Tech Culture: Ep. 107: What SOPA hath wrought
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Tech Culture: Ep. 107: What SOPA hath wrought

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The backlash against the SOPA and PIPA anti-copyright bills continues. Major sites took themselves offline. The U.S. government shut down MegaUpload. Anon launched a successful attack against government Web sites. All of these events are related, and the stories are still developing. That's what we're talking about today, with CNET experts Declan McCullagh, Greg Sandoval, and Elinor Mills.

-- -- Hi everyone -- reporters' roundtable. It's episode number 107 are normal spot on Friday -- 10 AM. Hey what a week it has been it was such a week we had to do with special emergency show a couple of days ago on what was happening with soap and on the site blackouts. But you know what that story just will not die it is so interest in what's happening in. The effects of the -- -- the pipa. Backlash. Have been -- epic and that's we're talking about today. -- the house delayed the vote on these bills. Sponsors are ditching it -- to upload that taken offline and none has gone nuclear and attacked government sites and if you think these. At episodes these news events are unrelated your wrong all tied together. That's or talking about today and I am so excited about the -- is this is why we do the roundtable. All the experts who know the stuff are here working with us at CNET that animal on the line with -- right now first in the studio. -- -- -- security. Reporter -- seller for joining us. Via Skype again -- Linda McCulloch are political correspondent thank you -- -- for dialing and again. Directly -- your muted. I'm back now now you -- -- world handwritten note never thank you for for joining us. And then we have great sand evolved from a secret undisclosed location somewhere deep in the heart of New York City who covers Hollywood in the media force great thank you for dialing in. -- -- an economic ultimately -- will you know. A local. -- -- -- Greg by the way -- achieved a an epic win here at CNET he had three stories on the front door cnet.com -- CNN -- stuck on this morning which is unheard of congratulations great. He. He works and we working -- -- anyway -- and we have to get into the news here a first of all an update on what's happening with via protect IP act and Soka. And that the site take -- the effect that those takedown as -- that the self. -- blocking hasn't happened so Wiki Wikipedia. Craig's list other sites went dark. Debacle in what has the in brief if possible the effect of those take downs -- Well I was saying all along that some version of Silva and how some version -- protect IP address and it is gonna go forward even if it's a modified watered down version and look at I was wrong. It's too early to say the situation is still really fluid but the protest -- -- -- media blackout that Google -- Amazon enough home page's statements. I admit this this is change the political dynamic in Washington has become much more a Democrat. Backed -- the Republicans are vanishing in terms of their support for. And debit and this is this install all of -- gonna resume I don't know but for right now on the Internet it has won a temporary victory. Now Greg what's so interesting about this is that these bills have been pushed by the content industry by Hollywood by the -- you cover. What has been the reaction. In your industry. -- to this backlash against these bills. Well -- like everybody else ever litigation ever greater or watch all -- like that I. Burst dot. -- and chat or. She doesn't and this all warm -- have. Why are -- -- or. Try behind it apart from behind it you're going got an online piracy pasture or impairing smashed and -- All these guys were searchlight and -- format is going. I don't have to really capture below -- Over -- -- -- much credit here technology sector can't -- it will be out we. They -- chill it's grassroots effort came from nowhere. Push back all or we saw people dropping off a lot drop pop up. Like it is rooted in Hollywood. It is -- shock. Absolutely -- at -- this UK state in outlook reading it -- call. -- -- I welcome back to that in a second so that covers a bit more of the news here on on this then make upload was that yesterday that -- before. When that was. Yesterday -- mega upload. Was shut down by the US government. And it's on arrest warrants having -- around the around the world in New Zealand and I think -- to get the people who run make outlook brought to justice there are -- now. And tell us briefly. Ellison on the net news analyst talk about how that's related to this in in the -- so what happened with make upload what is make upload and who took it down and -- I got a look at this cycle or her -- struggle or people -- -- -- people -- by attracting nearly as much or. -- You should. Go there and to restore -- video files mostly by Judy show will be. It would shorten cycle lockers but twist here is that it would also allow other people. Beauties of movies and if there are -- copy a movie industry -- -- alleged. So that it almost all we're seeing a lot problem government shouldn't -- -- eagle -- commissioner at the German. Erupted as a widget and Egypt on art materials were notified by the copyright owner Indian it -- I mean street walk down. The axis you know -- -- to -- An -- government governor is something about it yesterday. At all. Is the timing cannot be coincidental. Yes. -- -- tell me the part that -- Spirit that mr. -- and turned back and all I. -- Are you can't -- sell a lot people sources say is there an age that there -- victims letting people decade. -- campaign. -- -- -- -- -- President Travis I'll take pretty predictable relationship. -- -- BI and Justice Department people not working on astronaut I was told about this that there -- some apps. Are. I think her big blue in the -- collateral so that it. Okay now we're gonna get more details and all the stuff the first -- -- to -- out the week with what happened in response to this so first we have the very powerful people on the Internet who running -- sites in protest taking down their sites make -- available twenty for hours in -- in reaction to these bills. Then we have make upload. Being taken offline. By the federal government which seems being sort of in reaction to what's happening with with a -- And then we have a non getting throwing. Sending their flying monkeys out over the Internet and taking down government sites. -- or what happens there. Yeah out very swiftly after the mega -- mega -- news on of the indictments and arrests came out. I -- Twitter. Accounts of anonymous we're just going crazy he and they were behind the scenes just. You know going into attack mode mini I'll win after you know when after government sites. DOJ was one of the first -- -- ago. Com and MPAA. And -- had others in their sites and throughout the afternoon and evening they were on sites were going offline on a music industry. Movie industry and in France to -- France a couple other sites. Com you know and it is sort of a struggle but they were struggling to keep -- back up they go back up and they go back down again. So. A -- a bunch of activist hackers loosely -- Adam connected managed to take down and that the OJ cited denial of service attack on the DOJ. This cannot end well. In and that's the last that's now we're up to date okay that's what -- -- parts -- -- any news this morning as related to this we need to about. Well and via the only interesting tidbit is that they they were very successfully had a lot of them. -- a lot of activity in in people you know who were participating in the DOS attacks. But it also turns out that they were using a a previously. You had to download a tool called -- -- low orbit. -- on can Canon and that would allow you -- you knew you were going to participate in the DOS attack will now. They were distributing links on Twitter at when you click that -- You've arrived at the page. Instead of getting what you think would be you know media at press release from anonymous talking about with -- you'd actually get to a page. Where if you had JavaScript enabled in your browser. You would automatically be participating in the attack without even knowing it so they -- -- getting a lot of help from unwitting. You know computers people who didn't know that they were participating just by clicking on this link. Really so it's that sounds like a a virus and -- -- not want you could -- tried by rather and I do exactly yeah I mean. Basically you're clicking a link and you don't know what's happening to your computer -- -- is attacking you know the DOJ. Okay so go up a -- attack. -- reaction to the events of this week. Both a technical and to -- into a large sent a social success because in addition to those. Bought icing of of people's computers are also a lot of people -- obviously very much wanted to participate in this attack so both the technical and -- social success. Up and it looks like from here that we now have the battle lines lining up. Huge battle being drawn between the people who are opposed to. Content restriction censorship. And on on the one hand and maybe the government. On that the other because there are now getting attacked and they've got these bills which are in trouble and of course -- a lot of factions in the government which are moving around in changing size. And then we've got the content industry who. I don't know what's. Who seem to be. The puppet masters that the way this is going -- who what who are the major contestants. In this battle. -- and then Greg. If you look at is the amount of enthusiasm. Of that event companies and trade associations -- spent on this. -- top one is the Motion Picture Association of America of the major. Movie studios. I and then have that -- follow probably buy out the Recording Industry Association of America. I and then may be followed by the US chamber of commerce and even asylum on this other act in December but. After Republicans started at dropping off for expressing concerns that Heritage Foundation said this week is the iconic and a conservative think tank. That if you -- or so or protect IP they're gonna -- negatively against -- their ranking in congress that a lot of conservatives pay attention to -- that there's. This is and this is not entirely being driven by. As Hollywood but in terms of who's really out there and saying we really need this yeah that's it's kind of the -- on the other hand it's it's not just Internet companies that the web -- -- web site that. Major -- that went dark so its contents moral offline Muster a blocking JavaScript wasn't Wiki PU which is not accompany -- -- Wiki media foundation ends up in the week Wikipedia's own users and active contributors voted to say it's just say we're going to do this that was unprecedented in the last. Greg the the content industry Hollywood as you said they feel they must be rocked back on their -- and they're fat leather chairs whatever