Senate Judiciary Committee Embraces French Proposal for Internet Regulation

BY CCIA Staff
May 26, 2011

Within 48 hours of French President Sarkozy proposing sweeping international regulation of the Internet at the eG-8 meeting, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill allowing the U.S. Department of Justice to blacklist Internet sites and regulate certain industries having contact with those sites.

The newly introduced S. 968 is a stronger version of the controversial, Hollywood-backed COICA bill that was blocked last year. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved it today a voice vote during a meeting that was closed to the public.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, which fights Internet filtering and censorship at home and abroad, opposes this approach to Internet regulation.

“We had feared that the U.S. Government might backslide toward the French approach to Internet regulation that was rejected so emphatically earlier this week, but we didn’t expect it this soon,” said CCIA President & CEO Ed Black.

“At a time when U.S. businesses are increasing confronted with barriers to Internet trade and censorship abroad, a government committed to Internet openness should not be in the business of blacklisting Internet sites,” Black added.

The Protect IP Act (PIPA, S. 968) proposes to empower the U.S. Attorney General, and in some cases private copyright owners to obtain court orders requiring the blocking of sites that meet a broad statutory definition of “dedicated to infringing activities”.  Sites that may be subject to this regulation include domain name servers, search engines and other sites using directories, indexes, or hyperlinks, payment processors, and advertising networks.

The bill was blocked last year after prominent Internet scientists and engineers warned it would break the Internet. Several released another report  explaining the risks to the Internet itself if domains were blocked in this way and search results are manipulated to erase results that could contain infringing material.

Black published an op ed in the San Francisco Chronicle this week warning of the risks to the Internet with this legislation that will, unfortunately, in the end fail to block the problem of online infringement.

Related Articles

CCIA, NetChoice Ask To Block Texas Social Media Law From Taking Effect During Appeal

Sep 29, 2022

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association has asked a federal appeals court to prevent Texas’s controversial social media law from taking effect ahead of a potential Supreme Court hearing of the case. CCIA along with its partner NetChoice argue that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling is likely to be overturned because…

CCIA Recommendations on Canada’s Online News Act Ahead of Committee Hearing

Sep 23, 2022

Washington — The Heritage Committee in the House of Commons of Canada will meet at a  hearing on Friday afternoon to discuss Bill C-18, dubbed “the Online News Act.” The bill would require large “digital news intermediaries” including search engines and social media platforms to pay Canadian news companies to index their content or to…

CCIA Statement on Florida’s Petition To U.S. Supreme Court In Social Media Law Case

Sep 21, 2022

Washington – Florida has filed a legal brief asking the Supreme Court to hear the case challenging its social media law, which an appeals court struck down in May as unconstitutional. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled unanimously in a 3-0 decision that Florida’s social media censorship law violated the First…