Senate Anti-Piracy Bill Sparks Outrage

A bill to curb internet piracy in the United States has sparked protest from prominent industry insiders advocating privacy and free speech.

At least 87 engineers have submitted a written letter, marking their protest against the bill proposed by a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to take down websites that hold material suspected for copyright infringement, PC World reports.

The new legislation, The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) was introduced on 20 September by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy.

Following its introduction, Senator Orrin Hatch raised serious concerns amid civil liberty groups and industry insiders.

The senate committee has argued that blocking domain names of web portal hosting material that infringes copyright will save jobs and research and innovation in the country in the long term.

However, protesters claim that the move will destabilise the web phasing out domain names, leading to censorship and harm the architecture of the web.

“Worse, an incredible range of useful, law-abiding sites can be blacklisted under this bill. If enacted, this legislation will risk fragmenting the internet's global domain name system, create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation,” the group wrote in the letter.