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Should the U.S. government censor the Internet?
January 18th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Should the U.S. government censor the Internet?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It’s been a Wednesday without Wikipedia and other major websites. As they go dark to protest two anti-piracy bills in Congress, critics say these bills amount to censorship of the Internet.

While Google hasn't shut down, a black rectangle covers its famous logo urging people to "Tell Congress: Please don't censor the web!"

The web-wide protest is in response to the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, in the U.S. House and the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, now pending before the full Senate.

The battle lines are drawn with Hollywood and major media companies, including CNN's parent company, Time Warner, on one side and Silicon Valley on the other.

If the bill passes, copyright holders could seek a court order to force search engines such as Google to remove links to sites that are offering illegal movies, TV shows, songs, etc. The main targets are foreign websites.

But Internet companies worry they could be punished for users' actions. Google says YouTube would have to go dark immediately if the bill passes, saying "it couldn't function."

On the other side, supporters say that online piracy leads to job losses in the U.S. since content creators lose income. They dismiss accusations of censorship, saying that the bills are meant to fix a broken system that doesn't prevent piracy.

Supporters say this bill won't hurt the average Internet user.

Many in the tech world agree that piracy is a real problem, but they worry about the implications of this legislation, fearing that it's a foot in the door that could lead to further government controls.

Meanwhile the bills that were once expected to sail through Congress have hit rough waters. One Senate aide tells CNN that because of the growing protests, the bill might not even make it to a vote.

Here’s my question to you: Should the U.S. government censor the internet?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Bonnie in New Jersey:
The U.S. government is so dysfunctional at this point I don't think it needs to be telling me what I can and cannot see on the internet. I mean, really, censoring the internet, steroids in baseball, bullying... What else can they find to make it look like they are doing something while the country falls apart?

T. in Massachusetts:
Slippery slope alert: Censorship cannot be conditional.

Jon in Alabama:
Jack, Taking someone’s creative work and then selling it to make a profit is wrong. It violates copyright laws. Movies and television productions are protected by case law and legislative statues, but the internet makes it easy to steal these creative works for profit. It should be stopped.

Pete in Florida:
Absolutely NOT. Once again, some politicians and large corporate interests are trying to control our lives. This country is supposed to be free, but is becoming more like commie Russia and pre-WW2 Germany every day. Will the KGB and the Gestapo be kicking in your door some night because you visited the "wrong" websites?

Michael on Facebook:
Wikipedia can't function because most of its content is in violation of copyright materials. It isn't censorship to give the Encyclopedia Britannica and others their day in court. The foot in the door argument is nonsense, since fair use exceptions would still apply, as they do now. The last I checked, the Internet evolved from the need to keep communications infrastructure alive in time of nuclear war. While it is now mostly private, it is simply ignorant to not recognize that it exists within a governmental environment.

Mark in Oklahoma:
They already censor radio, and television. Can't they keep their sticky fingers off my internet? I'm calling Al Gore!

Posted by
Filed under: Congress • Government • Internet • Senate • Senate and Congress
soundoff (243 Responses)
  1. David R Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,Absolutely not !!! If that door is open even a little bit.It will lead to further opening of the doors of censor.So for better or worse,whether I/we agree or not. NO!!!
    David

    January 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  2. David

    i can't help but be sarcastic about this question, but don't you think Congress has done enough damage to this country? The only folks a censored Internet would benefit are the robber barons. Stop SOPA and PIPA! Is Congress trying to drive Americans into a new revolution?

    January 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  3. Jayne in NH

    NO! NO! NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO! The last thing we need is for big corporations to have the ability to shut down a web site without even having a court hearing. If this isn't a danger to freedom of speech, I don't know what is.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  4. Bob D Iowa

    If Rupert Murdoch is in favor of it has to be against the best interest of the nation.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  5. Bill Ontario

    Why does it always seem that the gop party who want all the freedoms for business, want to curtail the freedoms of individuals Could political donations have something to do with it?

    January 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Elizabeth From Toronto

    No but the FBI should. Way too much inaccurate information is placed on the internet that affects people's lives negatively. The people who have been the brunt of the inaccuracies never really gets a chance to clear their names! So yes, monitor and charge people for slander!

    January 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  7. Pete from Florida

    Absolutely NOT. Once again, some politicians and large corporate interests are trying to control our lives. This country is supposed to be free, but is becoming more like commie Russia and pre-WW2 Germany every day. Will the KGB and the Gestapo be kicking in your door some night because you visited the "wrong" websites? Let the Republicans win in 2012 and we can kiss the rest of our freedoms GOD-BYE!

    January 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  8. Bill Kowalchuk, Kitchener Ontario Canada

    America is well known for it's Right to Free Speech. In addition to the right to say what you want to say, you have the right to say it. Can you curtail what a person can say and still give him the right to say it?

    January 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: Taking some ones creative work and then selling it to make a profit is wrong. It violates copyright laws. Movies and television productions are protected by case law and legislative statues, but the internet makes easy to steal these creative works for profit. It should be stopped by technology or by the Justice Department. Sensorship and stealing are two different cans of worms, Jack.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    Only if "we the people" get to vote on what their salaries and benefits should be, commensurate with their abilities and job performance, of course.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  11. Kevin SD CA

    Congress should put the local state and federal government budgets on the internet in a read only, real time format based on Quick Books format. Congress should censor itself!

    January 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  12. Dave Laguna Niguel, CA

    Jack the Constitution say NO

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  13. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    I'm sincerely hoping that we don't let the most dysfunctional body of people in the history of the world (Congress), decide who gets to see what on the Internet. Unless we have voted in a free election to declare ourselves a communist nation (see China), then legislation like SOPA is in itself the largest act of piracy ever committed. And just when I thought Congress couldn't get any lower, they prove to one and all that there are no depths they are incapable of reaching.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  14. Brad, Portland, OR

    No. Not just no, but hell no!

    Not unless you think our role models for freedom should be China, Russia, and Syria.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  15. Ken from Pinon Hills, California

    Isn't that what an Aryan nation does, like the goose steppers over in Europe in the 1930's.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  16. Paul From Austin Texas

    To some extent they should. They are not able to get all the scum that search for "kitty" porn and worse try to get to our kids. That needs to be increased 1,000 persent. As for copy rights they should try to work with agents such as Interpol. If they make it worth the case on a world level then something will happen otherwise forget it.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  17. Tony from Southport

    ABSOLUTELY NOT. The government has it's dirty fingers in our lives ENOUGH! The WORLD WIDE WEB is available to all and should NOT be censored in any way. This is NOT CHINA..... it's the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...... STILL..... and AT THE CURRENT MOMENT.....FREE.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  18. Mel - Houston

    Jack, you're going to have to define censor. If your talking fraud by all means something could be done. However, if people knew a little more about computers besides knowing how to log onto facebook there are sites to report fraud right now. If you're thinking of censoring speech there is an obstical that might cause some problems. It's called the U.S. Constitution. Last do you know how vast the internet is? Trying to censor the internet would be like trying to remove firearms from the American public.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  19. SideTrek

    Slippery slope alert. Censorship cannot be conditional.

    Northampton, MA

    January 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  20. Steve Paul

    Jack the internet needs policing but not untill law enforcement finds a way to police the crooks on-line first. Let's stop the thugs from Georgia who hacked by credit card, who stole money from the lady down the street or the same people in China or the Phillipines who make it so I can't run without several layers of expensive security. Let's fix that first as I'm tired of the dozens of emails I receive daily informing me I've won the GooGoo lottery and after my bank account numbers they will send me the 1 trillion dollars. Fix that first.
    Steve, Nashville, In

    January 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  21. Richard Texas

    Your joking right? Our government can not find it's own butt in the dark with both hands and a flashlight and you think they can censor the internet effectively? Yeah right. I have some swampland I want to show you Jack.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  22. Pete in Georgia

    If the Federal Gov't. ever got involved in internet censorship they would build the world's biggest "Boondoggle" bureaucracy known to mankind, spending BILLIONS and ending up with dismal results.
    Kinda like any other federal wasteland project.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  23. Janne from NC

    Lets look at this from a practical point of view. The government can't effectively take care of the responsibilities it has now, why in the world should it take on anymore ?

    January 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  24. Larry in Houston

    Should the U.S. government censor the internet ?

    Answer : NO

    Earth to Jack ! Earth to Jack !! Earth to Mr. Cafferty, HELLO ?? where are you, on Mars ? or the moon ? or Pluto ?

    JACK – when I was a kid, we were so poor we couldn't pay attention. I remember when I had to walk to the Library to do most of my Homework ! Jack, I'm sure you've heard of "Britannica" "World Book" & "Colliers" haven't You ?
    When I was in school, I've always wished that my parents could afford ANY of those Encyclopedia Sets ! Those things were Hundreds of dollars, back then. (for 1 set) The rich kids had them, but we didn't. And by saying rich, I mean kids with parents that worked in manufacturing, or had a job where they 'clocked in' with their time card, every day.

