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Internet Censorship Alert Analysis: SB 3804 Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act

Posted on November 18, 2010

The controversial Senate Bill 3804, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act (COICA), was approved today in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill is being fast tracked below the radar.

Every watchdog group and scores of individuals are sounding a red alert at this proposed bill. So am I.

There’s some misinformation on the internet about the bill. I’m going to do an analysis of the bill here today.

There is a petition to stop SB 3804 at Demand Progress, here.

The debate is centered on whether or not the Attorney General will have the power to take down websites without judicial review, and if the bill will be used to silence political opponents or critics.

Here’s my analysis of  SB 3804 (text of SB 3804 here):

The bill’s description tells us to be cautious: “To combat online infringement, and for other purposes.”

Section (a) merely sets out the criteria for what constitutes an actionable website and lays the basis for legal action against offending websites.

One note here is that the language of the bill in Section (a) seems written so that it is actionable against individuals & companies, and against domain names. It seems to clearly cover domain names.

Section (b) sets out injunctions the Attorney General can apply for after filing an action. That’s how the websites get turned off.

Then the owner has to fight the federal government in court to get the site back on.

Section (h)(B)(i)(ii) sets out the owner’s right to ask the court to lift the turn off order.

The rest of the bill connected to this first section appears on the level, so there is due process in the bill so far.

But now we get to Section (c), In Rem Actions.

In Rem just means against a thing, instead of against a person.  West’s Law defines In Rem Action as “A lawsuit against an item of property, not against a person”

Section (c) sets guidelines for turning off domains through domain registrars, or if necessary, thru the registry itself.  Section (d) deals with more jurisdictional matters.

1 of 2 important points here about this In Rem Action clause:

Section (c) establishes a bypass of the domain’s owner.

That’s not good.

Section (e), Service of Court Order, seems appropriate and harmless enough to our freedom at this point.

However, take note now of the last paragraph of (e)(1):

“Upon receipt of such order, the domain name registrar or domain name registry shall suspend operation of, and lock, the domain name.”

Section (e)(2)(B) sets out that not only do domain registrars or the registry have to turn off the domain upon being served with the Court Order, but the section goes on to mandate financial transaction providers to cut-off the domain,  and it mandates any advertising services to stop ads from the domain.

An effective website killer.

Section (e)(3) gives civil immunity to anyone receiving the Order and carrying it out.

Now we get to the heart of the threat.

Section (j) “Internet Sites Alleged by the Department of Justice To Be Dedicated to Infringing Activities”

Section (j)(1) mandates that the Attorney General maintain a blacklist of sites determined by Department of Justice, but which the Attorney General has not yet filed an action against.

Section (j)(2) states that if any registrar, registry, financial transaction provider, or advertising service described under Section (e) takes any of the actions specified there against a domain name that appears on the list established under (j)(1) they shall receive the immunity protections described under Section (e)(3).

So now we have an extra blacklist for the Attorney General, provided by the Justice Department.  Anyone who plays ball with the AG on killing a domain will be immune from civil liability.

Here is a threat:

The Justice Department list will be domains who haven’t had action taken against them by the AG.

There is no requirement for the AG to ever file an action against those domains on that Justice Department blacklist.

Section(j)(3) provides for domains to petition the AG for removal from the list created in (j)(1), and delegates setting those procedures to the AG.

But there is no provision for time limits on the AG to rule on those petitions.

There is a provision in Section (j)(4)(A) that sets time limits for the domain owner to file for judicial review after denial of the petition. It’s 90 days from receipt of the decision, or whatever other time limit the AG sets.

So SB 3804 can be used to indefinitely keep a domain shut down and the owner away from judicial review to get the domain live again.

As this law is written, there is a clear path to abuse present in the language of the bill.

All the AG has to do is send a few notices under Section (j), take no action on the petition,  and the domain is finished.

The AG could make the time limit for decisions on the petitions 4 years if he wanted to, by the language of the bill.

