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Key Protect IP backer shies away after discovering risks

updated 04:45 am EST, Fri January 13, 2012

US Senator back tracks on Protect IP provision

A key Protect IP backer has started to back away from bill, introduced by the Senate last year. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, has said that the believed a new provision in the bill would require "more study." The provision would give the US attorney general the ability to seek court orders forcing ISPs to block an infringing website's domain names or URL.

The Protect IP Act is the Senate equivalent of the controversial House SOPA ACT. SOPA has seen companies with vested interests in protecting their intellectual property, including Sony and Nintendo, backing away from their support of the legislation following a overwhelming negative reaction from the public and interest groups who believe that the laws may violate First Amendment rules.

Other criticisms include that from engineers who believe that their web-based security systems will not be able to distinguish a government attempt to block domain from an attempt by hackers. This could mean that the method of shutting down sites may not work and potentially lead to users being made vulnerable to malicious attacks if the DNSSEC system was compromised in order to make the legislation workable.

Sen. Leahy's office has stated that he "will propose removing the provision from the legislation, in response to questions from certain stakeholders and other Senators." Instead, Leahy will "request a study to examine if, or how, such a provision would impact consumer usage of the Internet."

by MacNN Staff



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