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U.S. Senator Ron Wyden talks about anti-piracy legislation in the House and Senate

Technology journalist +Gautham Nagesh, who has been tracking the progress of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act in Congress, interviewed Senator Wyden (D-OR) on CSPAN.

Here's the show notes from CSPAN: "On 'The Communicators,' Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), discusses legislation to combat online piracy. Wyden says two proposals, including SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, goes too far. He says SOPA would damage the domain name system - the basic architecture of the internet- would be compromised, it would harm efforts at cybersecurity and it would lead to censorship."

And here's my feature on the bills from earlier in the winter, if you need to catch up on the issue:
http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/11/sopa-protectip.html

...along with my update from right before the New Year on "what you need to know" and how to follow the news: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexander-howard/sopa-information-2012_b_1166214.html

While I speculated about "what's next" in +Huffington Post Politics, +CNET's +Declan McCullagh was much more specific in his big prediction for 2012: that Internet companies would invoke a 'nuclear option' to protest SOPA. Declan has always had a notable talent for incendiary headlines; we can thank him for the "Internet kill switch" as well.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57349540-281/sopa-opponents-may-go-nuclear-and-other-2012-predictions/

Regardless of the frame, Declan is on to something important here. There is a media coverage consideration here: the corporate entities behind +ABC News +CBS +Fox News and +NBC News all currently support SOPA. Although editorial staff have understandably fiercely defended their independence when questioned, my parents' generation still hasn'' heard about any controversy on the evening news or 60 Minutes.

Whether the broadcast networks choose to cover it or not will matter less next year than it would have even a decade ago. The Internet will drive awareness of these bills in 2012 in a way that simply wasn't possible before this moment in history. The reaction from tech companies and their leaders is in of itself news and it's much harder to miss the discussion around SOPA online now. Google, Facebook and Wikipedia still haven't changed their homepages to protest SOPA. While +Sergey Brin +Eric Schmidt and +Jimmy Wales have expressed concerns about the bill, as written, +Mark Zuckerberg still has not written a "status update" himself like Brin about it yet himself. Google.com, Wikipedia.com and Facebook.com represent 3 of the top 10 sites in the world. If they followed the lead of Tumblr, nearly 100 percent of citizens that go online would become aware of their position and concerns. If Zuckerberg or more Internet executives came out that publicly against SOPA, it would affect the debate in D.C., albeit in a very different way than if millions of constituents directly contacted their representatives via phone or in person visits.

We'll see what happens. In the meantime, do share any thoughts you have on the interview.

#SOPA #PIPA #netfreedom
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