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SOPA vote delayed

Lamar Smith

Lamar Smith

The House Judiciary Committee has ceased without a vote to try to pass the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) out of committee today. At the heart of the delay is the controversial provision that would give the Attorney General the power to shut down websites for copyright infringement.

Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said the hearing would resume at the “earliest practical day that Congress is in session.” That could be weeks.

IT experts have warned that DNS tampering would create security risks for both website owners, ISPs, and the government itself. Yesterday, Representative Jason Chaffetz moved to postpone the session until more technical experts could be brought in to testify about the potential negatives associated with this aspect of the bill.

According to Wired:

“The legislation mandates that ISPs alter records in the net’s system for looking up website names, known as DNS, so that users couldn’t navigate to the site. Or, if ISPs choose not to introduce false information into DNS at the urging of the Justice Department, they instead would be required to employ some other method, such as deep packet inspection, to prevent American citizens from visiting infringing sites.”

Several security experts co-signed a paper that warned about putting false information into the DNS system. “These actions would threaten the Domain Name System’s ability to provide universal naming, a primary source of the internet’s value as a single, unified, global communications network,” they wrote.

The internet has been buzzing about this for weeks. This will be considered a minor victory for opponents of the bill but will likely only alter the wording of the legislation in the long run before it is sent to the House.

What do you think?

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Written by Connor Livingston

Connor Livingston is a tech blogger who will be launching his own site soon, Lythyum. He lives in Oceanside, California, and has never surfed in his life. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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