There is also this important issue. Quoting the page at http://demandprogress.org/blacklist/coica:

“It means sites like YouTube could get censored in the US.   Copyright holders like Viacom argue that copyrighted material is central to activity of YouTube.   But under current US law,  YouTube is perfectly legal as long as they take down copyrighted material when they’re informed about it — which is why Viacom lost their case in court.   If this bill passes, Viacom doesn’t even need to prove YouTube is doing anything illegal — as long as they can persuade a court that enough other people are using it for copyright infringement, that’s enough to get the whole site censored.”

Poorly written legislation or cleverly crafted scheme?

This bill was proposed on September 20, and right before the elections the Senators dropped the bill because of the public outcry. Now they’re back to fast tracking it thru before we can stop it.

At the very least, the bill should be done publicly so the people have time to analyze it and voice any objections before it is passed.

Many laws have been created over the years as part of long range takeover objectives.

Those laws were sold to We The People as having a specific purpose which wasn’t objectionable to our rights, then later were revealed as tools for another purpose that deprived us of rights or caused us other harm.

The National Security Act of 1947 is the prime example of that.

Most of those laws are in effect today, and need to be examined by We The People if control of government is ever regained.

SB 3804 can blacklist, control or close down any watchdog website or blog, any individual site, and even You Tube for engaging in “infringing activities.”

Due Process can be circumvented using language in the bill, so I conclude that SB 3804 is a threat to our freedom.

Another issue is that SB 3804 would empower the Attorney General,  not the aggrieved party claiming copyright infringement, to initiate blacklisting activities and prevent access to infringing sites.

The copyright holders should be the ones who take action on any claims that may arise, not the government.

We have seen it too many times in America,  a piece of bad legislation becomes a monster which devours more of our rights or bleeds our economy.

This time the threat is an end to our internet freedom.

We have a government with a long history of cover-up and abuse of powers. Our present government seems determined to take away more of our rights, and is the most corrupt in our history.

Abuse of SB 3804 is a definite and likely possibility.

I agree with others who oppose this bill, there is too much potential for this bill to be used to silence political opponents.

This is not opposition to piracy prevention, it’s opposition to a monster rearing it’s head.

We already have mainstream media that doesn’t give us the truth, and a government that regularly lies to us.

Government control of what We The People access on the internet is a final step towards the end of freedom in America and the ultimate slavery.

They censor the news and internet in Russia, China, Italy and other countries.  SB 3804 would allow us to join them in censorship and other control methods.

An interesting point to note here is that without You tube, there wouldn’t be the new investigation into 9/11 and the latest revelations that there may indeed have been involvement by our own government.

I’ve said before that there is a war on truth happening on the internet.

If SB 3804 becomes law, it will herald the end of freedom in America.

One more point is that there is money involved in this bill.

The money trail always tells you a lot. You can see who got what for either their support or opposition to the bill by going to opencongress.org here.

I note that Senator Patrick Leahy (D, VT) who authored this bill, has taken $159,550 to support the bill, and he’s also taken $25,650 to oppose it.

Something doesn’t seem right about the author of a bill taking money to oppose it.

Six Democrats, the top money-getters for supporting the bill, are also taking money to oppose the bill.  Here’s the scorecard for those six Democrats:

Name

$ to Support

$ to Oppose

Rep. Howard Berman [D, CA-28]

$178,400

$23,600

Sen. Barbara Boxer [D, CA]

$164,574

$31,940

Sen. Patrick Leahy [D, VT]

$159,550

$25,650

Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV]

$109,550

$41,800

Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY]

$108,900

$50,900

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY]

$105,900

$38,500

Arlen Specter is involved in this legislation, and his involvement is another reason to be cautious about this proposed bill. I covered that near the end of this video:

S 3804 Analysis & Money Trail of Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act:

This entry was originally posted in 111th Congress Traitors & Cowards, Communists, Messages to We The People, Misc Posts, Takeover Plan Issues, Wake Up ANTI-NWO and tagged analysis, Anti-Illuminati, ANTI-NWO, Barbara Boxer, Charles Schumer, COICA, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act, Congress, Due Process, Harry Reid, Howard Berman, Kirsten Gillibrand, long range takeover of United states, National Security Act of 1947, Patrick Leahy, Senate Bill 3804, Senate Judiciary Committee

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