it is it -- chairs feeling. Routed as you said what do you think the reaction is going to be now the content industry of course has blocked or try to block in the past. Other media types that enabled individuals to share and distribute content mostly an analog form and now they're taking on digital. What do they do next now that apparently the there pa -- The the the work they put into getting that the government basically to. Take. Their come what they want it to do seriously and put these bills out there now that that didn't work what's next. -- -- distinguished extreme search from the past -- how did you ever. Trains. Are strong. -- part is just people taking. That. It or not compensating the creators. And there. Article and now. I think the first they -- gonna -- And -- signature of public support outlook. And then -- aren't error common common ground lit. Opposition. And it is edit away. Something that -- doubt that Apple watchers say. -- -- -- -- -- I'm not gonna help track the problem in which history yet. But -- something. -- -- -- But they felt like they had support for this they had the the democratic White House behind them. And even many Republican supporters of Linux correct on that and now -- that's. Yet. So and that was undone by a the people. They. Are -- everybody ought not exporters. Or fingers including -- -- Now -- just that and not a question let it grew well spam flames. It pitches to protect company. Being -- donated all are assessed in Britain error. There are accusations. Will want -- shall. You know that's real -- because I remember when Google bought YouTube. And the it was a very it was obvious that that content would be valuable for -- But it looked like they were just buying a big -- of the lawsuits because at the time that Google acquired YouTube YouTube was under massive assault from. Content histories for pretty much exactly the same thing we're talking about right now. Is -- right. And they -- at least that 11. Now I want to tie -- into what's happening we'll deal -- make -- -- right now. When YouTube was under assault on Google if YouTube and -- Google owned YouTube under assault those were all civil. Those were. Nobody was put in jail. For what YouTube was alleged to be doing why is make -- upload being treated as a criminal. That slipped -- upload -- turning. It why. Are. You able. -- -- -- One port. And -- he says earth -- not. Flak jacket straw and gone out. On orders. That her question is how receptive to. Now they're never charges. You should kick lot of -- or lecture. But this is something different. Something that we're seeing the US government -- -- piracy law. -- -- -- -- -- -- It. Upload was an air company -- its servers or under American jurisdiction should that server and virtually. Saying that copyright law. Are violated international law or some -- law and all are. But they're not and -- actually -- K. According to. Turkey that something happens under -- if you. The -- Clinton in DC war. What is the response been to or what is that -- take on the made upload criminal charges eight it is is this because. DOJ or whomever got their nose bloodied with -- and protect IP is that -- -- set. And having a tantrum -- reaction or just logical. I think that Greg is probably right in saying that the timing is no coincidence though when that you have the administration now wanting to show that they're doing something. I -- this is the response site now in terms of the criminal charges this is probably. -- -- probably could be interpreted as an example of but why you have a very element of a very broad. Copyright system has a a lot of power given to the Department of Justice in copyright holders and -- you have to would trust them to exercise it responsibly. There's a 1997 law called the no electronic theft act. -- that says that I that sharing movies music whatever you gonna habits have with a member of your family. I can be prosecuted as a federal felony I -- that that's of the law that was that I invoked here either there -- other than what other response out into the global point oh well what and the supporters of the protect IP and so I have done. Are trying to do is say this is just Google Google's -- the company behind. Opposition to it. -- that's -- Lamar Smith had Google only allowed Google and only good I will testify. Act -- the hearing a few months ago and -- and so. -- -- Has some baggage and has the YouTube case -- Google books site and so it's easy relatively easy for help Republicans Democrats I have to say. -- doesn't really believe in copyright law. I therefore like to see -- -- and learn therefore let's ignore what they're saying about this open protect night each in reality of this is it not Google it's pretty much checked out I'll a lot of folks on the Internet universe is a very few number of. People in Washington DC. Now the going back to the nuclear issue here this has been a week. Peak. Actions and big speaker reactions and I don't think we're done yet -- or. The federal government whose sites came under attack cannot sit back inlet and on wall all over their sites this way what. Power -- that of likely to react to this if in anyway. It could be a -- I mean they buy in grants after other attacks on you know Sony and other companies so. There are probably gonna and you know this information and trying to go after people who who organized word you know coordinated acts when they can't. It's definitely going back to DC here what's the what you hear from the old from the White