Senator Joe Lieberman’s Cybersecurity Bill Faces Uphill Battle

May 14, 2012 -

Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I- CT.) cybersecurity bill - a counterpart of sorts to the House's Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) - is running into plenty of opposition from Democrats in the Senate who say the bill does not do enough to protect the privacy of citizens. Adding to the fact that most Senate Republicans don't like Lieberman’s bill is that several prominent Democrats don't like it either.

Sen. Patrick Leahy Says PIPA-SOPA Style Legislation is Still Needed

May 10, 2012 -

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) can't let the defeat of his bill go, and continues to insist that most of the provisions in his Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the House's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are still needed. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this week the Senator from Vermont bristled at the comments made by White House IP Czar Victoria Espinel, who said before the committee that maybe the problem of online piracy was solving itself through voluntary action.

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White House Reiterates Opposition to CISPA

May 4, 2012 -

Appearing on the C-SPAN program "The Communicators," White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt reiterated the Administration’s concerns with the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that was recently passed in the house and promised the President would veto it if it crossed his desk in its current form. The Administration's concerns with the bill relate to how loosely worded it is, its lack of provisions to ensure privacy, as well as its amnesty provisions for companies that turn over user data to government agencies.

Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to Label All Games With Warning Labels

March 20, 2012 -

Congressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced a bill on Monday that would require video games to carry a special warning label similar to the kind found on cigarettes. That warning would be:

"WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

The bill is H.R. 4204, or Violence in Video Games Labeling Act. The sponsors say the law is a reaction to increasing evidence that playing violent games can have a serious long-lasting impact on children that should require a health warning to consumers.

Senate Judiciary Committee Leaders to DOJ: Be Vigilant Against Anti-Competitive Patent Use

March 16, 2012 -

Two ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have said this week that they are concerned that some patents and actions related to enforcing them, are stifling competition. Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman Herb Kohl (D-Wi.) said in a letter to the Justice Department on Thursday expressing their fears about how patent fights are being played out in courts and other legal bodies in the U.S. and around the world.

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Anti-Net Neutrality Language Removed from Payroll Tax Holiday Bill

February 17, 2012 -

An amendment that was added to the payroll tax holiday legislation was removed today, much to the delight of net neutrality principle supporters. The amendment was adopted during the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee markup session in December. The amendment was put forth by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and would have stopped the FCC from forcing net neutrality requirements when issuing new licenses to wireless carriers who won incentive auctions authorized by the spectrum bill.

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Following The Money That Influenced SOPA-PIPA Push

February 7, 2012 -

SaveTheInternet points out some interesting information dug up by Media Matters about where a lot of big media money has gone and why some lawmakers pushed so hard for the passage of SOPA and PIPA. While their analysis can't show that the money was directly related to PIPA and SOPA, it certainly shows the level of influence money has in Washington.

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Anti-Piracy: The Election Year Hot Potato

January 25, 2012 -

This Politico story points out that anti-piracy legislation may be the hottest of hot potatoes in the 2012 election cycle, and while lawmakers promise progress in the not-too-distant future, the likelihood of anything getting through either legislative bodies is highly unlikely.

“Going into an election year, there’s going to be a lot of [reluctance] to do anything that can end up being an unnecessary battle,” a Republican House aide told POLITICO. “It became a political hot potato.”

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The ACTA Petition You SHOULD BE Signing

January 25, 2012 -

While a petition asking the White House to dump ACTA is well intentioned, as TechDirt points out, it misses the mark for a number of reasons. The real question Americans should be asking is did the President follow the Constitution when he unilaterally had his administration negotiate this international treaty and did he have the authority to do it without involving lawmakers?

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Patrick Leahy Stresses Urgency in Passing Anti-Piracy Laws

January 23, 2012 -

We missed the statement PIPA sponsor Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) issued late last week about the urgency of passing anti-piracy legislation. Either Leahy doesn't understand the law written by the lobbyist who donated to him, or it is time for him to retire. In his statement Leahy continues to support a fact that has yet to be proven by any kind of study or research: that piracy from overseas web sites cause the entertainment industry to lose jobs.

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Senate Majority Leader Postpones Vote on PIPA

January 20, 2012 -

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) announced this morning that he would postpone a vote on the Protect IP Act that was scheduled to happen next Tuesday.

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PIPA Suffers Another Significant Roadblock

January 19, 2012 -

PIPA’s been having a rough day.

After yesterday’s protest, scores of congressmembers have withdrawn their support for the bill, its sponsor is considering editing out the search engine provisions, and now, according to Politico’s unnamed sources, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (pictured) “won't whip Democratic votes” for the much-maligned bill.

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PIPA Sponsor Working on Amendment to Remove Search

January 19, 2012 -

Politico reports that Protect IP Act (PIPA) lead sponsor Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) are in discussions to remove the search engine provisions from the bill. Leahy is reportedly working with the Arizona Senator to hammer out a "manager’s amendment" prior to the bill's floor vote scheduled for next Tuesday. A Leahy spokeswoman confirmed with Politico that the two senators have "authorized their staffs to discuss a manager’s amendment."

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SOPA Protest Aftermath

January 19, 2012 -

After just one day of Internet protests and a concerted effort by the Internet community, the mainstream media finally took notice of the war between the entertainment industry and the Internet over SOPA and PIPA. Every broadcast and cable television network - much to their chagrin - was forced to say something about sites like Wikipedia and Reddit going dark, and Google's redacted logo had a huge impact as well. With the increased media attention and a deluge of phone calls and emails from constituents, several lawmakers panicked and withdrew their support from the bill.

