A redditor posted a very insightful comment early today on how to defend ourselves against the next SOPA.
“It’s not a waiting game, it’s a game of poker. Lamar Smith has a royal flush and few people know it.
SOPA may pass. It may not. He doesn’t care, and it doesn’t matter. The MPAA and RIAA started working on their legislative strategy to pass a new anti-piracy bill in late 2010. SOPA was designed to raise the noise. Everyone is playing right into the entertainment industries hand. The lobbyists are laughing manically at the ignorance of the mob. Even Wikipedia and reddit have played into it.
What people don’t know about is the ace: H.R.1981, the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 which is lying in wait. It’s not complete. You see, PCIP is not contestable because it’s about protecting children. They can, and very well might, copy and paste the full text of SOPA to the end of PCIP. That’s the backup. That’s the deal that was struck with entertainment industry lobbyists. We will try to push this anti-piracy bill. It probably won’t work. Don’t worry, we can pass it under an anti-child pornography bill.
There are two things which no Congressman will risk supporting: terrorism and child pornography. There can be no opposition, no discussion. Any anti-piracy law can ALWAYS be reframed as an anti-child pornography bill and it will pass, without even discussion. It will have the full support of the House (minus Ron Paul), the full support of the Senate, and most importantly the full support of the American people. NO ONE wants to risk being called a pedophile.
The entertainment industry has finally caught up with technology. They understand how it works. It took them 15 years, but they know what DNS is. They are going to exploit a fundamental problem with the way DNS is centralized and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. They have found an error in the very architecture of the Internet. The solution, from a free speech standpoint is not to fight it politically. The solution is the fix the error.
We must move to a decentralized system of DNS. It is not impossible. It requires some new thinking and a re-architecture of some web services, but it must be done if we want the Internet, as we know it today, to exist in 5 or 10 years.”
SOPA, or something like it, WILL eventually be passed. We need to make it obsolete before it even goes up for a vote. That is our biggest advantage in the fight against corporations and congressmen who would censor the internet. We can adapt faster than they can. For the most part, politicians are Luddites who openly admit or even boast that they don’t know anything about internet technology. Usually this admission comes just before they explain why their ideas for censoring the internet should be taken seriously. If they pass a law like SOPA, we should strive to bypass it, make it obsolete, fight it, and even outright break it.
The one good thing about this whole SOPA/PIPA ordeal is that it is a great example of how consolidated power will inevitably be abused. If the internet wasn’t so centralized this type of censorship would be impossible. That is the real key to defeating SOPA, PIPA, and whatever comes next. However, as we work to decentralize the internet, we should internalize the lessons we are learning here. Centralized power is bad for liberty.