Cyberspace analysts and experts now have the chance to take the stand on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in Congress.
SOPA’s passage as a US law is under constant debate among drivers, mostly high-profile media companies, and antagonists and now news broke out that online tech experts would finally get their say on the controversial bill.
On January 18, witnesses will testify at the congressional hearing headed by US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
“An open Internet is crucial to American job creation, government operations, and the daily routines of Americans from all walks of life,” said Darrell Issa, head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “The public deserves a full discussion about the consequences of changing the way Americans access information and communicate on the Internet today.”
“I will be testifying to Congress on January 18th about the engineering & security implications of PIPA/SOPA,” confirmed Dan Kaminsky, a popular networking security professional, of his attendance during the hearing.
Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder and technology investor, tweeted, “They said ‘bring in the nerds,’ so I’m headed to DC to testify about SOPA/PIPA.”
Other expected guests include Lanham Napier, CEO of Rackspace Hosting; Michael Macleod-Ball, chief of staff at the American Civil Liberties Union; and Dr. Leonard Napolitano, director of the Center for Computer Sciences & Information Technology at Sandia National Laboratories.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, widely known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, has repeatedly discussed his sentiments on SOPA with several US legislators and promised to reiterate his recommendation on his Google+ account.
Several Internet engineers have already enlisted their names in a movement to put down SOPA, and most of these prominent individuals attached signatures in an open letter to the US Congress that acknowledged freely and openly the bad implications of its passage as law.
“The US government has regularly claimed that it supports a free and open Internet, both domestically and abroad. We cannot have a free and open Internet unless its naming and routing systems sit above the political concerns and objectives of any one government or industry,” said the letter, which was signed by over 80 Internet pioneers and engineers including Vinton Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP, Paul Vixie, author of BIND, and Jim Gettys, editor of the HTTP 1.1 protocol standard. “Senators, Congressmen, we believe the Internet is too important and too valuable to be endangered in this way, and implore you to put these bills aside.”