    After the internet started, and people was starting to buy & Own Computers in their houses, those encyclopedia sets were seen in practically Every Yard Sale, not to mention in all the 2nd hand stores, Jack. I remember seeing them for 5 bucks a set, and nobody would buy them ! Amazing how far we've come as a society, Jack.

    Larry in Houston

    January 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  25. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Negative the U. S Government should not censor the internet but it definitely should monitor it for purposes of ensuring national security. The U.S Government is also charged with a responsibility to monitor and ensure consumer protections relative to national or international violations of domestic and international laws.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  26. Jamie Warren from Placervile

    No. The Web is fast, and free flowing. How can you know if you are hosting a link, that linked a site hosting a unpermitted item. The internet under SOPA would be like living in the Garden of Eden and being told "feel free to populate as long as you don't practice incest."

    January 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  27. bonnie from NJ

    The US government is so dysfunctional at this point I don't think it needs to be telling me what I can and cannot see on the internet. I mean, really, censoring the internet, steroids in baseball, bullying, what other things can they find to make it look like they are doing something while the country falls apart.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  28. Rick McDaniel

    That's like asking if the Congress should kill the internet.

    I don't think you need to ask for that answer.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  29. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think it would be a very dangerous thing to do and would affect our right to free speech. Sensor is a word that is used in China when referring to the Internet. We do not need that here. We pride ourselves as a free nation. I just hope it stays that way.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  30. bud rupert

    My opinion is NO – BUT – Like everthing else, it all depends on who you're talking to. The Piracy argument seems to make sense so if they could compromise (?) on a solution that's probably where it will end up. And Jack let me add regarding this so called grid lock in congress. Most times "delay" is the best course of action. Which is no action. Example: They rammed prohibition through and it took for ever to get it overturned.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  31. Bill of New Mexico

    No!

    Congress ruins everything.

    That's what's wrong with the Post Office.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  32. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    Ask youself teh question, "Are we safer than we were ten years ago? The answer is probably yes. And this anti-piracy bill will make us safer yet.

    Now ask yoursefl if you are freer than you were ten years ago. The answer is probably no.

    Security and freedom do not seem to be mutually inclusive. It's a teeter-totter. Balance is difficult to achieve. I would lean toward more freedom and less security. Not everyone agrees.

    The decision we have to make between these two issues is probaly more important than the decision we will make for whom we want the president to be in November.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  33. Karl in Flint

    This is like illegal immigration. We have existing laws but no one enforces them but think new laws will cure the ills. Sorry folks but go after the poster of copyrighted material and punish them, notify the offending site to remove it and leave the rest of the internet alone. This will just encourage the already too crazy ultra conservatives to sue to get anything not in their bible removed. Enough is enough.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
  34. William

    If passed as is, the bill would have ripples worldwide that could facilitate the enacting of even more sever laws. The bill is only in the interest of the Media Corporations and will hurt the everyday guy. Pirates will find a way, they always do, just as criminals outside the IT world still endure to this day; this bill will mainly affect the people that actually BUY the product and use the content as intended. People that do not understand how something works should not attempt to redesign/correct it's flaws; they only end up creating more.

    Piracy is a problem; switching to North Korea mode isn't the solution. That'd be like killing a bee hive with a nuclear weapon.

    January 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  35. John B.

    Somebody writes a book and they make money. Somebody else makes it into a big screen movie and they make money. Then somebody else sells the movie on a DVD and they make money. Then somebody puts the movie on tv for a pay-for-view fee and they make money. I say leave the internet alone and let the pirates do whatever they do. There are already too many people making money off the same thing.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  36. Larry -Denver

    Is not internet part of free speech? magazines? newspapers, books? Sensor those? What era is our government living in? pre- constitution? Can't we just concentrate on the really important issues? ECONOMY, JOBS and our place in world? We spend much to much time on this sensorship folly and nothing on wars, economy jobs and the future of this country. Will we ever learn?

    January 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  37. Ted

    No but there should be tools to keep our children safe and keep criminal activity in check. While this country has given up many of our rights under the ideal of safety we need to be cautious of becoming less free in the name of someone telling us what is safe for us or not. Every adult has a responsibility to keep their child safe and law enforcement has to have the tools to take action when criminal activity at any level creates a harm for individuals.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  38. RickFromDetroit

    1st Amendment: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of the Press. This is a part of the Constitution that is not obsolete after 200 years, and does not interfere with the modern day society like other provisions such as carrying firearms in public.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  39. Shirley , Illinois

    Jack, this is the same bunch that just wrote NDAA – and we are to trust them with the internet? I think not. This government heeds to keep their sticky fingers off the internet!

    January 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  40. MNResident

    I'll agee to the government's censorship of the internet when the government can censor CNN, as well. Be careful what you advocate for, Mr. Cafferty. It may just hit you and your business in the cross fire.....

    January 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  41. Ruth from Indianapolis

    No! No! Regardless of the good intentions of some people, the power will end up being used for political purposes and by corporations who want to prevent alternative views from being aired.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  42. David in Tampa

    Why not. Free speech is a myth. You can't yell fire in a crowded theater. Some things are best left unsaid anyway. Just as long as I can shoot my mouth off on your blog and not have the FBI or police haul me away at 2 in the morning all is well in Mudville.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  43. Peter

    Just another example of the U.S. trying to be the world's police.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  44. Pappy

    Where's the common sense needed to strengthen and remedy the sections of these bills
    that are repugnant to those that don't want the internet censored? Finally some of the anti- fed crowd
    are bemoaning that which affects us all – personal privacy.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  45. Ed from MD

    No, it just needs more cowbell. Oops, can I get in trouble for saying that?

    January 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  46. Bob in Kansas City

    Should the U.S. government censor the internet?
    ----------------------
    No, they'll screw it up like most everything else they lay their hands on, you know-fix one problem and creating three more.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  47. Tom Newman

    Storrs, CT

    The United States Government has absolutely no right to censor the internet, nor any other medium of information, for that matter. Copyright violations that this bill attempts to curve should be handled as they have been for the entire history of this country: by the courts. These atrocious bills violate the founding principle of separation of power by shifting the responsibility of JUDGING whether or not something violates copyright law to the executive. The thought of this bill becoming law makes me cringe.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  48. BILL, WI

    It took the White House some time to come to their senses in opposing this piece of legislation. Especially since it was authored by a Liberal Democrat with notable Liberal Senators on board as co-authors for this legislation.

    Does anyone remember the White House attempt back in 2009 when this very White House tried to keep Fox News from breifings. It was not until they tried to keep Fox from attending a breifing with Kenneth Feinberg that ABC, CBS and NBC called that censorship that the White House backed down. I guess you can say lesson learned.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  49. Jenna Roseville CA

    Should the U.S. government censor the internet?

    Heck NO!!!!!

    If people are stealing off the internet then this tells me that they don't have the proper firewalls to protect themselves and that is NOT my problem but theirs. They need to fix that themselves NOT censor us..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  50. Paul P.

    Absolutely not. After reading some of the articles in this bill, the powers afforded the courts are way too overreaching and are much akin to killing a mosquito with a steam roller. Just because we all back fighting online piracy doesn't mean we have to accept the end of free exchange of information online, all in the name of making Hollywood more money. Doesn't sound to me like the principles America was founded on.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  51. Phil

    I don't disagree that piracy is an issue, because it is. But honestly if it didnt cost 15 or 20 dollars to own a cd or movie, piracy wouldn't be a huge issue. The biggest reason people download media illegally is due to the fact that they can't afford or feel overcharged, look at iTunes, $1.29 just for one song, no wonder why half the nation is in major debt.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  52. Robby Barbarian

    No!Jack Once again big brother wants to regulate what we read,see and say. Enough is enough!

    January 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  53. Dan5404

    Jack, all the internet companies complaining can do what broadcast stations, theatres, live venues, etc. do, pay a blanket fee to cover whatever may be posted on their sites. The government is right to go after people that steal copyrighted works. Hundreds of thousands of artists, musicians writers and actors make a living by selling their talents and products. It is downright stealing to take their product without their permission and then post ifor everyone to share, free of charge. If you want books, recordings, movies and artistic works to go away, just steal the profits that pay the people thayt create them. After all, I think many of these sites can certainly pay a reasonable amount to allow their use. It's no different than stealing products from your local store and giving them away or selling them.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  54. Paul - North Carolina

    No, the government should not censor the internet. But how does protecting creative artists form having their work pirated by low life parasites constitute censorship? This is just more right wing paranoia about government regulation. In a sane world those bills would pass without objection.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  55. Randy

    Yes, the regular people are starting to use the Internet for information and not just posting lewd pictures of themselves on Facebook. The next thing you know they'll try and actually organize a real campaign to take America back from the phony two party bribefest by the rich and corporations. Can't have that.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  56. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    NO not EVER!!! media companies already have legal recourse against pirates without "Bug Brother" getting involved.

