MN Senators Franken and Klobuchar co-sponsoring controversial Internet censorship legislation


The Protect IP Act (PIPA) (S.968) was first proposed in the Senate in May by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) with the intention of stopping “rogue websites dedicated to infringing on counterfeit goods.” Initially cosponsored by other 11 Senators, including Minnesota’s Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, 28 peers have since joined.

A House equivalent, “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) (HR. 3261) was introduced in October, since which the House Judiciary Committee have examined surrounding issues of SOPA in mid November and subsequently debated changes last week.

PIPA is targeting domain name system providers, financial companies, and ad networks — not companies that provide Internet connectivity — like SOPA. That basic idea here is to make new sets of intermediaries the checkpoints at which authorities can police for websites dealing in infringing content.  While SOPA has been garnering most of the headlines, for all intents and purposes, these are two peas of the same pod.

Financially motivated by interests who see a future based less on innovation and more on political protection, this legislation is paid for by organizations and corporations like MPAA, Dell, Microsoft, Sony, RIAA, IIPA and the US Chamber of Commerce, amongst others.