The Nuclear Option Is Selective Blocking of SOPA Supporters

by Christopher Paul on January 5, 2012

Earlier today, I read something (from where I forget) that suggested some large tech companies would “go dark” to protest SOPA – which threatens the internet’s security and the openness that comes with it – not to mention the risk to free speech. By going dark, I guess they mean shutting off access to their services and websites to either promote public awareness and/or to highlight how very real the end result could be should it pass.

But it’s a risky move. For it to work, nearly every major player in some space would have to push the button (to continue the metaphor). Google couldn’t do this without Microsoft and Yahoo’s support. Lesser search providers – partnered with the big ones or not – would also have to block their search services. Amazon and Barnes & Nobel would have to shut down – so would Apple. If there are other music stores besides Amazon and iTunes, they’d have to go dark, too. It’s not particularly feasible.

But I don’t think it would be necessary, either. The search companies and DNS companies in particular, could start removing entries to SOPA supporters; block them from becoming reachable other than IP address. Effectively, they could start blocking the RIAA, the MPAA, and their supporting companies form being reachable on the internet. It would give them a taste of how SOPA/PIPA could affect companies with what seems to be at will blacklisting.

I don’t know if this is feasible either but why not try? Even if the search companies remove them from their searches, it could seriously affect them and they might rethink their censorship plans. Of course, the outcry would be enormous. They would all cry foul and say internet companies are abusing their power on the internet. But the pot would be calling the kettle black if they were in a position to block small websites from their newfound powers.

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