    I'm VERY suprised any so called 'Tea Party" congress people would would support this. IF they DO, it just shows that THEY are a bunch of hypocritical sellouts to the Media lobby.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  57. Jk from Minnesota

    They should not be allowed to. Especially after watching their behavior this past year. For a group of people so worried about the government sticking theirr nose into people's lives, they've tried to do a pretty good job of doing just that very thing.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  58. rebelwa

    Oops. Should have posted name and location. Jon in Fort Worth

    Everything ██████ ███ ███████ ██ is █████ ████ ██ ██████ ███ fine. The █████ ███████ ████ Government ██████ ████ knows █████ █████ ███ best █████

    This comment has been found in violation of H.R. 3261, S.O.P.A and has been removed.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  59. MARK, OKLAHOMA CITY

    They already censor radio, and television. Can't they keep their sticky fingers off my internets! I'm calling Al Gore!

    January 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  60. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Wikipedia can't function because most of its content is in violation of copyright materials. It isn't censorship to give the Encyclopeida Britannica and others their day in court. The foot in the door argument is non-sense, since fair use exceptions would still apply, as they do now. The last I checked, the Internet evolved from the need to keep communicagtions infrastructure alive in time of nuclear war. While it is now mostly private, it is simply ignorant to not recognize that it exists within a governmental environment.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  61. John

    Jack

    Of course not!

    Big media conglomerates are lazy! Instead of innovating and creating new ways to distribute content in this new environment they throw money at congress and the president to quietly pass these laws like they did with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012. But it didn't work. Our voices are raised in the American way of protest and now these bills are "hitting rough waters" as you stated.

    So I say to those media companies and the government, don't get lazy. Be American and innovate. It is what makes us great. Only when we get lazy (see NDAA 2012 and the Patriot Act for examples of government laziness in action) do we fall backward and hurt ourselves as a country. After all Jack, aren't we better than this?

    John E.
    San Jose, CA

    January 18, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  62. Nate NC

    Because the internet is highly visible, people can see the immorality of others. Since Americans tend to compare the limits of who they can be by what others currently are or are doing, they perpetuate the increase of accepting online piracy. Censorship is a band-aid to the true problem of society lacking the American ethics and morals we once believed in and practiced.

    January 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  63. Kim From WV

    Wake up America, it's censorship. What's next? Lock us up for saying we don't like our government? State run t.v. and newspapers? Don't like my music, put me in jail? Where does it end?

    January 18, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  64. Sandstone.

    "As a writer I need these webb-sites every day, and most of what you have on your webb was built by the world and not just the USA. It's the last time I'll ever try to help your sites."

    January 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  65. Jose Correa

    When you give large companies the right to censor sites with no overview you give them the right to bully small enterprise. The people are speaking will the government listen have we truly lost our freedoms or are the lobbyists voices the only ones heard?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  66. Gigi Oregon

    The older the U.S. becomes... the more freedoms we lose.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  67. Stella-Northern New York

    Hello Jack. Anything Congress is involved in to censor anything means "big money" has put a lot of cash in the pockets of our representatives once again for the benefit of (Special Interests) in other words Lobbyists. One of the promoters behind this is Chris Dodd of Connecticut. That should open your eyes. I'm a democrat and I don't mind saying he was one of the biggest "CROOKS"in the Democratic Party while he served in Washington. His decision not to seek re-election,thank goodness,cleaned out at least "one rotten bum" from our party. You and I have about 10 good honest representatives from all parties who really do work for us,the people. All of the others are CROOKS!!!!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  68. Nancy, Tennessee

    The internet serves so many functions and like everything else there are always those who would exploit a good thing. The government can't even control the thugs on the street corners selling drugs. How do they propose to control the Internet? Maybe Al Gore can sit behind a desk and monitor the traffic and see who downloads a song for free. Afterall he takes credit for creating it.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  69. Christopher Brown

    In my opinion the government shouldn't censor the internet. piracy can be a problem, but to what extent, lots of people download games/music illegally just to try it to see if they like it, if they don't it's usually deleted, if they do a percentage of them will actually go buy the album/game. you can't expect everyone to shell out $20 for a CD just to say "that was crap" or even $50+ for a game. just because it's 50 POTENTIAL sales, doesn't mean it would be 50 sales, because if people can't afford the game, they're not gonna buy it in the first place. but if they download the game, love it, and save some money to buy it, then the company gained a sale because of the piracy. just saying..

    January 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  70. Ron from NEBR.

    The government (congress) should make it a #1 priority to censor itself before trying to censor anything else. They have an answer for every thing that has to do with their welfare. Its time they get to their real jobs and quit messing with the rights of the people of the U.S.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  71. andyz Lynn, MA

    Jack, can you think of anything regulated by the government that is worthwhile and working as designed? Probably not. Imagine government control of the internet and trying to demonstrate against the government. Would all of the protest sites, "Occupy," have formed up? This is the first step toward Orwell's nightmare, "1984."

    January 18, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  72. Charles - San Antonio

    As a former goverment employee, I know first hand how much time is wasted by goverment employees surfing the internet. Let's just take the internet away from our goverment. They don't need it and spend way too much time trying to figure out ways regulate it.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  73. Jim-Charlotte NC

    We spend our time telling the rest of the world how to live their lives so why not tell them what they can and cannot say or see on the Internet.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  74. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Let all of the smut go forward and let vulgarity and nudity run free on TV and internet. It is after all an indication of our society. So keep the Government out of our lives in all areas.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  75. Ray in Knoxville

    No, Jack , censorship of the internet is much like book burning.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  76. Jeff

    This bill is bad news. America should be a leader and not follow the likes of China and Iran and censor the internet.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  77. Derek

    This SOPA is a joke and will never pass, sorry CNN, I know you support it but you are going to lose this battle.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  78. Will

    All I have to say is that the internet should be free from any control or censorship of any kind. The web is a beautiful anarchy and it should stay that way. Piracy is an essential counterbalance to the corporate wealth powerhouse and allows people access to entertainment and services they would normally never be able to afford. Proponents for SOPA and PIPA complain that the movie Avatar was stolen by millions yet it still found a way to be the highest grossing movie of all time. Piracy has skyrocketed the past few years because people can't afford to pay 30 dollars for a Blu-ray or 10 dollars for a single movie ticket but still want to enjoy entertainment. These bills are just an example of greed in it's purest form.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  79. Dan S

    ████ ██ █ ████ everything ███ █████ is █████ ████ ████ fine ████ ███ █ ██████ love █████ ██████ ███ your █████ ████ government.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  80. John, Tulsa OK

    Sure! it's working out pretty well for China.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  81. Patrick

    Censor the internet and the whole US will collapse. Enough said.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  82. Daniel - NYC

    In two words: HELL NO.

    Is this what we want? Big government arbitrarily making decisions on what we should be able to do and see on the Internet? The problem is that existing laws aren't being enforced. This goes too far and punishes people who have done nothing wrong.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  83. Pete from Florida

    Famous, and correct, old saying: "There is no problem that the United States Congress cannot make worse.".

    January 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  84. Jamie

    This question could not have a more obvious answer. Should the UNITED STATES government CENSOR anything? No. We are meant to be a bastion of democracy and freedom of information for the world. The internet is our gift to that world, giving them greater access to information and freedom of speech, and escape from repressive regimes. And now the U.S. government wants to become one of those repressive regimes? I will have none of it. These bills are terrible and I'm glad the president has the sense not to support them.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  85. Brian

    No way. Government needs to stay away from the internet!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  86. Mike

    Absolutely not. The people that are voting on this issue have no idea how the internet works and are only influenced by the large amounts of money the entertainment industry is throwing at Congress to get this thing passed.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  87. Jackson Wilson WI

    I agree entirely with one of the previous post, the last thing we need is government involvement in our interent use and the ability to just completely shut down a website. DO NOT CENSOR THE INTERNET!!!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  88. tyler

    NO! under no circumstances should the internet ever be influenced or reshaped or censored by any government!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  89. Anaya Kiraly

    It's called the "World Wide Web," *not* the United States "Web." Anyone can travel outside of this country, if only to the Bahamas, and find pirated copies. Twitter sparked global revolutions. Want to be left out of that news, too?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  90. James

    Of course the government should not censor the internet, but that's far from the best argument against SOPA. SOPA will undermine the DNSSEC system which keeps the Domain Name System secure. Without it, we could never be sure we'll get to the websites we want!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  91. Dave Koch

    Protecting the rights of copyright owners with #SOPA and #PIPA is like trying to cure a deadly disease by building more cemeteries.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  92. Ed. H.