House. I'm not a whole lot die as there is I I wish that -- more forthcoming. I this is a delicate balancing active for. President Obama and the White House in general because what they've been able to do historically. And I and at least out of nobody has been able to do this not in -- Republican side since bush in 2000. I knew what what they've been -- a democratic site is say is get money from both the northern California Silicon Valley and Southern California. Hollywood and now Obama is being put in -- position that is -- have to choose one or the other. And it is gonna be some political consequences. There Robert what he does that's not a position he probably wants to be you know be a lot better for him if this -- just went away and so I think that's probably what led to some pressure meant being put on senator -- to -- -- -- -- -- this -- -- -- we can find something else that a mortal error once it has a. Because that's such -- unifying issue. -- guys are let's wrap up here with what -- what's gonna happen next week I mean this week we had. Sites gone offline we had arrests in New Zealand we've had an ongoing nuclear. What are we have to look forward to -- I predict another data breach next week via. I don't know who or -- and we may not in May not. Surfaced to the news that there'll be actually more than one. And an on base data breach -- known since I don't think -- necessarily mean anything original on clinic -- political activity in protest. But. -- in general especially want to see under the radar -- the real criminals we're just trying to -- not your money. So you won't hear about it you won't know who they are and eventually hopefully -- wrestling that's not related to this or that is -- that's. -- okay related to this. -- yet we're gonna have another I. Key supporters -- -- after Christopher Dodd's website. In content and -- sites of other people L or even -- their information by the way just as -- here before we do rev up late senator Dodd the MP -- -- chairman. Sent out a statement saying we applaud those leaders in Washington have chosen to stand with the millions of hardworking Americans all across this nation whose livelihoods are threatened by foreign. Criminal workers -- designed to steal. It -- like take -- you've seen this statement on it it seems. A little tone deaf to me -- -- am I misreading it did he hit the right tone on his -- in reaction to what's happened with protect ipso a lately. I -- That and that you're probably right that it is a bit tone -- thighs at a time talking about that is just criminal operations have -- appeared. In a statement this is just criminal operations -- -- you saw. Act -- out that our Homeland Security -- -- New York music blog and that will see a year later after the demands an outline for a year and returned to -- jazz that's -- rightful owners out and it won't want what's really happening here is that the last ten years or so. A Hollywood. Has pretty much gotten its way when it comes to copyright law with the with one exception out when they proposed something. They -- it well -- they do the right briefings may be some members of congress will be invited to tie gala dinners with Richard -- around I'm glad that that was the MPAA gallant general -- here may be Lamar Smith. RIA double -- similar event that happened to end -- -- have -- is really really well and they expected. Add to succeed here just because that's their history I am so they were just taken by surprise -- a rule by the trip and -- -- what to do. Rolled by the -- Greg what do you expect to hear from the in new York and Southern California in the next week in reaction to all that's. Well I think the big shortcoming actually should not be what they're packed state government -- -- Off. His alleged -- hall associates what -- state. And it just slipped an issue watching. TV shows how applicable -- aren't very much lot. Social so expect seeing -- and fight. And up here -- we -- see it trial dot com and upload. All in the united. -- one last question for anybody who wants -- what does this mean for the average. Online human being. For you and me people who watch TV shows do a little -- you know sandy get a get a nice MP3 track you like he sent it to a friend you know you subscribe to Netflix. Mostly legit every now then by mistake a little bit of a legitimate content sharing going -- what does this mean to you and me. The status quo continues you think are. -- now Apple. -- -- -- changes. And nothing to it if look at. It. But. -- -- -- -- Will decline in home video market. Businesses ensure that all opposition says there are a -- -- -- Show one or their concern or decline in the business. -- -- TV networks music little. Sort -- -- and extra scrutiny it quite. For -- or are forever. It's also -- thing to me it's a big bear being backed slowly and ever more slowly into a tighter and tighter corner. It's very -- houses all playing I think it's gonna take the next couple a couple of years we'll city and then the B new technology to worry about. Elinor mills thank you so much for joining us. -- -- great cent of all thanks guys were really interesting reporters' roundtable primary needle in San Francisco thanks -- for producing. We'll be back on Friday on something big happens before then with another another reporters' roundtable. You have comments on the show please email me -- at cnet.com or follow me on Twitter that's -- FE thanks everyone we'll see on next week.

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