The Great Firewall of America has just started

Monday 31 October 2011, 8.56am HKT

A heads-up from TechDirt that the PROTECT-IP Act of the USA has just been renamed E-PARASITE Act, which ultimately would create the Great Firewall of America.

“As was unfortunately expected, the House version of PROTECT IP has been released (embedded below) and it’s ridiculously bad. Despite promises from [Republican] Rep. [Bob] Goodlatte, there has been no serious effort to fix the problems of the Senate bill, and it’s clear that absolutely no attention was paid to the significant concerns of the tech industry, legal professionals, investors and entrepreneurs. There are no two ways around this simple fact: this is an attempt to build the Great Firewall of America. The bill would require service providers to block access to certain websites, very much contrary to US official positions on censorship and internet freedom, and almost certainly in violation of the First Amendment.” (TechDirt | Link)

The E-PARASITE ACT (otherwise known as the Stopping Online Piracy Act) is currently in the Bill stage with the House of Representatives and the Senate in the USA.

Aside: Perversely for a common law jurisdiction, the USA calls its legislation at the Bill stage as Acts. The rest of the world (common law or otherwise) would call it the E-PARASITE Bill.

The Bill is online at

Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s official website is

It takes an effort of will not to see the E-PARASITE name is pure, unadulterated idiocy. It stands for “the Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation Act” — an acronym that probably best shows the brain-damaged stupidness of American parliamentarians than about the dangers of the Internet.

* * *

See? I told people this was going to happen sooner or later, and every damn country is going to compete with one another by having their own Great Firewalls.

“The Great Firewall of China has been of largely academic interest to most Americans — until now. Legislation has been introduced in both houses of Congress to allow the US government to unilaterally censor foreign websites that it decides are hosting unlicensed content. While nominally targeted at ‘pirate’ sites, the language — particularly of the House version — is so broad it could be used to shut down access to almost any international website, especially since every social network and sharing site is littered with homebrew videos featuring unlicensed soundtracks.” ( David Cardinal, “E-PARASITES ACT aims to eat away Internet Freedoms,” Extreme Tech, 27 Oct 2011 | Link)

Even mainstream conservatives in America (like Conservative Action Alerts) find the bill worrying.

The shape of things to come:

“If you don’t completely comply with the Chinese government’s regulations in censoring politically sensitive information, there’s a good chance the Great Firewall of China will shut you down. In 2010, China shut down 1.3 million Web sites, allowing access to 41 percent fewer than the previous year.” (Business Insider | 16 July 2011 | Link)

I won my wager. Y’all need to pay up the $100 each of you owe me.

Soon you will see this in the USA too

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.

Images: Great Firewall of America via Conservative Action Alerts ♦ Site blocked screencap by Bob Dembo via teach42.

8 Responses to “The Great Firewall of America has just started”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    Meanwhile, there are interesting new technologies, even more robust than Tor, in the works for bypassing such nonsense. Of course, this heavy development work is often fired by the various “criminal” data industries, most especially the Lolita crews. The price we pay for freedom…


  2. Pingback from The Gatekeeper’s Blog […] Some observations on the Great Firewall of China […] at


  3. Pingback from […] Blog resumes, hopefully reuncensored ( two pieces of proposed Great Firewall of America legislation: […] at


  4. Pingback from […] Stop America Government to build the great firewall!!!! […] at


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