    When did our government turn into China?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  93. Harrison

    Jack, government has no legal or moral right to censor anything said, in any format, whatsoever. This entire idea is a joke, as is the rest of this pathetic system. We need a massive overhaul in government and there is only one person who is representing real change. Ron Paul has the answers, as did our Founders all those years ago. Leave people alone to do what they deem best and stay out of the way. The intellectual revolution is taking place online and people are realizing the truth, hence why the State is trying to limit it.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  94. James -- Columbus

    Hasn't this been done before? Why yes, it has - In Chavez' Venezuela ! Lord help us if we ever think that this is a good idea.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  95. Thomas M. of Wisconsin

    Jack that is like asking if we should give up the second amendment. Look at what happened: the outcry was enormous. People refused to rest until they got their points out. The only difference is that if we had to give up the second amendment, it would cause the next civil war.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  96. Clarisse

    Absolutly not, it's a violation of the First Amendment

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  97. Peter

    The government does so poorly at administering current programs (SSA, farm subsidies, foreign aid, etc), it is hard to believe they could 'censor' the internet effectively.

    And the government does not belong in the censorship business!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  98. Charley Limani

    No!The internet was build by the people we do not need big companies buying off political figures and telling them what to do supporting these bills is going against what america is about.People in North Korea have controlled internet and the last time i checked that was a communist country

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  99. Dan- Ontario Canada

    As a young person I take interest in world affairs because these things affect my future, if this bill passes in the States it will obviously serve it's purpose but I also see this as a tool for censoring sites that oppose the views of the American government, we all tend to forget that government means "Control the Mind" in Latin. Freedom of speech and expression is the greatest tool any citizen can have- online or in real life and this bill seems like it is shutting that down

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  100. Jamie - Newport Beach, CA

    This question could not have a more obvious answer. Should the UNITED STATES government CENSOR anything? No. We are meant to be a bastion of democracy and freedom of information for the world. The internet is our gift to that world, giving them greater access to information and freedom of speech, and escape from repressive regimes. And now the U.S. government wants to become one of those repressive regimes? I will have none of it. These bills are terrible and I'm glad the president has the sense not to support them.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  101. RandyName*

    Yes, the government should censor the internet. Freedom of speech doesn't mean you are free to shoplift.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  102. Roch

    Yes, Jack. If it's good enough for China and Iran, it's good enough for the good ol' U.S. of A. Right?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  103. Randall

    The US government should certainly not censor the internet. I agree that this act would punish big search engines, such as google, for user's action and set the groundwork for possibly other frightening bills. Can you say "Big Brother?"

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  104. Rick

    Free education and a path to enlightenment cut off at the expense of copyright laws the government cannot control? Sounds an awful lot like the way North Korea and many other demented world powers, i.e., communist, socialists and Nazis, solve, and/or, solved problems

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  105. Jeff, PA

    This doesn't just affect the United States but this really affects the world as well! These are US based companies that work on a worldwide scale! Youtube, Google, Reddit, and ect these companys can all be held responsable for the act of its user's. Are car makers held responsable when drivers crash their own cars? No, how is this any different

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  106. BillK

    No , This measure is backed by the media and entertainment companies, as well as labor groups and manufacturing industries, including pharmaceutical companies seeking to stop counterfeit drug marketers. That's all fine and dandy for these mega-companies but when the little people asked the gov't to help with the ever increasing identity theft , they can't find the time or solutions for this .

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  107. Zack

    No, piracy is a major issue but there are some things the government should not touch, and our freedom to surf the web as we please is one of them.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  108. Roch

    Yes, Jack. If it's good enough for China and Iran, it's good enough for the good ol' U.S. of A. Right?

    Greensboro, NC

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  109. Mackenzie

    The Internet should absolutely NOT be censored. As a high school student, my school's Internet is censored for content. It's a bother, but we understand it's the rule. Although the Internet would be considered interstate commerce, and Congress could therefore decide on it, I strongly believe that censoring the Internet would be a violation of our natural right of freedom.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  110. Jennifer

    This comment has been found in violation of H.R. 3261, S.O.P.A and has been removed.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  111. kathy

    Are we now taking cues from China? Are we going to have the great firewall next?

    While everyone has the right to their intellectual property, Congress can't seem to do the job they have, and really Jack, do you think they understand the internet??? This is what the legal system is for.

    Even my husband, an intellectual property attorney, says that this bill will only hurt the little guy. With this bill, independent websites will be shut down without any evidence of infringement, and will not have the money to defend themselves.

    Tell Congress to worry about doing their jobs, and keep their hands off of things they don't understand.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  112. Stephen Light

    Jack -

    Steve Jobs solved this problem a decade ago when he set up iTunes. It works, why break it?

    stv

    January 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  113. ryan

    NO. As stated previously this will only drive the American population into a whole new revolution. Occupy Wall Street? That was a protest on a small scale compared to the ramifications this censorship would create. "Land of the Free"

    January 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  114. rita nalette

    SOPA PIPA trust congress? shirley you jest! these are the same people who profit from insider trading and don't play nice with each other. i don't trust them. they'll either Christmas tree the bills or word them to permit censorship

    January 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  115. Bob in Texas

    No. SOPA is another example of how the government wants to stop crime by attacking the innocent. If people are committing crimes, then go after the criminals. Censuring the internet will just drive the criminals to take a different tack while punishing those of us who have nothing to do with the crime in the first place. It's the lazy way for government to do its job.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  116. Bob

    I'm tired of hearing that Hollywood or some other business is "losing money" because of this or that. They aren't LOSING money, they're just maybe not making more than they already are... and they're paying lower effective tax rates than I am. PIPA and SOPA are pure CACA!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  117. Ben

    Here is how destructive SOPA would be. Lamar Smith, the congressman who is one of the originators of the bill had a background picture on his own Web site of a landscape. That was a copyrighted picture and he did not get the usage rights to post that picture. Under SOPA, he would be required to take down his entire Web site for doing that. Even the bill's own sponsors can't adhere to the restrictions in the bill. This is what happens when you have people making decisions about the Internet who are gleefully ignorant about how it works.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  118. youngrepublican

    No the internet is one of the only forms of uncensored information available to the general public, it has already and continues to change the world. Censorship allows those in power to shape that change into their best interests. The entertainment industry needs to get inovative and deal with their own problems, not go running to the government with cash and complaints.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  119. John

    It won't fix the problem. This bill ends up tampering with the established architecture of the internet. Even if the DNS is blocked we can still type in the IP address of the blocked site and access it anyway! And then there is the TOR network and undernet. The legislation is futile.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  120. Octavian

    Stop referring to the lawyers and executives who are lobbying for SOPA/PIPA/COICA/ACTA as "content creators". Writers, actors, musicians, photographers, video editors, etc. are the content creators, not the suits who sign their paychecks. If their creations are pirated, they will still find a way to get paid for their talents – the lawyers and executives, being talentless, are the ones who are screaming the loudest because in the reshuffling of the world, they're left out in the cold.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  121. Loren

    Well, the government certainly couldn't control the message on this bill, so how could they control the message on the internet? The proposal isn't censorship, but what's being asked for its IP protection either. Good idea, bad solution, take it back to the drawing board.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  122. Greg M

    All forms of censorship are wrong, including that of the internet. This is not China, Iran or the Soviet Union of the 1970s. The internet has done more to advance educational opportunities, free speech, access to opportunities and commerce than any other creation of the past 100 years. Free Speech, means no censorship...internet included.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  123. jay blasko watebury ct

    NO, just one more example of the arrogance of the federal government trying to censor and control the "world" wide web, they already censor television, music, education, diet, what's next? Book burning? We all know where that leads, when does it stop?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  124. Carl in San Diego

    Just two words come to mind Jack....."Pandora's Box"

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  125. Ken

    These two bills will give the government and the organizations that back it the power to get rid of whatever THEY do not like or approve of. we are not China... IF companies do not want their content stolen then they need to secure it better. Most of the time the content tha gets out is from their own employees... perhaps they need to be more responsible for their own self, and not worry about what other people do. These bills MUST be defeated.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  126. Tony

    Of course not! Congress is the biggest waste of taxpayers money, what we need to do as a whole is get rid of congress all completely, we're making these bunch of old guys millionaires for making stupid decisions and making ridiculous laws. It is time the government (congress) starts dealing with real important issues in our country like our economy, the poor, and employment. Those are the important issues happening today, that is what they need to be focusing on right now.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  127. James

    For Google to talk about censorship when they went to the Chinese mainland and excepted Chinese authority of certain content is rather like the pot calling the kettle black....if a big corporation was to steal your idea or creative endeavor we would all scream. No difference....people are stealing under the cover of "1st amendment rights".

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  128. Alex - Manalapan, NJ

    I agree – Piracy is a huge issue that hurts the media industry. However, SOPA/PIPA, while as silent as the government tried to make it, hurts the Internet, which is surely bigger than the media industry. It's the people's work that should never be silenced. The "bigwigs" of the economy have absolutely no right to be handed over the key to the "switch rooms" of the Internet to censor anything they do not like.

    Next thing you know, the Internet may be stripped away of any freedom of speech. Your (the viewers' and Internet users') words may not matter because they'll be blacked out because of the government and the media companies.

