A bit of an emergency: The rumor all over Capitol Hill is that the House version of the Internet Blacklist Bill will be introduced this week, probably on Wednesday.
Our allies on the Hill say the bill's so bad that it could effectively destroy Youtube, Twitter, and other sites that rely on user-generated content by making the sites' owners legally responsible for everything their users post.
Nobody will want to take that risk, so sites like Youtube and Twitter could be forced to shut down.
Facebook, Myspace, and Google+ would be at risk. The cyberlocker and streaming provisions could affect your iPhone, Android, AmazonCloud, Pandora, Spotify, Grooveshark and even your email accounts.
And all of this is being driven by a few major corporations who are trying to protect their private profits.
Will you use the form at right to ask your Congressmember not to cosponsor the legislation, at least until they've heard our concerns?
ALSO: We need to completely overwhelm the social networking sites with info about this legislation so we can bombard Congress with constituent contacts:
Oppose PROTECT-IP Act: U.S. Government Wants To Censor Search Engines And Browsers
Tell Congress to Kill COICA 2.0, the Internet Censorship Bill
UPDATE: Great news. We don't always see eye-to-eye with Google, but we're on the same team this time. Google CEO Eric Schmidt just came out swinging against PROTECT IP, saying, "I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily [implementing] simple solutions to complex problems." And then he went even further.
From the LA Times:
"If there is a law that requires DNSs, to do X and it's passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president of the United States and we disagree with it then we would still fight it," he said, according to the report. "If it's a request the answer is we wouldn't do it, if it's a discussion we wouldn't do it."
Big content is irate. The Motion Picture Association of America released a statement saying, "We’ve heard this ‘but the law doesn’t apply to me’ argument before – but usually, it comes from content thieves, not a Fortune 500 company. Google should know better."
ORIGINAL: We knew that members of Congress and their business allies were gearing up to pass a revised Internet Blacklist Bill -- which more than 325,000 Demand Progress members helped block last winter -- but we never expected it to be this atrocious. Last year's bill has been renamed the "PROTECT IP" Act and it is far worse than its predecessor. A summary of it is posted below.
Senators Leahy and Hatch pretended to weigh free speech concerns as they revised the bill. Instead, the new legislation would institute a China-like censorship regime in the United States, whereby the Department of Justice could force search engines, browsers, and service providers to block users' access to websites, and scrub the American Internet clean of any trace of their existence.
Furthermore, it wouldn't just be the Attorney General who could add sites to the blacklist, but the new bill would allow any copyright holder to get sites blacklisted -- sure to result in an explosion of dubious and confused orders.