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Rackspace: SOPA "Is a Deeply Flawed Piece of Legislation" 213

Posted by samzenpus
from the jumping-on-the-pile dept.
hypnosec writes "Cloud-based hosting service provider Rackspace has joined the ever expanding list of companies that are opposed to the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In a blog post, Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier said that the controversial bill, which will get its final vote before the House Judiciary Committee, will do more harm than good, punishing innocent users in the process. 'The SOPA bill, as it stands, is a deeply flawed piece of legislation. It is bad for anyone who uses the Internet, including Rackspace, the more than 160,000 business customers that we serve, and the tens of millions of retail customers that they serve. It is bad for job creation and innovation,' Napier wrote."
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Rackspace: SOPA "Is a Deeply Flawed Piece of Legislation"

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  • Flawed? (Score:4, Funny)

    by BronsCon (927697) <social@bronstrup.com> on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:14PM (#38519966) Journal

    No shit?

  • by reboot246 (623534) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:15PM (#38519976) Homepage
    Most all laws over the last few decades have been deeply flawed in some way. That's what you get when you elect idiots.
  • Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rwven (663186) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:19PM (#38520012)

    The most hilariously annoying part of this bill is that there's not a single sane citizen of this country who, when properly educated on the bill's impact, would vote for such a thing....yet the lunatics running this country will probably pass it right on through since they're in the chokehold of the industries and power mongers which DO want it.

    If it's possible to lose any more faith in the people at the top, I certainly will if this is passed. I'll also cast opposing votes against any representatives who vote for it, regardless of party affiliation.

    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vlm (69642) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:23PM (#38520062)

      I'll also cast opposing votes against any representatives who vote for it, regardless of party affiliation.

      Since both of the big parties are owned by the same people, I assume that you will only vote 3rd party from now on?

      Voting D or R is throwing your vote away. The only valid way to vote is to vote for a 3rd party candidate. Or an "extremist" D or R... The only R I would currently consider voting for is Ron Paul and the only D I would consider voting for, if he runs for anything, is Feingold.

      • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:26PM (#38520104)

        What is wrong with kucinich?

        I can't bring myself to vote for Ron Paul. I do not believe he can keep himself from forcing his religious views on others once he gains some power. While I know he did not write it, putting your name on racist newsletters does not speak to his good judgement either.

        • by vlm (69642)

          What is wrong with kucinich?

          He's 99% sane and logical, but that last 1% is crazy anti-gun nut, weird anti-free speech last century pre-internet era fan of the fairness doctrine, and even worse he's an anti-nuke nut. I suppose he's probably more sane, more often, than I am, on average, so as much as some of his beliefs really stink, I would certainly vote for him as a distant 3rd choice after RP and Feingold, if RP and/or Feingold were not on the ballot.

          The sad part is if the other D's and R's were sane rational statesmen, he would no

        • Separating his personal views from his political philosophy is Ron Paul's thing, though.
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            I flatly do not believe that. Perhaps he is capable of that, but I don't think so.

            I would vote for near anyone as the lessor of two evils. I voted for Obama to keep fascist grandpa and hillbilly barbie out of power. Had McCain run the 2008 campaign as he did the 2000 race I might have been convinced to select him as the lessor of two evils.

            • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

              by vlm (69642) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:59PM (#38520446)

              I don't think you get how this works.

              Two candidates are proposed, both owned by the same corporations planning to support identical policies.

              You apparently really hate the marketing message the R people used, but that doesn't mean they would have done anything different.

              Oh sure, they would have attended twice as many prayer breakfasts, and half as many MLK parades, but I'm not thinking the end result would be any different.

              Standard /. car analogy is its like getting all emotional about cars because the Saturn was a really nice car but the commercials suck so you bought a Toyota which is also a really nice car and thinking its important that the Toyota tv commercials don't suck as much.

              • by h4rr4r (612664)

                I don't think it goes quite that far. They are both bought and sold to the 1%/corporatists/whatever but outside what those folks want they are a little different.

