And You Thought McCarthyism Was Shoved Under the Mattress…

Well, as bedbugs are rearing their ugly heads nationwide (the Waldorf-Astoria?!! If the Hilton family brand is tainted, who the heck knows what other despicable obscenities could afflict us?!?), so are efforts to censor—wait for it—

The Internet.

The Combatting Online Infringements and Counterfeit Act (COICA) Internet Censorship and Copyright Bill uses IP addresses to create a blacklist of censored domains. According to, the Attorney General can place any “infringing” site on this blacklist.

Some things that are under the infringement umbrella include one-click hosting sites (Dropbox, MediaFire and Rapidshare), MP3 blogs and mashup sites (SoundCloud, MashupTown and HypeMachine), and sites that advocate p2p tech and piracy (,  p2pnet, InfoAnarchy , Slyck and ZeroPaid).

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)(1998) “prohibits circumvention of access control technologies employed by copyright owners to protect their works.”

“The DMCA also puts anonymous speech in jeopardy; misusing its subpoena power, copyright holders can attempt to unmask an Internet user’s identity based on a mere allegation of infringement without filing an actual lawsuit or providing the user any constitutional due process.”

The COICA bill actually passed through the Senate judiciary committee 19-0 this week, and while Epicenter claims it will “never pass the Senate before the end of the current Congress,” it’s still a pretty imminent worry.

This is an issue that will not be solved immediately and will continue to be a problem as long as people are making art and using the internet. However, what is frightening is that the internet has always been free territory, and the government’s attempt to regulate it is really alarming. If this bill passes, who knows when America’s internet will become a mine pit of censorship like China?


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