We thought the battle for our Internet freedoms was over when SOPA failed to pass the House of Representatives earlier this year – now our digital privacy rights are once again coming under threat. The Intellectual Property Attache Act (IPAA) is the latest Internet regulation bill introduced in the House by Republican Lamar Smith (who also sponsored SOPA.) Drawing extensively from the final section of SOPA (see SOPA sec. 205), IPAA would give the government further authority to regulate our actions online. The legislation would create a new executive position, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, tasked with promoting U.S. copyright laws abroad. An army of diplomats stationed at embassies around the world would report directly to this draconian IP czar, strategically working to advance the U.S anti-piracy agenda favored by industry and government.
If you think this sounds shady, it's because it is. Passing this legislation would mean granting the U.S government the authority to not only regulate and block websites domestically without due process, but also to influence foreign governments to adopt similar restrictive measures.
All those who value our freedom of speech online and our ability to share digital content freely with people all over the world, must band together to prevent this dangerous legislation from passing in the House. Down with the IPAA!