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DNS blocking cut from SOPA

Vote delayed and amendments made after White House objections

A controversial part of the Stop Online Piracy Act that related to DNS blocking has been cut after White House resistance. The senate vote is currently delayed while the US House of Senate struggles to reach a consensus.

"After consultation with industry groups across the country, I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith.

"We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign websites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers."

On Saturday the Obama administration highlighted the reasons for its objection to that part of SOPA.

"Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of internet security," said an official memo.

"Our analysis of the DNS filtering provisions in some proposed legislation suggests that they pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online."

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the White House's move.

"So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery," he tweeted.

"Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells adverts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying."

A number of companies have spoken out against SOPA, including Epic and Bungie. Firefall developer Red 5 Studios plans to shutdown the game's beta and website on Wednesday as an act of protest.

"We are extremely disappointed in this misguided legislation," CEO Mark Kern told Shacknews.

"We are also ashamed of the ESA for supporting a bill which is clearly not in the best interests of gamers or the game industry."

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Latest comments (9)

Wesley Williams Quality Assurance 9 years ago
This is a good start, but there are still plenty of other aspects in both SOPA and PIPA that should never see the light of day. I get the distinct impression these pieces of legislation are like a planning application. You try and get away with as much as you can at the start, then change a few things along the way, drag it out for as long as you can until the public opposition wanes and then get most of what you want approved.
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Famed consumer warrior Rupert Murdoch is bravely attacking more society-polluting corporations, much like his noble battle with the BBC. Selfless to a fault this guy, and happily for him all these companies he fumes about on our behalf are also his leading rivals!
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Leo Wakelin Community & Support Manager, Fatshark9 years ago
This is the first step, in what I guess will be a marathon. At least it's a step in the right direction.
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Show all comments (9)
Sander De Visser Developer 9 years ago
Good news, but not the end of it. I can only hope nothing of this ever comes to a law. Then again, here in Europe, things are going on as well, and this whole SOPA mess doesn't affect us that much...

All a part of growing up for the "new" medium called the internet I guess.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Keep going. Good work to all those fighting.

Rachel, "US House of Senate struggles" should read "US House of Representatives struggles". But don't sweat it too much as most of us Americans don't get that right either.
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James Berg Games User Researcher 9 years ago
People are still taking Robert Murdoch seriously? That's unfortunate.

SOPA still has a lot of problems, and PIPA is getting overshadowed. Need to fix them both.
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The sad truth is SOPA is all about greed. A lot of entertainment companies feel like the government should tamper with the internet in order to achieve short-term objectives without considering the long-term damages this bill could cause. I also have a feeling that those who wrote the legislation probably do not understand the internet too well. I'm betting that in the end, the whole SOPA bill will be reduced to nothing close to what it's creators wanted and it'll either be shot down or it'll get the proper number of votes to pass just so it's creators can at least say they did something.
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Tony Johns9 years ago
"We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign websites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers."

Translation: We will find new ways to enforce internet censorship without people realizing that their first amendment rights are being taken away.

At least that is how I read into it. Because any aspect of stopping foreign sites from selling or distribute content that the gov considers "illegal" content to US Consumers...either they are trying to spin the story for internet censorship and completely disregarding the fact that they were meant to be trying to stop online piracy and nothing more than that...

Silly politicians...who pays these guys to get into voting?
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Wes Peters Software Engineer, Sony Online Entertainment9 years ago
@Sander: one of the problems with far-reaching laws like SOPA is they DO affect users outside the USA. Blocking a "website" from DNS pretty effectively means blocking it from everyone, not just USA users. Everyone has to be concerned with such far-reaching laws, in both the USA and EU, because they are the two governments big enough to actually have an impact on "everyones" Internet. So far.

As an aside, have you considered that an Internet that has no governance is, de facto, a government itself?
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