A family member sent out an email with information on the new petition to veto SOPA, and he asked for my take from the technical side. This is based on my reply.
I am aware of SOPA, and the senate version called PROTECT IP. They are bad. There’s a good video at http://vimeo.com/31100268 that explains a bit.
I don’t know a lot about the technical details, but on a high-level, “The bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Depending on who requests the court orders, the actions could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators such as PayPal from doing business with the allegedly infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites.”1
Frankly, I find the scary part to be giving US government and copyright holders the right to control what websites we can access. As if our media isn’t controlled enough already (see this for an example), this would remove the main open exchange of ideas and information we currently have. Sounds like China.
Since you asked about technical details, here is an article that looks at some of the ways SOPA could be implemented by ISPs. Pretty technical (I wouldn’t bother reading it if “DNS” doesn’t mean anything to you), but it gives a nice concise overview if you have the background.
Though I have admittedly not followed this very closely, and I’m typically not much of an activist, I have signed a prior petition and contacted my representatives, blogged about it, and posted on twitter and facebook about it. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some good resources for doing more.
So, yes, I will be signing this new petition and contacting my representatives. Thank you for sharing the update and the new petition!