When Senators give speeches, they will say that you can’t put a price on freedom. But as it turns out you can. You can actually put an exact dollar amount on the Constitution. And that amount is $335,906.
That’s the amount that Hollywood gave Senator Patrick Leahy. And in return, Leahy gave them COICA. That’s not the same of some new disease, it’s the abbreviation for Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, the biggest and more comprehensive internet censorship proposal in the history of this country. It would give Attorney General Eric Holder the power to create a blacklist of websites and force all companies that do business in the United States to comply with that blacklist.
Ever since the Clinton Administration’s Communications Decency Act, Democrats have been obsessed with censoring the internet. And that drive has kicked into high gear again. COICA is the most ambitious plan to enact government control over freedom of expression on the internet since the days of the CDA.
While this bill was crafted on behalf of the entertainment industry, the applications go far beyond that. Websites that feature collections of articles, such as FreeRepublic or DemocraticUnderground could easily be targeted under the terms of COICA. And so could many blogs, which list entire articles or cite extensively from them. Any site or blog that embeds videos or images which are not authorized by the copyright holder could be similarly targeted. And with the Attorney General of a highly politicized administration wielding the power to preemptively shutter and blacklist entire websites, it would be all too easy for COICA to be used as a club for suppressing dissent.
While on paper COICA is only supposed to apply to 0.01 percent of the internet, in its broadest interpretation it could apply to anywhere between 30/40 percent of the internet.