            • His record seems to confirm it. He's been very open about ending the war on drugs, and allowing pretty much anything at the federal level.
        • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

          by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @07:17PM (#38520616) Homepage Journal

          I can't bring myself to vote for Ron Paul. I do not believe he can keep himself from forcing his religious views on others once he gains some power.

          1) Wouldn't being a congressman for 30+ years qualify as "some power?" That said, you would think if he was going to abuse it he would have done so by now.

          2) Paul is the only candidate who rabidly (or seemingly at all, for that matter) adheres to the concept that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land; in that, the Constitution guarantees religious freedom. Paul also abhors the concept of "executive privilege," i.e. the practice of letting the President do whatever he wants and civil liberties be damned, so it therefore stands to reason that Ron Paul would honor the Constitution and thus not impose his ideals of religion on the masses.

          3) There are more people involved in the American legislative process than just the President; contrary to modern belief, there exists a system of checks and balances [wikipedia.org] that, when honored and followed, prevent unconstitutional legislation from becoming law. I know it's pretty passe these days to talk about responsible governance in accordance with the Constitution, but that is exactly the ideology Paul embraces.

          As for the accusations regarding RP and the "racist newsletter," I say meh; I didn't get sucked into the whole "Jeremiah Wright hates America So That Means Obama Does Too" non-story, and I intend on patently ignoring this one as well.

          Cheers!

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            1) More power more corruption. He also seems happy to let states ban abortion for instance. I believe that interferes with personal freedom.

            2) I don't believe that. I might be wrong.

            3) It seems these days checks and balances are a thing of the past. For recent examples see the bailouts and middle east adventures.

            Obama did not let Mr.Wright print his name on those rantings. Being seen with crazy people is quite different than putting your name on their musings. Either he agreed with this filth or he never r

        • by jamstar7 (694492)

          What is wrong with kucinich?

          Other than he's a total loon?

          He did some crazy shit as mayor of Cleveland back in the day.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            And Ron Paul is not?
            He thinks gold, which is a commodity, is the same thing as money.

            Please do elaborate about this "crazy shit" that kucinich did as mayor of Cleveland. Should at least be good for a laugh.

            • by nedlohs (1335013)

              So money isn't a commodity?

              There seems to be demand. There seems to be no qualitative differentiation - the $20 bill in my pocket printed in 2010 is perfectly fungible with the $20 bill printed in 2011 in your pocket, or with two $10 bills.

              There are futures exchanges and currency exchanges.

              So what is it aboue money that isn't the same as a commodity? And hence would make it ludicrous to think that a commodity could used as money?

            • by wizkid (13692)

              He thinks gold, which is a commodity, is the same thing as money.

              For most of the time the USA has been in existence, our money was based on the gold standard. This means that we had a gold reserve to back up our money. Gold is sold as a commodity, yes. So what! This has nothing to do with the fact that when we dumped the gold standard, and went to the Federal Reserve to maintain the value of our dollar, we set our selves up to be in the situation we are now with politicians managing the money supply .

      • In the year 2000, there were 10,000 Floridians who thought that Al Gore wasn't liberal enough, so they voted 3rd party for Ralph Nader instead. As Rick Perry would say, "Oops."
      • Vote for the guy who has taken the least in bribes, I mean "campaign contributions", from corporations. It's easy enough to find out how much from third party sites like http://www.opensecrets.org/ [opensecrets.org]

    • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jamstar7 (694492) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @07:03PM (#38520486)
      Of course this bill will pass overwhelmingly. It's an attempt to centralise and monopolise a decentralised and antimonopolistic service. Those who bought and paid for this bill won't be satisfied until the only way to get any kind of content off the net is after you pull out your credit card. Forget about content creation, if you're not a big buck studio, you won't have a seat at the table anymore.

      And don't scream too loudly if any of your ideas are ripped off by Big Bizz to make a buck off of. The true citizens of the US (multinational corporations) have certainly gotten their money'sworth this time. Until an individual can amass the cash that a multinational can, their voice does not matter.

