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SECURITY WISDOM WATCH: SOPA-PIPA edition
Debate continues to rage over SOPA and PIPA. My take on the heroes and villains in this drama.
Thumbs down -- Christopher Dodd: The former Connecticut senator and current CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) suggested SOPA-PIPA opponents are trying to turn people into corporate pawns. That's odd considering all the money he's accepted from big corporations over the course of his long political career. Then there's all that money the MPAA gives to members of Congress to keep them in line with its agenda.
Thumbs down -- Hollywood: So Hollywood is unhappy with President Obama after his administration published a letter criticizing parts of SOPA and PIPA. Now they're threatening to stop donating to his 2012 re-election effort. My take: This is the closest Obama has come to showing real courage on an issue. The question now is if he'll cave in to his craving for Hollywood support.
Thumbs up -- Representative Darrell Issa: The California Republican has been one of the lead voices against SOPA-PIPA. He has also introduced a real alternative: The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act. It would, according to my colleague Grant Gross, "allow copyright holders to file complaints about copyright infringement at foreign websites with the U.S. International Trade Commission, which would investigate the complaints and decide whether U.S. payment processors and online advertising networks should be required to cut off funding."
Thumbs up -- Blackout protesters: Wikipedia, reddit and others who went black Jan. 18 to protest SOPA-PIPA opened themselves to lost traffic and revenue to make a point. It was a stunt, but it was an admirable one.
Thumbs both ways -- The White House: The administration says it will not support legislation that allows for censorship. But can we trust an administration that backed a defense appropriations bill that includes extra power for the government to detain Americans indefinitely without explanation?
Thumbs both ways -- Sen. Patrick Leahy: The Vermont Democrat called for a reevaluation of PIPA's DNS filtering and blocking provision in response to mounting opposition, but as the chief sponsor of PIPA, one must ask why he thought such a thing was OK in the first place.
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