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DNC Chair is a SOPA Supporter

January 17, 2012 -

I don't know if SOPA or PIPA will have an impact on the presidential election, but it is disconcerting to note that the person serving as the spokesperson of the Democratic party is listed as a supporter of the Stop Online Piracy Act. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D- representing Florida's 20th District) is the current chair of the Democratic National Committee and is listed as a supporter of SOPA at ProPublica.org.

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ESA Spends $190k to Lobby Lawmakers about PIPA

January 16, 2012 -

What level of commitment does the Entertainment Software Association have in the anti-piracy bills before lawmakers? About $190,000's worth according to a Kotaku report.

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White House Questions SOPA, PIPA

January 14, 2012 -

The White House has finally responded to a petition submitted by citizens expressing everything from concern to outright opposition to both SOPA and PIPA. Today the official web site for the White House has a rather lengthy post on these bills. The short story is that it seems like good news for those who oppose these bills in their current forms. From the Whitehouse.gov site:

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Six Senators Urge Harry Reid to Slow Down on PIPA Vote Plans

January 13, 2012 -

On January 13, six U.S. Senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) imploring him not to rush the Protect IP Act (PIPA) to a vote on the floor without the chance to amend and debate the bill on January 24. 

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U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant Wasteful Spending

December 22, 2011 -

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is taking a bit of heat this week for saying that a $113,277 grant given to Rochester's International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) is wasteful spending. He named it as one of a hundred "unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects" that the federal government spent money on in 2011. He released his annual report on wasteful spending in this report.

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Why SOPA is a Futile Effort for Lawmakers, Special Interest Groups

December 21, 2011 -

A software developer who goes by the nickname of "T Rizk," who thinks Congress will make the wrong decision on the SOPA anti-piracy bill, has decided to create a work-around before the bill ever becomes law. That work-around is a Firefox plug-in that he has named "DeSOPA." It basically unblocks sites like The Pirate Bay by reverting the blocked site back to its raw IP address.

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Senator Wyden Promises Fight to 'The Bitter End' Against Protect IP

December 19, 2011 -

While the battle over SOPA rages in the House (to resume with another markup hearing on Wednesday), the Senate's version of the bill, Protect IP, will not have an easy path to passage either. Today Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) renewed his vow to block the bill "to the bitter end." Because the rules are different in the Senate Wyden has a whole toolbox of tactics he could employ to keep the bill from ever coming to a vote.

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Internet Pioneers Send Letter to Congress Opposing SOPA and PIPA

December 15, 2011 -

Today, a group of 83 Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to members of the United States Congress, voicing their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate. Vint Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP; Jim Gettys, editor of the HTTP/1.1 protocol standards; Paul Vixie, author of BIND, the most widely-used DNS server software; and Elizabeth Feinler, director of the Network Information Center (NIC) at SRI International are just some of the names that have signed this letter.

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SOPA Sponsor Fires Back at Critics

December 14, 2011 -

House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) fired back strongly at critics of SOPA Wednesday, accusing various tech companies and their executives of not understanding the bill. He made a point of singling out Google for its opposition, calling it "self-serving."

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Writers Guild of America West Expresses Concerns About SOPA to Lawmakers

December 14, 2011 -

It looks like the Writers Guild of America West has some concerns about SOPA. In a recent post on the trade group’s site, they wrote about a recent visit to Washington D.C., where they met with various lawmakers and other trade groups about SOPA and other legislation they think is important such as Net Neutrality and the ATT/T-Mobile merger. From the paragraph about their visit to the House of Representatives (I’ve highlighted the important stuff for emphasis):

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Sponsors of the OPEN Act Seek Input from the Public

December 8, 2011 -

As we mentioned last week Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Darrell Issa introduced an alternative bill to SOPA and Protect IP that would put the power of fighting so-called rogue web sites into the hands of the International Trade Commission. The OPEN Act (which stands for Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act) focuses on interrupting the flow of funds to web sites that are proven to be trafficking in counterfeit goods or copyright materials.

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Lawmakers Offer Alternative to SOPA, Protect IP

December 2, 2011 -

While some in the U.S. House and Senate would love to jam SOPA and Protect IP through the legislative process, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have drafted an alternative proposal that would make use of existing trade laws and the International Trade Commission to deal with counterfeit goods, piracy and the "rogue web sites" that deal in those things explicitly. A bipartisan group of lawmakers is circulating a proposal that would use trade laws to battle online piracy as an alternative to the controversial bills currently pending in both chambers of Congress.

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Following The Money: SOPA, Protect IP

December 1, 2011 -

If you want to know why your favorite senator or congressional representative is supporting Protect IP and SOPA, all you need to do is follow the money. First where is the money coming from? Big media, of course. The Sunlight Foundation does an excellent job of gathering all the info on this topic in one easy post.

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EFF Issues Appeal for Help to Fight Against SOPA and Protect IP

November 23, 2011 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is taking up arms against the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and they want your help to do it. The advocacy that supports internet rights and freedom of speech online says that these new bills are "a threatening sequel to last year's COICA Internet censorship bill" and that this legislation "invites Internet security risks, threatens online speech, and hampers Internet innovation."

Ron Paul, Nancy Pelosi Voice Opposition to SOPA, Protect IP

November 18, 2011 -

In a strange twist of fate or because of some sort of cosmic alignment of certain planets, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul actually agree on something: they both think that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act, are bad ideas. The latest SOPA opponent is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), but Paul has been against it from the start.

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ECA: 'SOPA/PROTECT IP Would Be Hideously Bad For Video Gamers'

November 16, 2011 -

A new article over at TechDirt penned by the Entertainment Consumer Association's Vice President and General Counsel, Jennifer Mercurio, explains why the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP are bad for everyone - especially gamers. Mercurio lays out what this means to everyday internet users when it comes to video performance and fair use in the first paragraph:

 
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Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
 

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