jewish)

ABC–Controlled by Walt Disney. President and CEO of Disney is Robert Iger; Jewish (or at least born to Jewish parents).

Fox–Rupert Murdoch (apparently born Jewish but is a practicing Christian/Catholic).

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM

Think of all the new government employees, soon to be union members, who will be hired to implement each new piece of legislation.

GaltBlvnAtty on November 19, 2010 at 4:37 PM

rrpjr on November 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM

superbly done!!!

Sonosam on November 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM

You really need to try harder.

Del Dolemonte on November 19, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Here’s a start. I’ve got work to do. I’m sure I can find plenty more stuf.

In questioning the justification for the war, Bush and his lieutenants said, the Democrats were undermining troop morale and sending a message of weakness to the enemy.

Perhaps the most striking moment came after Murtha’s proposal. The White House assailed Murtha, likening him to liberal maverick filmmaker Michael Moore, characterizing him as a newfound ally of the “extreme liberal wing” of his party and accusing him of wanting to “surrender to terrorists.”

Such a direct attack on a member of Congress is more typically delivered by the Republican National Committee, not on White House stationery, and the tone only grew angrier the next day on the House floor when a freshman Republican accused Murtha of being a “coward.”

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20051121/news_1n21war.html

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM

I’ll overlook your ugly comments about the “Jews.” The antisemitism of the Left is a whole other chapter in its sick history.

I don’t pat myself on the back. But you can take your “we’re equally guilty” charge and eat it. I’m not equally guilty. I’ve gone to the streets for freedom of speech, for Michael Moore and for Pat Robertson. I understand Voltaire’s maxim that mine is tied into yours (something the Left can’t understand simply because it cannot afford to — it cannot survive true “equality”).

The Left wears the blood of millions of deaths from the suppression of freedom, the blood of millions of dissenters who challenged that suppression. It seeks the same suppression now as it has throughout history. In America, its path is legislation. The police state follows.

Your sorry examples don’t come close to addressing the larger issues raised, and the great ideological Leftist drift toward the eclipse of freedom.

rrpjr on November 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM

That last post was for you, as well. And I do think the GOP is equally guilty.

Why did you go to the streets to defend Robertson and Moore? When did the US Government or any state government try to infringe on their right to free speech?

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 4:42 PM

I’ll overlook your ugly comments about the “Jews.” The antisemitism of the Left is a whole other chapter in its sick history.

rrpjr on November 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM

And what the hell is so ugly about my comments? They’re proveably true. And why is it, by any stretch of the English language, antisemitic to point that out? Why isn’t it prosemitic for that? Don’t people want to be heads of companies?

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Citing a WaPo story isn’t exactly getting off to an auspicious start. But the anecdotes there pale to those uttered by your Party a couple of years later, such as the Senate Majority Leader telling the President that the “war is lost”, and the former Democrat First Lady of the US, then a sitting US Senator, telling General Betray-Us to his face in public that he was a liar-before he had even started his testimony.

BTW, as to Cheney and his “secret energy meetings”

After several years of legal wrangling, in May, 2005 an appeals court permitted the Energy Task Force’s records to remain secret.

Ironically, the main player trying to get the Cheney info wasn’t the Democrat Left-it was the allegedly “Republican” group Judicial Watch.

Keep shovelin’.

Del Dolemonte on November 19, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Fox–Rupert Murdoch (apparently born Jewish but is a practicing Christian/Catholic).

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM

A credible cite for this claim would be nice…

Del Dolemonte on November 19, 2010 at 5:07 PM

“No one really disputes that piracy costs Hollywood and the recording industry a lot of money, and the Internet makes it a lot easier to accomplish.” TOTAL BS ED. THE PIRATES ARE THE RECORD COMPANIES.

That’s just a BS excuse.If you complied with the record company wishes and their greedy lawyers, the only songs or movies allowed would date back to the 1930′s. The rest are protected by an arcane and never ending copyright umbrella ranging from 72 to 81 years. This means they have put protective software into their products which keeps you from making backup copies which are often necessary because of shoddy workmanship. Even worse, some companies have deliberate made their DVDs and CDs corrupt so that they can’t be copied, can’t play on computer drives and drastically reduces their shelf life. Sony EVEN PUT A VIRUS (called a ROOTKIT) which installs if you try to play a CD or DVD on your HD drive and, if you attempt to remove it, your HD is destroyed and must be replaced.If you don’t believe me, I can point you to dozens of valid sources of info.