    Nobody owns the Internet. Nobody should EVER own the Internet. Nobody and nothing.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  129. Michael - Bloomington, IN

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the party in favor of limiting the size and scope of federal government now want to add policing the internet to its jurisdiction? Just like the party that wanted to preserve subsidies and tax breaks for oil companies couldn't figure out how to pay for a payroll tax cut extension for millions of working Americans? The hypocrisy never ends, and it usually points in the direction of their largest campaign donors.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  130. Tom K. From Beverly Hills

    Jack,
    Media companies in the US are being ripped off by all of this illegal downloading. I think the government should have a role in shutting the door on piracy, largely from China and abroad. It doesn't mean that they will shut down YouTube etc...these concerns about the average internet browser being shut down have been seriously overblown! Sadly, the Occupy Movement is behind the protesting of this bill. They want everything for free even if it means artists and companies will lose money and jobs. Ironic isn't it? What's wrong with going after these pirates?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  131. Jamie Helton

    What this boils down to is major corporations (Time Warner, Fox, Disney, etc.) wanting to protect their interests and using Congress to bully the little guy. Piracy is a big problem, but creating laws that may lead to a crippling effect on the Internet is not the way to fight it. If a website conducting piracy exists in the U.S., there are already legal ways that a company can get it shut down; however SOPA and PIPA supporters think these laws will stop foreign sites. All that will happen is that U.S. access will be curtailed, but it won't stop worldwide piracy. The other effect will be that individuals who run websites within our country will be run over by the big guys. The Internet will no longer be a free medium of expression of ideas because now the government will be able to shut down anything that may be perceived as copyright infringement–which constitutes a broad range of what exists online.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  132. Levi

    Athens Ohio

    No, censoring the internet would be just the same as censoring our freedom of speech. If computer savvy people want something thats blocked or hidden badly enough, they'll find a way to get it. Its not if they would get it, but when

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  133. Ethan-Florida

    Absolutely not. These bills, SOPA and PIPA are just like censorship bills in China and just as dangerous as the National Defense Authorization Act. It would effect free speech in a huge way, because the US government could just shut down websites of the people who oppose their policies. We are on the way to being just like Nazi Germany,the former Soviet Union and North Korea. They are turning our country into Orwell's 1984. I have one line by Padme Amidala from Star Wars if these pass, "and so this is how liberty dies, with a thunderous applause."

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  134. Ross

    NO, the Government should NOT have the power to censor the internet. The SOPA and PIPA legislation are horribly broad and under-defined, and would DESTROY jobs rather than creating them. It would make the internet LESS secure by discouraging internet providers from supporting DNS protocols that aren't compatible with the legislation requirements.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  135. Ben

    Once again congress is using smoke and mirrors to distract Americans. Instead of trying to fix major issues concerning our economy

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  136. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    People neeed not worry about the intentions or spookyness on the part of our government because the people have a history of not worrying, like for example over the Patriot Act (still in place), now there's a piece of legislative art. It is probably true that we "Ain't seen nothin yet", Ron Paul, or "that's all" folks !

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  137. Rich, Vancouver WA

    Absolutely not! The Supreme Court ruled that money is speech and corporations are people, so let us have the Internet free and clear of any censorship. We shouldn't have to be like Oliver Twist, asking Congress, "Please sir, may we have more?" Congress needs to play the Dickensonian role. Not the other way around

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  138. DrG

    This law sounds like it is a little too far reaching. Who will decide what is removed and what is allowed. Is this a job creator because all of these sites will need to be examined by someone. Agree with protecting someone's creation but this sounds like overkill.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  139. Tim

    No. Piracy is an issue but as iTunes has proven, there are legitimate ways to purchase content online. As a side note, how come every few months, a Hollywood blockbuster breaks the record of a previous blockbuster?... If piracy were rampant, wouldn't box office totals be going in the opposite direction?? Don't hurt the entire community for a small portion of rogue sites.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  140. Jaime

    NO WAY! The Internet is an almost completely unregulated Market. We have ALL enjoyed this! The Internet is the best way to espouse free market principles to our generation!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  141. Chris

    No Jack, the GOVT should not censor the internet. Hollyweird and the media do not run things around here, we the people do!!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  142. Kimberly

    Absolutely not! it is the most streamline and effective tool for the freedom of dissenting opinions. Take the internet, you take our voice and connection to one another. The days of protesting down at City Hall are no longer permitted without aggression from police. What's next? This is "effed" up. Can't say the "F- word can I? Don't curse in public, don't express yourself, and don't do it from the privacy of your home on a tool you pay monthly to have the service of using. Where are we? I thought I was a citizen IN the United States of America!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  143. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    The government should never censor anything. But if they were to do so, then they should censor politicians who lie and distort the truth.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  144. John Green

    NO! The government has ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS CENSORING THE INTERNET. Tell the stinking lobiest pushing this garbage. To ROT IN llll. THIS IS NOT RUSSIA, CHINA ETC. ETC. ETC.. This is the United States of America. Who do they think they are?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  145. Rick Horvath

    I produce a surf music radio show which is syndicated worldwide. I grab most of my audio content from Youtube. Although I provide a cue sheet for my syndicates the show is also offered on iTunes and RSS, both of which would have to be stopped if this bill passes since there is no way to pay the song writers from a podcast. Maybe podcasts in general will have to cease being?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  146. Daniel

    No. Giving congress that kind of power would be dangerous. Someone would try to abuse it eventually.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  147. Richard Martin

    No!!!!! The Internet should never be censored!

    And I am a musician – with sound files that may be stolen, and have been stolen; yet one cannot solve these issues by censorship. Censorship always leads (eventually) to an imbalance of 'power', and then to abuses of power. This must never be allowed.....no matter what!
    History is full of 'abuses of power' due to censorship. The only way that the World and it's information can be free is to have total freedom of the Internet.

    Richard/Canada

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  148. Thom Richer

    Although this is more a moral and ethical issue, neither will have an influence on censorship one way or another. In truth, the only thing that will determine censorship is money. I do believe we are morally and ethically bankrupt so consequently we will never do the right thing if left unchecked by someone or something. We have so skewed the Freedom of Speech Amendment that it is has no real meaning of any moral or ethical consequence and is used merely for selfish personal, financial, political and religious agendas. Some sane control must be applied. We have gone beyond self control.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  149. Eric in Los Angeles

    NO!! Under no circumstances should the government be permitted to censor the Internet, and this is a weak and feeble bill in the first place. Ultimately their arguement that they're losing money to criminals is absurd to the point of lunacy simply because the people who illegally downloaded or watched a movie or tv show were never going to pay in the first place. When Dodd used 21 million illegal downloads of Avatar, that just means there were 21 million people too cheap to pay to see the movie. Lest we forget, in most of the developing world going to the movies is a cost prohibitive luxury.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  150. Davis

    While pracy is undenibly a serious problem,neither corporations nor the government can simply disreguard the first amendment because it doesn't fit a business model.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  151. Amarah Whittington

    No the government shouldn't try to sensor whats out on the internet! Anything good or entertaining would be blocked by this stupid bill, and it's obviously just another way the government is trying to control what people can and can't do!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  152. Adam-Cornell University

    If the government is allowed to censor the internet, well Jack, I suppose you'd be looking for a new segment. Since the Cafferty File raises controversial questions by which "we the people" respond through use of the internet... Get real. This isn't North Korea!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  153. Kevin Aubie

    This is just another example of the US wanting to police the world and frankly it sickens me to think the US congress feels it has the right to introduce legislation which will impact citizens around the world. America does not own the internet.

    Whether it be this issue, Keystone XL, or most of the rest of the world's problems, they all boil down to the same cause, corporate greed is out of control, and the corrupt politicians are their enablers. People need to wake the hell up.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  154. Linda in Arizona

    Ask the Chinese.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  155. Roy

    This attempt to regulate the Internet has nothing to do with "saving jobs". This Bill is one more attempt to regulate YOUR PROTESTS and shut the people up by one day being able to flip the "off switch" to the Internet. Pose this question to those that used the Internet to organize and protest in Egypt.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  156. Jake Lunn - Missouri

    SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act and is dangerous, ineffective, and short-sighted. The Government has shown us many times that they know absolutely nothing about the Internet, and here they are trying to censor it. While piracy may be a very real issue that needs to be dealt with, you need the proper tools and approach before you can. We are not China, we don't censor our citizens.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  157. Rob

    Jack, this is a democracy. So we all know it will boil down to who/ who's lobby can pay the most, to the right legislators. It's the American way.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  158. Davis

    While piracy is undenibly a serious problem,neither corporations nor the government can simply disreguard the first amendment because it doesn't fit a business model.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  159. Sandstone.

    "Yes Jack, I was awake at 3:30 this morning ands read your N/Y Times about this, and I left about three messages on Wolfs Blog wbhen I tried to access this site, and a couple of others to do with other writing information."