    • there's not a single sane citizen of this country who, when properly educated on the bill's impact, would vote for such a thing

      I've seen people that claim that because they think that piracy is bad, and this bill's stated intention is to stop piracy, that the bill is good. And then when told that this bill is likely not going to stop piracy and is not the 'right' way to go about solving the supposed problem, they say, "Then what should we do? We have to do something to combat these little thieves!"

      Of course, I'm sure you don't think these people are "educated"...

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:19PM (#38520020)

    Obama and most of the Democratic Party are owned by the big Hollywood studios. The Republican Party is owned by big business in general. The only reason this hasn't passed already (without even a public debate) is that Google and a handful of other big players are fighting it. But even Google is a relatively small fish in this money game.

    As for those of us without deep pockets--well save yourself that stamp on a letter to your Congressman.

    • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:24PM (#38520080)

      Democratic Party are owned by the big Hollywood studios. The Republican Party is owned by big business

      Those are two sides of the same coin.

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:44PM (#38520270)

        yes - BUT - the R party is also owned by Big Religion.

        that is their permanent (until they decide to change this) handicap.

        there may be some small good points that the R's have but the fact that they sold their souls to the american taliban (christian right extremists) means I could never vote for any of them, on that principle, alone. the party is too tainted by that one controlling force.

        remove that force (it was not always embedded in the R point of view) and then we might have a valid 2 party system. but right now, we have a religious party, a whichever-way-the-wind-blows party and that's pretty much it. neither is worth voting for. both are owned by big business; just different ones.

    • by andydread (758754) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:39PM (#38520222)
      Its unfortunate truth you speak unfortunately. Joe Biden is the biggest whore for Hollywood MPAA and RIAA in washington along with Orin Hatch and Berman from California. Just go look up his record when he was in the senate. one shudders....
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:40PM (#38520240)

      Google could kill this dead if they wanted to play dirty. Imagine all Google-owned services (Search and Youtube in particular) being replaced for a day by an explanation of SOPA urging people to call their respective congresscritters and tell them to send this thing where the sun don't shine. If the politicians are convinced voting for this thing is absolute political suicide they won't care how much campaign donations the MPAA gives them.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:42PM (#38520258)

      But even Google is a relatively small fish in this money game.

      Actually, Larry and Sergei could buy all of the movie and music studios with their personal money. I'm not even saying Google could buy them (which obviously, it could), but I'm saying Larry and Sergei could.

      The entertainment industry is actually not that big, in terms of economic impact. They just have a huge soap box by virtue of what they do, so it appears they are bigger than they are.

    • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:49PM (#38520332)
      But Google is actually bigger than Hollywood. They just don't spend as much on lobbying because their business model is based largely on being left alone, while Hollywood's business model currently depends on having the government tell others what they can't do.
      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        But Google is actually bigger than Hollywood.

        No, they're not. Google is only worth about half as much as Comcast alone. Combine all the big media players and you're looking at something like $300 billion in muscle. If you include GE in that figure (who still own about half of NBCUniversal) and you're talking closer to half a trillion $.

  • by cultiv8 (1660093) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:22PM (#38520058) Homepage
    Interesting paragraph in this article [politico.com] from politico:

    “The dynamic is clear. Once SOPA — and its Senate counterpart, Protecting IP Act, or PIPA — became high-profile among the Internet community, the lazy endorsements from companies and various hangers-on became toxic. And now, those supporters are scrambling, hollowing out the actual support for the bill. Suddenly, a bill with ‘widespread’ corporate support doesn’t have much support at all,” Dayden said.

  • What Would Happen... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IonOtter (629215) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:29PM (#38520112) Homepage

    Serious question for consideration:

    What would happen if the "big players", such as Level 3, Verizon, Google and the like came out and said, "If you pass this legislation, we are turning off all of our equipment. We will back up our servers, send our customers their data, rip out the equipment, sell it for scrap, leave the wires hanging, sell our buildings and retire to the Caribbean. If you pass this, we won't be able to do our jobs, so we will simply quit and leave you with nothing to legislate. Good luck suing us, because you'll be back to typewriters, pens and wired telephones."