BUT COPYRIGHT CONTROL IS ONLY A FLIMSY EXCUSE FOR GOVERNMENT’S TOTAL CONTROL OF THE INTERNET.THEY WANT TO BE IN POSITION WHERE THEY CAN MONITOR, CONTROL, DELETE, FABRICATE, EDIT AND PROPAGANDIZE ALL CONTENT.

MaiDee on November 19, 2010 at 5:15 PM

The way I read this, it applies to domain name registrars and domain name registries. There are about 100 registrars in the US, including, GoDaddy. Let me know if I’m wrong.

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:16 PM

You are correct, but there are thousands of registrars around the world, and most of them could care less about the United States Government. A classic “don’t care” is tucows.com (Canada) and the late (but not lamented) joker.com (Germany); both of these are the registrars of choice for spammers, because US law lets me, if I am spammed AND operate my own mailserver, go after assets of the spammer, and those assets include domain names. But if the domain name assets are held by a registrar outside the USA, then I have still more legal work ahead of me.

If you are a spammer, godaddy.com is the absolute worst place to have a domain name — I have no trouble getting them to shut down spamdomains registered to them because they have a ZERO SPAM policy — they will not even act as registrar for a spammer, much less provide DNS service or webspace for the landing sites.

unclesmrgol on November 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Jimbo…how sad that when you look in the mirror you see a dupe. Likely a fat and slothful dupe but a dupe nonetheless. You have gotten to the point of being laughable and cartoonish.

CWforFreedom on November 19, 2010 at 5:32 PM

And don’t forget what conservatives did to Helen Thomas.

Don’t pat yourself on the back. You’re as guilty as the left. You just go after different targets.

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Actually, Helen did it to herself. What she did was the equivalent to someone here telling someone else to go back to wherever they think their target’s grandparents might have come from.

It’s the illegal alien argument, but with the provision that, even if you are born in a place, you will never be of that place.

That said, Alinsky’s Rule for Radicals #4 is the Left, and turnabout is, of course, fair play. Tu quoque, right?

unclesmrgol on November 19, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Some of Bush’s early records have disappeared, including some of his arrest and service records.

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Hmm. I have never heard of this. If they have disappeared, how do we know of them? Did Bush mention something in his book? Got any proof of this assertion?

unclesmrgol on November 19, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Fox–Rupert Murdoch (apparently born Jewish but is a practicing Christian/Catholic).

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM
A credible cite for this claim would be nice…

Del Dolemonte on November 19, 2010 at 5:07 PM

http://www.nndb.com/people/420/000023351/

(click to the bottom; there’s also a reference to an interview which he did where he discusses he’s a practicing Catholic/Christian).

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 5:40 PM

This is yet another assault on freedom:

the Feds want the ability to steal your property rights (URL) without a trial…or even a proper charge…if they don’t like you.

I guess this is an effort to recover some of the bribe money which has been lost during the recession.

landlines on November 19, 2010 at 5:46 PM

Some of Bush’s early records have disappeared, including some of his arrest and service records.

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM
Hmm. I have never heard of this. If they have disappeared, how do we know of them? Did Bush mention something in his book? Got any proof of this assertion?

unclesmrgol on November 19, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Went back and did research. It was some of his National Guard records that are apparently missing, not his DUI arrest. Looks like that may be because National Guard records generally are in pretty bad shape.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush_military_service_controversy

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 5:51 PM

You are correct, but there are thousands of registrars around the world, and most of them could care less about the United States Government. A classic “don’t care” is tucows.com (Canada) and the late (but not lamented) joker.com (Germany); both of these are the registrars of choice for spammers, because US law lets me, if I am spammed AND operate my own mailserver, go after assets of the spammer, and those assets include domain names. But if the domain name assets are held by a registrar outside the USA, then I have still more legal work ahead of me.

