The PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) is a threatening sequel to last year’s COICA Internet censorship bill that would—like its predecessor—invite Internet security risks, threaten online speech, and hamper Internet innovation. Urge your members of Congress to reject this dangerous bill!
Big media and its allies in Congress are billing the PROTECT IP Act as a new way to prevent online infringement. But innovation and free speech advocates know that PIPA is nothing more than a dangerous wish list that will compromise Internet security while doing little or nothing to encourage creative expression.
PROTECT IP = Private Rightsholders Opposed To Emerging Consumer Technologies, Innovation, and Progress
As drafted, the bill seeks to stop websites believed to be “dedicated” to “infringing activities” by granting the government the unprecedented power to attack the Internet’s domain name system (DNS). The government would be able to force ISPs and search engines to redirect or dump users’ attempts to reach certain websites’ URLs. In response, third parties will woo average users to alternative servers that offer access to the entire Internet (not just the newly censored U.S. version), which will create new computer security vulnerabilities as the reliability and universality of the DNS evaporates.
It gets worse: the bill uses the following dangerously expansive definition of DNS server: “a server or other mechanism used to provide the Internet protocol address associated with a domain name.” This loose, uncabined definition could lead to the targeting of other technologies—like operating systems, email clients, web clients, routers, and more—that are capable of providing IP addresses when given domain names like a traditional DNS server.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has placed a hold on the Senate version of the bill, taking a principled stand against a very dangerous bill. But every Senator and Representative should be opposing the PROTECT IP Act — contact your members of Congress today to speak out!