Reality Check: Show Me The Language (Part 1)

lamarsmith2 Reality Check: Show Me The Language (Part 1)
Lamar Smith (R-TX21)

The criticism of this bill is completely hypothetical; none of it is based in reality. Not one of the critics was able to point to any language in the bill that would in any way harm the Internet. Their accusations are simply not supported by any facts.- Lamar Smith to RollCall

Let me be upfront, I’m sure Rep. Smith isn’t a bad guy, and it’s not my intention to attack him or any of the co-sponsors of the SOPA or PIPA bills. (Though, as a MI resident familiar with Mr. Conyers – his wife being a corrupt politician criminal makes it nearly impossible to take him seriously. About anything. Word to Shrek.) However, in the words of that Newt guy, I do reserve the right to tell the truth, even if it’s ugly.

Unfortunately there is so much ugly it’s difficult to find a starting point, so we’ll just jump directly to Smith having the gall to make a statement like: “It’s a vocal minority. Because they’re strident doesn’t mean they’re either legitimate or large in number”  with all the tact and arrogance of a delusional Middle East dictator denying his people are using the internet to coordinate an uprising against him. Am I the only one flashing back to the absurdity of  Baghdad Bob right before pounding my head on the wall in frustration and disgust?

Call me crazy, but it seems like a bad idea to insinuate the vocal group of citizens numbering in the hundreds of thousands who have spoken out by contacting their representatives or utilized the very tool he’s trying to regulate to express their concerns  are illegitimate. Maybe Smith has let 26 years and a gerrymandered district go to his head, but he needs someone to point out to him those same people pay his damn salary. How’s that for a campaign contribution?  There is no other reality check Mr. Smith needs to be issued more important than one reminding him he does not work for Hollywood, he works for and on behalf of the citizens of the United States of America, and he’s way out of line.

Before I get into SOPA and PIPA, let’s go backwards and discuss the language of Pro-IP. Since Mr. Smith is so concerned about the language I’m hoping he can point me to the language in the Pro-IP Act covering criminal forfeiture where it states or even insinuates that it can be used to seize DOMAIN NAMES. That language doesn’t exist, what does exist is broad confusing open ended wording that apparently covers a wide spectrum of things the legislators who passed this bill never considered it could be used for. With all the assurances the bill he co-sponsored back in 2008 wouldn’t be misused coupled with the fact I’m writing this post on a factual representation of its misuse, it seems pretty rich that he’d have the guts to come out talking “show me the language.” Who cares about “language” when it’s written specifically to be vague enough to allow for a free for all?

Lets be honest here: What the worlds population hasn’t caught onto yet (and all the ‘Big Content’ owned versions of Self Serving State TV are not going to tell them) is much of the things in SOPA/PIPA that people are against, the authors and many of the co-sponsors of SOPA/PIPA already snuck into Pro-IP. The internet is already being censored, it’s already being misused, abused, free speech has already been stifled and there has already been collateral damage. All with the same open ended broad definition type language that exists in SOPA/PIPA that they absolutely refuse to narrow down as evidenced by not approving even the most common sense amendments. Many of which would have likely taken away or reduced their ability to misuse Pro-IP.

If Mr. Smith and his colleagues are genuine and sincere, why don’t they show US the language where it specifically states you cannot do all the things everyone is concerned about, make the language clear and concise, and then correct the language in Pro-IP so it can no longer function as the free for all that is already doing everything opponents of SOPA/PIPA are afraid of. Then, perhaps, I can take you somewhat seriously in your position that you believe you are doing the right thing and not just doing the bidding of corporations that bought you lock stock and barrel even at the detriment to your own reputation. One scenario makes you easy to manipulate, but genuine and willing to correct mistakes; the other just makes you corrupt. Pro-IP must be repealed and corrected immediately.

Reality Check: Where in the “language” of PRO-IP does it say you can do this?
IPRC Seized 2010 11 e1325816032685 Reality Check: Show Me The Language (Part 1)

But But But… Rogue Websites… I’ll get into that in Part 2. Stay Tuned.