    January 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  160. Chrispy in San Franscisco

    Government censoring the internet is a like a bicycle cop trying to pull people over on the freeway. The pure logistics of it are impossible. Good luck to them. lol.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  161. John in WI

    This is not only a dangerous foot in the door for further govt intrusion, but it's a lazy blanket style policy. A blanket that will kill innocent or at least harmless sites. The actual police have to track down actual criminals individually, let the movie companies do the same.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  162. Lee

    You're answer is in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    "...Abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people to peaceably to assemble..." What is Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube? Speech. What is CNN.com, DailyBeast, AOL, etc.? Press. Why did the Arab Spring happen? People peaceably assembly, in the digiverse. The internet embodies the 1st amendment so it should it really be censored? The Constitution forbids it, no matter the excuse.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  163. justin

    NOOOOO!!!! movie and entertainment industries are making more money than they have in history!!!! and they say there going to cut jobs over internet piracy? WHAT A JOKE YOU 1%ERS CAN BURN IN YOU KNOW WHAT

    January 18, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  164. Ousman Trawally

    This do nothing congress of my time,trying to close another gateway to our economic again.We are free world now we going against free ideas (technology) Why

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  165. BillK

    No , one of the problems I have with the SOPA and PIPA bills is WHO determines what is to be in laymens terms , censored ? If the Federal Government has anything to do with this , we will soon add another dozen Czars to the ever ending list of worthless and incompatent government agencies .

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  166. Eren

    No, of course we have to stop piracy, and all of the illegal content on the internet, but we need freedom and privacy of what we do on the web, and especially to the people who don't download all of the illegal content that is out there. Why should the government stop liberty?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  167. Jay G

    Just like the "Disney Vs. Betamax" Supreme Court Case when the industry claimed video-recorders had to be forbidden because people taping shows would destroy the industry. A just world would not allow the entertainment industry to profit from DVD's which would be illegal if they had won the case. Google should censor the evildoers like NBC right off its search engine and see how they like censorship.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  168. AL or AL-E-CAT

    Personally as I see it , this is about CENSORSHIP . It will start here and go who knows where ?? The Arab Spring would not have happened and FB and Twitter would have been shut down . Some in our country would love to censor us in the US . They would put a spin on it as illegal downloading and soon it will be all out of the government don't like it then ban it .

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  169. Nancy Rayner

    Absolutly no censorship for copyright material. When I held 3 US Trademarks, I had to diligently protect them myself. The US government does not police for trademarks or patent infringements. Why should they protect copyright material? What's wrong with copyright owners searching the Internet themselves and issuing "cease and desist" requests to the individuals infringing. Leave the hosts of material alone!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  170. Gary-San Antonio

    answer: no

    I would think there are other ways to deal with piracy. There is no doubt in my mind that taking such a measure would in time lead to other controls concerning the freedom of use on the internet. There are other areas that need better regulation such as protection of the environment; not the internet.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  171. Bonnie Faye

    HELL NO!! It will be the beginning of the end! We would become no different than China! And, it is ridiculous! It comes down to money. And, there is no way that people who are selling and bartering on CL (craigslist) are making a profit. They are making ends meet! They companies that seem to be having an issue are the ones that are simply SCARED that "WE THE PEOPLE" are taking care of OURSELVES. WE WILL BE NO DIFFERENT THAN CHINA AND EVERY OTHER CENSORED NATION IN THE WORLD! V FOR VENDETTA IS BECOMING MORE OF A REALITY

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  172. Tommy James

    NO NO NO The senators and congressmen get bribe money for pushing new bills into law ! Millions of dollars from Hollywood. With sopa pasted it would not take long for Hollywood to attack there competition or enemies and buy more censorship. The government would use sopa to censor protest like this blackout.

    The internet is the last free speech the world has. Many don't want to protest in the streets for fear of being beaten and tear gassed while they try peacefully exercise there right to free speech.

    NO NO NO do not pass these laws.... (SOPA) (PIPA)

    Tommy

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  173. Aaron in WV

    This is another step in the wrong direction, We are NOT China!! This would not stop piracy it would just make it more difficult for the pirates, they would just go back to the methods used before the internet could be utilized. More control isn't what we want. The legislature thinks that they can control us just because the lightbulb regulation passed and now they tell us we can't buy this lightbulb and have to buy a different one.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  174. A. J. Boyle

    I support neither bill; we don 't need less free speech, we need more. Sites like Wikipedia perform a valuable service to society, and should therefore be left alone. While there may be some piracy taking place on other sites on the iinternet, the dangers to free speech posed by these bills are simply too great to ignore.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  175. Shelley Ann

    Censorship is wrong. How can one claim to live in a democracy when we are suppressing access to information. The internet is the great equalizer for all. In the words of Justin Bieber....Let it Be

    January 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  176. Cal in CA

    The bills give the courts way too much power. The ability to shut down any website on a mere accusation of copyright infringement is way over the line. Remember what GWBush said after finding out there were websites that called him into question? "There oughta be limits to freedom." That's what he said and pretending these bills aren't a step in that direction is a fools game.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  177. Tom Darby

    What ever happen to Freedom of Speech. Does it apply to the internet? Copy right should take care of personal information. The government is sticking it's nose into to many business and personal matters. We are suppose to be a free country with individual sovereignty.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  178. Mark T Couch

    Mark, Hoover Alabama

    No, no, no – a thousand times no! Hollywood and the likes of Rupert (phone-hacker) Murdoch cannot be allowed to dictate how the Internet operates or how we use it if the first amendment to this nation's constitution is to mean anything. Down with SOPA and PIPA!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  179. Richard Harbor

    It seems to me that a lot of folks don't understand intellectual property. We would have no problem defending the property or work of someone with a hammer and chisel, shovel and pick, or drill press and a tathe but if they use a pen, a musical instrument or a camera then their work should be free to all. As someone who makes his living with a pen I believe that some control of internet access makes sense. There is no free lunch. Copyright law is there for good reason. I know no one wants to pay for internet content but that "content" comes from somewhere/someone who has actually worked to produce it. Again...there is no free lunch. The marjority of users think that all this content should be free ... I think the buck needs to stop with the user.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  180. Mike Fraley - El Paso, TX

    No, The theories proposed may sound good to them on paper but the reality is this: It will cripple new start ups because it also lets companies sue any site it feels isn't doing their filtering well enough. These lawsuits could easily bankrupt new search engines and social media sites, and PIPA's wording is ambiguous enough that important social media sites could become targets. Lots of trail blazing websites could look like piracy havens to the wrong judge. Protect IP will meddle with the inner workings of the net, experts believe by fiddling with the registry of domain names the result will be less security and less stability.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  181. Charlotte, Tampa FL

    We thought it was terrible when China blocked websites, so that their citizens could not reach them. Why would we think our government would do any better deciding what we should view?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  182. Steve

    If intellectual property is so important, then plummers, doctors, engineers, news anchors, etc need to be paid royalties for years to come as well, I think IP is dumb, once an actor has acted, and he is paid, that should be it, once the studio releases the movie, and gets paid, that should be it, IP is a dumb idea anyway, get rid of IP you get rid of piracy.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  183. Larry in Missouri

    Jack, I am overjoyed that a Congress that has not completed any of it's constitutionally mandated duties in three years, has failed to do anything to secure the physical borders of the country,and in general can't find its collective rear end with both hands and a flashlight, has the time and will to safeguard the livelyhoods of its Hollywood constituents as well as enter into that much desired arena of regulation and control of the internet. I vividly remember that the end of Hollywood and the arts was clearly forecast when the first 8-track recorder was sold.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  184. Ram from NY

    I don't believe in censorship at all. I agree that piracy is a problem; however, this law really does open up the floodgates to even more censorship. We should be working towards LESS not MORE censorship.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  185. tim

    Foreign piracy websites will just change IP addresses ever time they come under fire. meanwhile, Facebook, google, ebay etc won't have this luxury, and could be shut down immediately, if for example, Disney files a complaint claiming their intellectual property is being stolen.The scary part about SOPA and PIPA is the fact that Cnet, msn, Disney and many other companies allowed fileshare software on their sites, which boosted their website visits, increasing profits. All these companies now support SOPA and PIPA. In fact, Cnet, which is the number one contributor to online piracy software, is the number one lobbying group for SOPA and PIPA. Sounds shady to me John.

    Tim, Wisconsin

    January 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  186. David - Sonoma, CA

    Hell no! I never understood the real meaning of :Big Government until this issue really hit home.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  187. Robert

    Because a government decides that people should not see a web site because of the content they are going to block access to the web site. Does that sound like the US, China, or Iran?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  188. Steve

    no, but can we sensor congress......please

    January 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  189. Boris

    Gabe Newell, head of the largest online digital video game distribution platform called "Steam" said that piracy is a service issue. Provide a better service than the pirates and consumers will flock to you. Here is someone who knows the issue best. And guess what? Steam has recently reported it's 7th year of 100% growth. I think there is some weight to his words.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  190. Teresa - Philadelphia, PA

    Our Congress has already made a big enough mess of things! The country can't afford to pay for all the "projects" they've already created. Congress should stop taking care of Big Business and start getting the average American back to work.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  191. Eric

    With out sites like YouTube i would not know of any new entertainment type of content that exist in the world today .
    Not just Music and movies but blooper videos Of CNN wouldn't get posted in fear of lawsuit.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  192. Kirk

    Jack,

    Not no, but hell no...I think Thomas Jefferson said it best:

    "If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."

    where foods and medicines are replaced with the word "censorship".