    Totally NOT going to happen, but as an exercise in thought, would it be possible?

    Could a company as big and powerful as Google hold the world hostage with nothing more than a power switch?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      See, this is where the whole "the U.S. says corporations are people" meme falls apart. Level 3, Verizon and Google aren't people who can suddenly say "fuck this, we are going to the Carribean." They are nominally accountable to shareholders (who are people, or are institutions like CalPERS who help people) who would raise a metric shitfit if these businesses suddenly said "we are thriving now, we will probably still thrive after, but we think it is time to scrap everything." And that will land some decision

    • No, because these are public companies, and their executives would be personally liable for the damage to the stock by this kind of action.

    • by itchythebear (2198688) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:41PM (#38520252)

      Interesting thought, but as has been pointed out before, they don't actually care what happens to the internet. The Govt will fund a Govt only network (if they need it) and big media will finally not have to worry about people illegally downloading their "product" and can go back to charging 20 bucks for a CD and forcing television down everyone's throats.

      Yet more proof of how little our representatives care about us eh?

    • by Zocalo (252965) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:46PM (#38520296) Homepage
      Well, since we're playing what if... In Google's case they wouldn't actually need to throw the switch, just have a search equivalent of the Black Out day Jimmy Wales proposed for Wikipedia. Let's say you are coming from a US based IP address. You go to Google and enter a search, but get... No results, just some ads down the side of the screen and a message saying something to the effect of:

      If enacted, SOPA and PIPA could be used to force us not to display links that might infringe copyright or face criminal sanctions. Since we can't determine that automatically, here's what is safe for us to display.

      Click here for what non-US based netizens (i.e. your competitors) would see via our non-US based "affiliates", or here for more info on these two acts currently under consideration.

      Needless to say, clicking the link would return the normal links, and second set of ads providing move revenue for Google, so there's an incentive there and the resultant uproar would be... entertaining.

    • by harl (84412)
      What would happen?

      Congress calls their bluff. They pass the bill. They know those companies are going to do no such thing.
    • by DanielRavenNest (107550) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @07:24PM (#38520680)

      That would not happen, but it would be possible to delist supporters of SOPA from search engines, and refuse them hosting, network connections, etc. If they are trying to destroy your business, there is no rule that says you have to do business with them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:41PM (#38520256)

    I remember back in 2004 when Rackspace turned over entire hard drives to the FBI that contained data for Indymedia websites as part of a terrorism investigation. The FBI only wanted copies of logs, but Rackspace I suppose wanted to go the extra mile.

    http://jebba.blagblagblag.org/?p=175

  • by andydread (758754) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @06:47PM (#38520312)
    Lets face it. The problem is money in politics. When the RIAA and MPAA come knocking with oodles of cash to help get congress critters elected how can they refuse? The only way to solve this problem and much of the problem with Washington is to thoughtfully and radically remove money from politics. Until that is done the politicians will just keep on promising the people and delivering to the corporations with the fattest wallet.
    • by Endo13 (1000782)

      Which will never happen, because the people who could make that happen are the same ones collecting the money.

    • by phorm (591458) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @07:05PM (#38520496) Journal

      Money (cash)
      Promises of cushy jobs after your term is up.
      Fancy dinners/events
      etc
      etc
      How exactly would one go about removing it all from the equation. Block one way and they'll find another, and no politician is going to vote against his/her ability to receive favours...

    • The only way to solve this problem and much of the problem with Washington is to thoughtfully and radically remove money from politics. Until that is done the politicians will just keep on promising the people and delivering to the corporations with the fattest wallet.

      If that were done, the politicians would just keep on promising to the people and delivering to the corporations that own the most TV stations and newspapers.

      Or did you really think that "the media" is unbiased, in spite of them being owned b

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 0123456 (636235)

      The only way to solve this problem and much of the problem with Washington is to thoughtfully and radically remove money from politics.