If you are a spammer, godaddy.com is the absolute worst place to have a domain name — I have no trouble getting them to shut down spamdomains registered to them because they have a ZERO SPAM policy — they will not even act as registrar for a spammer, much less provide DNS service or webspace for the landing sites.

unclesmrgol on November 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM

The extraterritorial piece of this confuses me. Can service providers in the US successfully block access to non-US sites? What if someone in the US uses one of those sites to serf anonymously?

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM

The congresscritters and their respective judicial staffs are taking the stance on COICA that it is solely for the purpose of shutting down sites that openly “sell” counterfeited merchandise.
I really don’t think the full expose of this bill has been brought to light.

BUT, IT WILL BE.

OkieDoc on November 19, 2010 at 5:54 PM

This is exactly the kind of deep-pocket justice and crony capitalism that will see Republicans turned out of office in the next election just as much as Democrats.

It’s a cliche to say, “Both sides do it.” This is one of the cases where the cliche is true.

tom on November 19, 2010 at 6:15 PM

And isn’t Palin trying right now to do something a little bit similar by complaining about how the media isn’t treating her fairly?

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 2:15 PM

So if she disagrees publicly with something said about her publicly, she’s effectively trying to suppress unfavorable media?

tom on November 19, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Sanches was fired from his job for saying this. Jimbo gets a pass? Or did I miss the falling of the banhammer?

Akzed on November 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Jimbo didn’t willingly enter a contract to provide prolefeed to the masses, he isn’t on public broadcast, and at least SOME of what he said is true:

the President or CEO of at least two of the three major networks is Jewish, as are the heads of many media companies. Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM

What you quoted is certainly true. But the implication that all Jewish CEOs are the same suggests that their racial/cultural identity is all that matters. Such blanket statements made about African Americans are usually recognized as racism, and the claim that “Jews rule the world” is a recognizable canard of antisemitism.

Examining the facts still suggests Sanchez is antisemitic.

tom on November 19, 2010 at 6:27 PM

On the surface, this bill addresses a real problem, which is piracy of copyrighted materials. No one really disputes that piracy costs Hollywood and the recording industry a lot of money

I’ll dispute it. You’re making the incorrect assumption that every download is a lost sale, and while Hollywood may wish that were so it isn’t. Check the price on a blueray disc and you’ll understand why very few downloads result in a lost sale.

DFCtomm on November 19, 2010 at 6:42 PM

Sanches was fired from his job for saying this. Jimbo gets a pass? Or did I miss the falling of the banhammer?

Akzed on November 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Jimbo didn’t willingly enter a contract to provide prolefeed to the masses, he isn’t on public broadcast, and at least SOME of what he said is true:

the President or CEO of at least two of the three major networks is Jewish, as are the heads of many media companies. Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Hate to agree with Jimbo but you’re right, and it’s not just us. It’s this guy too.

DFCtomm on November 19, 2010 at 6:52 PM

The extraterritorial piece of this confuses me. Can service providers in the US successfully block access to non-US sites? What if someone in the US uses one of those sites to serf anonymously?

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM

IP addresses for the whole world originate in the U.S., so…

DFCtomm on November 19, 2010 at 6:59 PM

COICA is the latest effort by Hollywood, the recording industry and the big media companies to stem the tidal wave of internet file sharing that has upended those industries and, they claim, cost them tens of billions of dollars over the last decade.

I’m sick of these people. Over paid celebrity crybabies.
Yeah, celebrities can drive drunk or high, get arrested 26 times while on probation and will never see a day in jail. Let some kid download a song the wrong way and before you know his mother is facing a million dollar lawsuit from the recording industry.

We are so close to becoming nothing but a banana republic. All of our concepts of freedom, self government, individual rights and equality under the law are turning to dust before our eyes. Just a few more rulings from the Supreme Court, a few more edicts from the FCC, a few more laws passed by a corrupt congress and it’s really over.

You want to experience something strange, find some old black and white movies and just watch how things used to be. I’ve been watching different ones from time to time and see people doing things and realize, “You can’t do that anymore… you can’t say that anymore…. no one could get away with that anymore…. cops don’t act like that anymore..”
This is probably one of the reasons so many old movies are disappearing.