    January 18, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  193. Name*rickie young

    Its just sad that this question is being asked. Jack if you would, ask the Senate why they don't have anything better to do in the real world.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  194. Stephen - Pennsylvania

    After spending 8 years in military service, supporting and swearing to uphold the Constitution of the United States, I can't even believe that this would even be in consideration. Censorship is unconstitutional in any way, shape, or form that it comes in. Jack, to be sure that we advance as a society and world culture, information must travel freely. We need to have a private market business step forward to help these Hollywood millionaires protect their own content from piracy. I don't see why they need the U.S. Government to step in. Oh yeah, I know why, no one wants to use their money for anything innovative.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  195. Sharon Ibsen

    Please correct above..I am an old lady that can't type. Why should the government not enforce the laws that exist and pass new ones which prevent evil in the society. These laws are needed because children can readily obtain pornography on the internet, predators can solicit children and human traffickers can have a field day. The argument that this is the beginning of censorship is ridiculous. The same argument is used to not pass a law outlawing semi-automatic weapons and guns that can shoot down airplanes because of the fear of some that it will lead to no guns at all. Ridiculous!!! Please use this version.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  196. Gwen, NJ

    No! No! No! I'm sure parts of our government would love to restrict our access, especially those who claim the Constitution is at the foundation of all that they do. Why would we want to imitate China, Iran and other countries that limit their citizens access?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  197. pclem7

    curious what Chris Dodd, ex senater Washington insider, is making off of representing the movie industry

    January 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  198. Bobbi from L.A.

    Passing Laws to "take down the Internet" is akin to confiscating all registered weapons. Only the crooks will be able to get weapons, and only those we educated HERE and sent home, will know how to get around the blockage and do what they do so well, anyway. No, Jack – I'm not in favor of giving any government that much power.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  199. Pete from New York

    No! Congress has ruined our country enough! This is the last thing we (Americans) need. Congress should keep their noses out of our Internet! Why censor the Internet? Deprivation of Internet freedom would be a start for the deprivation of all freedom of Americans!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  200. James

    The government should not censor the internet. The entertainment industry is insanely overvalued for the relative good that it provides society. When a man can earn more from a movie appearance than a doctor can in a lifetime, something is wrong. There is a tremendous bubble within the entertainment industry. The internet is here to pop that bubble. We should encourage it. Knowledge should be free, and entertainment should be devalued.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  201. Levi from Ohio

    No, censoring the internet would be just like censoring our freedom of speech. If computer savvy people want information that is blocked or hidden badly enough, the question then wouldn't be if they got the information, but When

    January 18, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  202. Sebastian

    No, we shouldn't censor the internet, and we shouldn't anyone else tell us we should! Even if this is against piracy, they're taking it too far. The internet industry is growing, and everyone knows that. A part of us is capitalizing on this precious resource, and at the same time another part of us are strangling ourselves with it. You don't stop strangling yourself by tightening the noose! If this passes, many companies won't be able to make themselves known. The internet is a major portion of advertising, and they know it. Sites like Youtube are frequently used to advertise, so why are they doing things like this to cut off part of their revenue? Also, if the bills pass, then many companies will have to close, resulting in many, many job losses, and making those who already have jobs (aka the actors/directors/executives/etc) even richer. This is an attempt to cut off the internet just so a few of us can make just a bit more money. You don't cut off your arm just because there is a scab on there. Also, the average user of the internet would probably use sites like Youtube everyday. Also, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and many other social network sites, would probably have links to infringing material, so they would be shut down too. This would definitely affect an average internet user.

    -Sebastian from Collerville, TN

    January 18, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  203. Name*Pam Burridge..Harrisburg,PA

    The internet is too important to allow the clowns in the legislative branch to ram some law thru. To shut down any website WITHOUT due process is allowing a crack our legislative process that somebody will drive a truck thru. This smacks of communist China. I say a resounding NO!!!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  204. Name*Bob

    are you kidding??? What happened to the existing copyright laws and enforcement . The existing laws were created with stiff penalties for violators. My 14 ur old son was flagged on you tube for unknowingly posting a copyrighted song along with a home made call of duty video. Proof that you tube is on top of the issue. More government intervention at the request of big business sounds a little more like a china state than America!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  205. Gerardo, NJ

    Since when do industries get to create laws in this country? The movie and software industry claims they are losing money because of this and tries to get the government to shut down websites that hurt their bottom line? Does that sound like a free country to you? I've called every one of my senators, and representatives and expressed my complete opposition of these bills.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  206. Jim-Charlotte NC

    If Congress passes a bill to censor the Internet will they then stop complaining about other nations that censor what people in their countries can find on it.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  207. Adam B

    Absolutely, NOT! The internet offers the last true "free speech zone" left in the U.S. The mainstream media doesn't provide unbiased information. The internet is home to racist, offensive, and dangerous information, but it is also our last hope for raw, uncut, and "un-spun news". There are better alternatives to prevent piracy.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  208. CurtJ

    Why not? They've already given themselves the right for warrantless wiretapping and wireless tapping of American citizens, they've given themselves the right to detain American citizens indefinitely without charges, they've given themselves the right to transport American citizens on torture flights also known as rendition flights, they've given themselves the right to assassinate American citizens.
    What kind of democracy are we exporting to countries who have absolutely the same values of corruption as we, The same bribery of public officials and politicians for the pay as you vote cabal.
    It appears that American democracy has morphed into corporate regulations, huh? No more For the People By the People, it is now For the Corporations By the Corporations

    January 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  209. Kelly

    No way as a free nation censorship should never be a debate in U.S. government and how we have let things get like this is a mystery to me.. for the people by the people THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION!! Give me Freedom or give me death. What you think Jack?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  210. D Poole

    Both PIPA and SOPA deal ONLY with foreign internet sites posting pirated content or marketing illegal goods and drugs aimed at US consumers. The purpose of both Acts is to ensure that foreign websites are subject to the same laws as US-based websites. Since these sites are owned by individuals not within US jurisdiction, we can't arrest them or sue them. The only thing we can do is shut down the access to the website if they're in violation of the law. In fact, the websites would still exist. US-based search engines just wouldn't be able to provide links or include the sites in search results. Payment gateways like PayPal wouldn't be able to take their business. Also, these foreign individuals would still be able to avail themselves of a defense if they want and no action would be taken unless an injunction/order is issued by the Federal government based on normal rules of evidence. Bottom line – it's the cost of implementing new procedures and staffing that's got internet folks screaming, not "freedom of speech." If these Internet companies practiced good business sense to begin with, they wouldn't be in this situation at all. They don't do business with US criminals ... but let's not pass this bill so we can keep doing business with foreign criminals? Where's the sense in that?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  211. Jackie Smiley

    Not! The tides of the globalization of commercial competition, and the IT revolution cannot be stemmed. The entertainment industry is naturally dismayed to see their obscene profits threatened. They must simply find ways to compete. Maybe cheaper popcorn?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  212. Sean

    As an aspiring journalist, I have too often see topics displayed just as you have: two sides presented as equals. This is one of those topics that CNN and other news networks have failed their viewers in giving the real story.
    SOPA/PIPA essentially is a "shoot first, ask questions later" law that can too easily disable popular services. Worse, in the attempt to strike at a symptom, it doesn't even solve that symptom, much less the cause. Even when it was at its worst version, pirates would still figure ways around the censorship. That leaves only the civilian casualties who feel the pain.
    The real answer is not something that government can administer – it's the content providers that can solve it. Just ask Valve Software about it. They distribute PC games, a market that is supposedly ripe with piracy. They announced that for the seventh straight year, sales grew by 100%. Their answer to piracy: work FOR the customer. I wish the music and motion picture industries would get the same message.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  213. Jake Lunn - Missouri (typo corrections)

    SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act are dangerous, ineffective, and short-sighted. The Government has shown us many times that they know absolutely nothing about the Internet, and here they are trying to censor it. While piracy may be a very real issue that needs to be dealt with, you need the proper tools and approach before you can. We are not China, we don't censor our citizens.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  214. Joe Chicago

    The answer is no. This is a direct hit to the first amendment! With these two bills, our freedom is at risk. to Again this will only benefit a small interest group.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  215. Richard Harbor

    t seems to me that a lot of folks don't understand intellectual property. We would have no problem defending the property or work of someone with a hammer and chisel, shovel and pick, or drill press and a tathe but if they use a pen, a musical instrument or a camera then their work should be free to all. As someone who makes his living with a pen I believe that some control of internet access makes sense. There is no free lunch. Copyright law is there for good reason. I know no one wants to pay for internet content but that "content" comes from somewhere/someone who has actually worked to produce it. Again...there is no free lunch. The marjority of users think that all this content should be free ... I think the buck needs to stop with the user.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  216. Joe Chicago