      No, the way to fix it is to remove _POWER_ from politics. If government is limited to things that only government can do (e.g. courts, military, etc) then you don't need to worry about it making crazy laws that will destroy things it knows nothing about; if government interferes in every aspect of your life, you can guarantee it will fsck things up.

      • Exactly. As long as someone has something valuable to offer, people will try to get it by offering valuable things in exchange. You aren't going to change that. If the government has nothing valuable to offer corporations/special interests then that completely resolves the issue. Trying to take money (in one form or another) out of politics without taking out the power is an exercise in futility.
    • by unity100 (970058)

      is to thoughtfully and radically remove money from politics

      thats a fairy tale in a capitalist economy in which some minority can command mountains of cash against the minority. there is no way to prevent backdoor dealings over money. observe what happens with bureaucrats - like the whore who just retired from fcc in order to take up a good paying job in a corporation she benefited. seemingly there was no cash transaction occurred when all the process was happening. but, what happened in the end ?

  • The users of that law are the MAFIAA.All others are irrelevant.

  • by dcigary (221160) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @07:00PM (#38520462) Homepage

    Rackspace is a large constituent of Lamar Smith's District 21 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Texas.21st.Congressional.District.gif) as they are headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Having this large of an employer in his own district against the legislation should be a big wake-up call to Rep. Smith.

    • Having this large of an employer in his own district against the legislation should be a big wake-up call to Rep. Smith.

      There was a past interview with a Senator - I believe Chuck Grassley - who said in a TV interview that he would vote against his state's interests if the party said so.

      Party unity and marching orders over local needs.

  • Morons. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @08:58PM (#38521502) Homepage Journal
    Thats what happens when you wait to protect the very thing you live on - the internet. Those parties perpetrating sopa has been trying to pass some shit like this since early 2004. What have you done ? nothing. just kept on with your business.

    If you had had started lobbying as the datacenter/hosting industry back then, none of these would have happened. But this industry is not the only one to blame. There are search industries, device manufacturers, google, microsoft. Granted, some of the latter did some stuff about acta. But totally insufficient. Instead, everyone sat in their pretty and secure silicon valley bubbles, and behaved as if internet was untouchable. At least it seemed totally stupid to break it, and to the detriment of everyone. But hey ! here is something to break it totally for the benefit of a VERY small minority - so much that a few hands could count the number of those who will primarily benefit in the ultimate end.

    Now, what are you going to do ?
  • by shentino (1139071) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @10:16PM (#38522104)

    DNSSEC is unpopular with governments because it breaks censorship.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Wednesday December 28, 2011 @11:23PM (#38522532) Homepage Journal

    I know this is going to get voted down by offended Americans, but...

    After 9/11, the US government began dismantling support for Constitutional rights in favour of anti-terrorist security theatre. They invested billions in surveillance, security, police, staff, and computer systems. Yet despite that huge investment, they couldn't stop the domestic terrorism of the fellow in Texas who recently took out a half dozen people.

    They claim to have stopped a few terrorists over the years, but when they've presented the "evidence" against those who were planning attacks, it turned out that the attackers were using ineffective techniques that were unlikely to kill anyone (e.g. The underwear bomber.)

    Now they've stepped it up and officially denied the Constitutional rights of anyone the government deems a "terrorist", without having the nasty hassle of proving it to a judge and/or jury. They can just "hold" someone for years without charges or court cases while they "investigate".

    SOPA is just the next step of that change in American policy. Instead of championing the legal system, they want to be the arbitrary judge and jury over the world.

    Sorry, but the American government does not deserve that level of trust from the world when they can't even follow their own rules for governing a country.

    And don't get me started about the persecution of medical cannabis users south of the border and the denial by the US government that cannabis has any medical use.

    And yet some people can't understand why so many in the world hate the US and what it's done to their nations in the defense of "freedom" and "democracy." You can't go around invading people, ignoring their laws, ignoring your own laws, and expect to receive any measure of respect on the international stage.

    But I bet not ONE of the Congressmen who support SOPA have ever even thought about how this bad legislation is going to be received by the rest of the world.

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