JellyToast on November 19, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Seriously, a thought just occurred to me. Right now if everyone over the age of say 40 disappeared, our nation would be finished. The younger generation have not been taught about our freedoms. I think they are thoroughly indoctrinated to socialism. I think the younger generation doesn’t know a thing about our founding, our constitution or even think freedom is that great of an idea. They’ve never even been taught how to think critically. They are convinced the US is evil, socialism is good, group think is the best, global warming is real, capitalism is bad, etc. I think the younger generation is also demoralized although they don’t realize it.

If the older generation doesn’t correct the path we are on then it is too late.

JellyToast on November 19, 2010 at 7:24 PM

If the older generation doesn’t correct the path we are on then it is too late.

JellyToast on November 19, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Yep, JT.
An interesting story to relate.
I went to Wally world for my weekly torture routine and as I was walking down a crowded aisle I overheard a little girl saying to her Dad (I guess),

“But, it’s not fair, some of the kids get a big cookie and the rest get a small one!”

Since there was nowhere for me to go right at that moment, I asked the little girl,

“Yes, but what if you were one of the ones getting the big cookie all the time?”

She just looked at me and her Dad and they both had blank faces. It was like no one was home.

OkieDoc on November 19, 2010 at 7:40 PM

The extraterritorial piece of this confuses me. Can service providers in the US successfully block access to non-US sites? What if someone in the US uses one of those sites to serf anonymously?

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM
IP addresses for the whole world originate in the U.S., so…

DFCtomm on November 19, 2010 at 6:59 PM

Time to change that if this bill passes. Maybe Switzerland should take that duty over.

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 8:08 PM

And isn’t Palin trying right now to do something a little bit similar by complaining about how the media isn’t treating her fairly?

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 2:15 PM
So if she disagrees publicly with something said about her publicly, she’s effectively trying to suppress unfavorable media?

tom on November 19, 2010 at 6:21 PM

In the comments on HA, comments suggesting that a commenter is stupid or whatever are treated as ad hominem (belittling your opponent as a means of attacking his/her argument). attacks, but also as an attempt to shut down debate. If that’s the case (and I’m very skeptical), then her comment about the fairness of the media can be seen as a threat to “fix the problem” if she gets into office.

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Someone get jimbo a tissue.

Inanemergencydial on November 19, 2010 at 8:37 PM

She just looked at me and her Dad and they both had blank faces. It was like no one was home.

OkieDoc on November 19, 2010 at 7:40 PM

I have a small story as well.
Was in the mall a little while back. Walking out of one of the Dept Stores heading towards the exit. Passed a middle aged mom and her son. She was looking at some winter coats and her son, I’d say he was about 13 or 14, in that range, was just lecturing this poor woman with “Mom, you’re killing the animals if you buy that. You just killing animals!” This kid was literally circling his mom as she looked at these coats and just kept repeating those words.
As I was walking pass, only a few feet away from them and witnessing this I was just in amazement.
As I heard these words from this kid, she had the most sad tortured expression on her face. I felt angry about the words and disrespect this kid was showing but I felt so sorry for her. The look she had, it was like “Who is this kid and what happened to my son?”
School happened.

JellyToast on November 19, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Oh, and I didn’t see alot of people on the right defending the comments of Rick Sanchez of CNN. He said, correctly, that Jews “control” the networks (or something very similar). If you do even a bit of research, you’ll see that the President or CEO of at least two of the three major networks is Jewish, as are the heads of many media companies.

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM

How sad that Jimbo3 thinks being jewish is a crime. See, no one here thinks being in charge of a network and being jewish is a crime, but Jimbo3 does.

Now, considering that Jimbo3 hates people who live in Alaska and hates black men who have sex with white women (Clarence Thomas), is anyone here really surprised that he hates jews as well? I’m not. What say you, moderators? How much bigotry do we have to put up with on an otherwise decent site?

runawayyyy on November 19, 2010 at 10:08 PM

School happened.

JellyToast on November 19, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Yeah, well Dewey inspired schools a.k.a. Dept. Ed. sponsored ones did.

OkieDoc on November 19, 2010 at 10:44 PM

See?
Not excel.
Rather, be common.

