More senators & attorneys back the PROTECT IP censorship bill

Three governors recently pledged their allegiance to the PROTECT IP bill. The divisive legislation has garnered additional support this month. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) have come forward to announce they are behind bill S. 968.

More senators & attorneys back the PROTECT IP censorship bill

The MPAA said it was “excited” to see McCain, as well as fellow senators Bennet (D-CO) and Cardin (D-MD), on board.

“The motion picture and television industry is responsible for over 30,000 jobs in Colorado, 17,000 jobs in Maryland and 22,000 jobs in Arizona,” said Jessica Garcia, an MPAA spokesperson, at the group’s blog. “Foreign rogue websites pose a threat to each one of these jobs by profiting from the sale of stolen content and draining our economy of billions of dollars annually.”

The MPAA announced that 28 senators now back the bill.

The NDAA also gave its blessing for PROTECT IP. The Virginia-based organization has represented criminal prosecutors for over 60 years and hosts courses for attorneys on myriad subjects.

The group wrote Congress (.pdf) last week asking it “to address the serious issue of counterfeiting and theft of U.S. products occurring on foreign ‘rogue’ websites.” The best way to do so, it reasoned, was to pass PROTECT IP.

“To effectively disrupt the rogue sites’ business model, law enforcement needs the authority to enlist the help of other players in the Internet ecosystem, including infrastructure providers like ISPs and financial service providers like payment processors, to cut these sites off from the American marketplace,” wrote Scott Burns, NDAA Executive Director.

Burns believes such a “narrowly tailored response” will lead illegal file-sharers to the light of legitimate goods and cut off revenue from pirates.

Introduced by Senator Leahy (D-VT) and several others in May, PROTECT IP (.pdf) has met resistance from Google, law professors and Senator Wyden (D-OR) – the last calling it “overreaching” and a “significant threat to Internet commerce, innovation and free speech.” The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but has yet to come to a vote.

If enacted into law, this bill would effectively begin Internet censorship in the USA.