The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet

censorship Over at Techdirt, Mike Masnick is naming names. We’re reposting his list below, but please visit his original article. (Techdirt is great on most of the issues we care about – I read it daily.)

The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet:

  • Patrick J. Leahy — Vermont
  • Herb Kohl — Wisconsin
  • Jeff Sessions — Alabama
  • Dianne Feinstein — California
  • Orrin G. Hatch — Utah
  • Russ Feingold — Wisconsin
  • Chuck Grassley — Iowa
  • Arlen Specter — Pennsylvania
  • Jon Kyl — Arizona
  • Chuck Schumer — New York
  • Lindsey Graham — South Carolina
  • Dick Durbin — Illinois
  • John Cornyn — Texas
  • Benjamin L. Cardin — Maryland
  • Tom Coburn — Oklahoma
  • Sheldon Whitehouse — Rhode Island
  • Amy Klobuchar — Minnesota
  • Al Franken — Minnesota
  • Chris Coons — Delaware

Free Speech and Internet Freedom are areas where party affiliations are meaningless. Some of the worst enablers of censorship are Democrats; some of the strongest advocates for liberty are Republicans. Conservative bloggers created, which I just lent my support to; meanwhile everyone’s favorite liberal, Al Franken, voted in favor of drastic censorship this morning. Please pay attention to what the people you elected are doing!

COICA stands for “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.” Once again the word “counterfeits” is completely misused: this act has nothing to do with real counterfeiting. The EFF states:

The main mechanism of the bill is to interfere with the Internet’s domain name system (DNS), which translates names like “” or “” into the IP addresses that computers use to communicate. The bill creates a blacklist of censored domains; the Attorney General can ask a court to place any website on the blacklist if infringement is “central” to the purpose of the site.

If this bill passes, the list of targets could conceivably include hosting websites such as Dropbox, MediaFire and Rapidshare; MP3 blogs and mashup/remix music sites like SoundCloud, MashupTown and Hype Machine ; and sites that discuss and make the controversial political and intellectual case for piracy, like, p2pnet, InfoAnarchy, Slyck and ZeroPaid . Indeed, had this bill been passed five or ten years ago, YouTube might not exist today. In other words, the collateral damage from this legislation would be enormous. (Why would all these sites be targets?)

COICA also stands for Censorship Of Internet Communications Act. The acronym is easy to remember because it sounds like CLOACA, with which it shares many similarities.


5 Comments on "The 19 Senators Who Voted To Censor The Internet"

  1. So just to clarify, Al Franken voted in favor of censorship?

    I’m looking for links to verify that — but all I can find are him speaking out in favor of Net Neutrality? Typo, or am I missing something?

    – Alex Rudnick

    1. Oh. Oh geez. He’s on the committee. Sorry I missed that! (I am disappoint 🙁 )

      – Alex Rudnick

  2. 12 Democrats to 7 Republicans – that’s telling.  They’re always meddling – from Happy Meals to censorship!

  3. I already sent Hatch a letter about copyright.  I didn’t get a reply back. 🙁

    Elton J Robb.

  4. I found an interesting question on Wired today:

    “Ever wonder why music costs the same regardless of the artist? Ever wonder why movies cost the same regardless of how popular or how much demand there is to see them? These industries certainly are not milk or gas. They are more like other commodities like clothing and cars where demand sets the price. So why are these items in the entertainment industry priced the same?
    Could it be price fixing? Will Congress investigate whether these industries are involved in price fixing? Whether movie houses are pressured by Hollywood to charge the same price for every movie no matter if the movie stinks or is a blockbuster?
    Funny how that works, isn’t it?”
    — by BenFlorida

    Hmmm, could it be that Hollywood is actually running a cartel and fixing prices?  If so, then the Internet hurts them more than anything.  Could Copyright could have been perverted to support a Monopoly system than the artist?

    Once a law is perverted by those it is supposed to protect, it can no longer function as a just and moral law.