OkieDoc on November 19, 2010 at 10:47 PM

A credible cite for this claim would be nice…

Del Dolemonte on November 19, 2010 at 5:07 PM

http://www.nndb.com/people/420/000023351/

(click to the bottom; there’s also a reference to an interview which he did where he discusses he’s a practicing Catholic/Christian).

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Bwahaha, I click on that link and also get this title on the front page

Dr. Sputnik’s Society Pages

I said a credible source.

Del Dolemonte on November 20, 2010 at 12:10 AM

In effect, it hands the executive branch a big weapon to silence dissent, or at the very least, to threaten those who engage in it.

King Obama! Now everyone bow! UGH UGH UGH!!!!!!!!

capejasmine on November 20, 2010 at 10:31 AM

The extraterritorial piece of this confuses me. Can service providers in the US successfully block access to non-US sites? What if someone in the US uses one of those sites to serf anonymously?

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 5:53 PM

They can but they don’t. And the domain names, once purchased, can be used to point to computers in the united states. The modern spamnet operates as follows:
a) Spammers create or purchase a botnet. [a botnet is a bunch of computers who have malware installed to allow the botnet operators to run software of their choice on the computers] The botnet is generally composed of machines located within the country to be targeted by spam.
b) Spammers purchase a domain name (or even a bunch of domain names using “domain tasting” — so called because registrars are allowed to temporarily register a domain name, allow its use for up to 5 days, and then “unregister” it without paying fees to ICANN)
c) Spammers convert some of their botnet machines to DNS servers. The DNS software they use cycles through thousands of machines per domain name per hour.
d) Spammers convert some of their botnet machines to perform web hosting of the desired spam service. These are the machines whose IP addresses are associated by the DNS servers to the domain name.
e) Spammers set up SMTP servers on other elements of the botnet.
f) Spammers start sending mail using elements of the botnet which reference the domain names as a landing site. Each SMTP server might send 10 e-mails per hour, but there are several thousand of them, so the aggregate number of e-mails is large.
g) If an anti-spam person looks at the domain name, they will get a different IP address every time. As machines are shut down by the anti-spammers, the spammers update their DNS machines to remove the compromised machines. If a DNS machine is removed, they substitute a new one at the root DNS server. If an smtp server is shut down, they allocate its load to another.

Their network is self-repairing, but it depends totally upon the indirect linkage a domain name provides. The moment the domain name goes away, access to the botnet’s webservers by people targeted by the spam disappears.

Hence, a prime need for spammers is a “captive” registrar who will not deregister their names. Once they find one of these, they are home free.

So, when I was fighting spam, I found at the beginning that the US was generally targeted by machines from China and Russia and Italy, but, later on, the US was being targeted by machines in the US, and that few of the domain names were registered via US registrars.

That’s the big problem with DOS (denial of service) attacks as well. Should a foreign country launch a DOS attack against our infrastructure, the machines attacking will all be located in the USA.

unclesmrgol on November 21, 2010 at 2:10 AM

And isn’t Palin trying right now to do something a little bit similar by complaining about how the media isn’t treating her fairly?

Jimbo3 on November 19, 2010 at 2:15 PM

So if she disagrees publicly with something said about her publicly, she’s effectively trying to suppress unfavorable media?

tom on November 19, 2010 at 6:21 PM

Two things to stop this idiocy:

1. Palin didn’t ask any Government agency to “supress the unfavorable media”.

2. Barnes & Nobles is the rightful owner of the material, not Palin per se.

We can snipe at Palin … but “don’t act like idiots”. Gosh, you’re competing with Maddow and Matthews with your logic.

TheAlamos on November 22, 2010 at 4:03 AM

rrpjr, that was a lot of effort put into a rebuttal. Well done, but sadly done. It’s sad because a fool can (and will) be back tomorrow with the same broken arguments demanding everyone rebut him again.

I would not ban the fool because of his strange obsession with who’s Jewish or not, I’d ban him because he wastes everyone’s time with the same mistakes over and over again.

The fool’s true offense is not his error, but imposing that error on others.

Merovign on November 22, 2010 at 1:55 PM

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