    The answer is no. This is a direct hit to the first amendment! With these two bills, our freedom is at risk. Again this will only benefit a small interest group

    January 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  217. Ann in New Jersey

    Thank GOD America is still the home of the brave! Hopefully we'll all be brave enough to keep it the land of the FREE! Let your congressional representatives know that you do NOT want the Internet censored. Businesses will just have to be creative and find a way to protect their copyrights from Internet misuse. Businesses can do that. After all, if businesses hadn't been creative in the first place, they wouldn't have copyrights!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  218. Pat in Michigan

    No It should not but it will and it is another example of the lie of freedom of speech.I have a cool idea .How about we stop paying taxes to a corrupt government.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  219. Todd

    I certainly do not disagree with companies trying to protect their investments in movies and music, but passing any law that opens the door for censorship is not a good idea. The Internet has become a platform where anyone can have a voice and certain voices will be silenced if we start down this road of the government having a say in what websites we can or cannot access. They just need to forget this law and put their thinking caps back on for a solution for the piracy issue.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  220. ISL

    No Jack!
    Intellectual property should be the concern. Regulate content to protect providers, and search engine providers from the threat of lawsuits.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  221. Virginia Atlanta

    Censor, definitly not. Police Definitly. Surely stealing laws cover this but how to handle it from there is more difficult. I doubt that search engines want to display stolen (or incorrect) to their customers. If this were publicized, people will flock to the cpanies that were attempting to control this theft.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  222. Tommy James

    Mr Murdoch supports SOPA and owns Fox news. There no coverage of on Fox News about the SOPA Blackout. The main news is already censored. LEAVE the internet alone because its the last free speech there is in the world today.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  223. Laurel

    So Hollywood is trying to protect it's industry and behind the scenes workers? Hey, Hollywood big wigs, how about NOT paying celebrities $20 million dollars per film and instead, compensate said employees with all that cash you love to throw around?! Let's get a bill together that puts a salary cap on the entertainment industry so maybe the rest of society can get an adequate income, then maybe this country can get back to the days when there was actually a MIDDLE CLASS! This is just our government stepping up to protect major corporations, yet again while it citizens pay the price, yet again. No wonder our country is going to hell in a handbasket! Also, could it be possible that movie screeners are being INTERNALY leaked?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  224. Joe in Vancouver

    Hire some hackers to post copyrighted material and then flood them with lawsuits?

    January 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  225. patrick james higgins

    uh hi mr cafferty i strongly disagree with the gov't censoring the internet I do not like the gov't trying to be in control i beleive in being able to communicate across all levels of life

    amsterdam new york 12010

    January 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  226. Roy - Dayton, Tennessee

    This attempt to regulate the Internet has nothing to do with "saving jobs". This Bill is one more attempt to regulate YOUR PROTESTS and shut the people up by one day being able to flip the "off switch" to the Internet. Pose this question to those that used the Internet to organize and protest in Egypt.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  227. Ed Esp

    While I don't know the specifics of the legislation before Congress, any regulation that limits the flow and availability of information on the internet can only serve to enhance the culture of ignorance and myopia that Americans now navigate.

    Ed Esp TX

    January 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  228. Pat MA

    Don't forget. It was Vermont's Democrat senator Patrick Leahy that created the bill. While it did have bipartisan support, it's origins come from the Democrats.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  229. Shaun

    It's 2012 in America and respected journalists are asking if it's ok to censor something.

    Welp, pack it in folks, party's over. We had a good run at least.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  230. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    I joined the online protest against the SOPA and PIPA laws because I feel that they infringe on the Constitutionally protected rights of free speech and free press. I agree that online piracy is a major concern, but if the government steps in to regulate the internet, it will mean that the Constitution is nothing but a scrap of paper to line the US Capitol building with.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  231. Victor Bonilla

    Jack, I truely believe in freedom of speech and I feel the Internet is an excellent tool but it is used to often to steal and miss lead. Many have falling victim and have lost all because of the easy access that these websites have given to thieves. For those that completely disagrees with censorship you would change your mind quickly and be very upset with the site if this happened to you. If these sites would except more responsibility for these actions then I would be more inclined to agree with them. Right now I agree with some like I said some censorship.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  232. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack,

    No, they shouldn't. There are better ways to deal with piracy in cyberspace than with the heavy hand of censorship. Besides, precisely WHO would be doing the censoring? Who gets to be the cybercop? We've already faced censorship (check out the banned books lists at your local public library to get an idea of just how nutty some politicians get once they decide they and only they know what is moral; the Catholic Church has a list of books that they forbid Catholics to read) and seen the harm it does (anyone remember Anthony Comstock and is crusades? He censored medical textbooks, pamphlets, and all kinds of information).

    The last thing I want is someone like Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann censoring the internet. Yes, there's piracy, yes, there's a lot of misinformation, but there are better ways to deal with those issues than resorting to censorship. And apparently no one has heard of the First Amendment–one of the rights it lists is the right to freedom of speech–the government/state shall not abridge speech.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  233. Bruce Means

    I will decide what website I view !! Not the Government !!!

    January 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  234. MIchael - Scranton, PA.

    While I do not feel that any government infringement into free speech is a good thing, I think it is important for everyone to take a step back and ask an expert. Can someone please reach Al Gorefor comment? I need the internet's creator to tell his thoughts on this topic.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  235. ryan

    i think not people should get to use wikpedia and google cause some us people use it daily

    January 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  236. DaleW

    The government and ignorant politicians should stay away from any attempt to regulate the internet. Like so many others in this blog, the internet IS free speech. Look at all the rich media companies that want to make a few more bucks off their out dated formerly broadcast media. With SOPA, the rich get richer and the rest have to pay more.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  237. Matthew J

    I would think the Senate and House would have bigger issues on their plate than internet censoring.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  238. Ed in southern Alabama

    Absolutely not, Jack. Censorship in any form should not be allowed by the government. These bills are way too broad and would allow the government to dictate what a sites are responsible for. Holding one person responsible for an illegal act that another does is wrong. Is it your fault that a neighbor sells drugs? Is it your fault when a friend drives drunk and hurts someone? Sure you weren't there to stop them or didn't know they were doing anything illegal, but you knew OF them. You may even know their names. That is enough, according to the broadness of these bills, to get you into trouble with the law. I know these are extreme examples, but you get the idea. Where does it all stop? Once the government is allowed in, it sets a precedence. Once that precedence is put in place, it snowballs from there. Before you know it, the average internet user will be facing charges for something some random visitor posted on their blog page.

    I agree completely that piracy needs to be stopped. It's illegal and morally wrong. However, holding someone who is not actually doing any kind of piracy, responsible for the piracy of another isn't right. Go after the pirate, not the innocent bystander.

    All involved simply need to sit down and figure out a way to combat it that does not infringe on the rights of others.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  239. Doug Fresh

    Well now it costs more than ever to go to college, some might consider that class warfare. So why not ban free knowledge on the internet? Might as well, we live in America where the almighty dollar is the most important. Wanna grow the economy? Stop charging so much money for engineering software and restricting the ability to gain knowledge, keeping the majority of the population as a bunch of dumb consumers. Soon those dummies will run out of money to buy stuff................and BOOM!!!! Straight to hell in a hand-basket is where this all leads, see you there I will have my sunscreen and my torrents of knowledge

    January 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  240. Jarett From North carolina

    This is why your seeing more and more 20 year old libetarians like myself. Over the last 30 years the federal govt have done the most disfunctional job of playing mommy and daddy for the american public. im all for legislation that protects an individuial liberties and civil rights.but to regulate the internet is completely communistic just ask anyone in china what facebook is they couldnt tell why because the chinese govt tells them what thier allowed to view on the internet. with that being said the internet is the only true libertarian front we have in this country. it is now under siege by an oligarchy of corperate interest and certain elected representives. sounds familiar its only been happing sense ever. lets just get ron paul in office already.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  241. Jack

    NO! We should not cave in to the old-school of greedy music and video execs. Times are one again changing. We should not limit our freedoms so they can continue to feed off of the artists. The Internet must remain free.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  242. Mr. Bishop, KS

    Hell no to that Jack!
    The internet is the freest thing we have going today. The robber barons, controllers, exploiters, etc can no longer use
    mind control on the now educated public, and now they're mad. Internet users no longer have to listen to the biased networks trying to fool and trick the masses. Any information on the TRUTH of any mater can be found on the free internet. I cringed when I saw the first advertisers pop up on youtube. We don't need their "influence" trying to tell us what to buy, or listen to. I guarantee you Jack, the minute the government starts snooping its big nose into our Private business on the internet, evil is brewing. Censorship is not far behind. They are mad, Jack. Mad they can no longer
    control the masses. Mad because "They can't get us here", Jack.
    the internet

    January 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  243. Kevin in CA

    I'm don't think this is a censorship issue so much as a civil law enforcement issue. That said, it does not seem right to shift the enforcement burden to the internet companies.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:55 pm |