Coders Are Already Finding Ways Around SOPA Censorship

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A developer who calls himself T Rizk doesn't have much faith in Congress making the right decision on anti-piracy legislation, so he's built a work around for the impending censorship measures being considered: DeSOPA. The Firefox add-on is stunningly simple as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would block specific domain names (e.g. www.thepiratebay.com) of allegedly infringing sites, T Rizk's lightweight tool allows you to revert to the bare internet protocol (IP) address (e.g. 194.71.107.15) which takes you to the same place. "I feel that the general public is not aware of the gravity of SOPA and Congress seems like they are about to cater to the special interests involved, to the detriment of Internet, for which I and many others live and breathe," T Rizk told the site  TorrentFreak -- and you can pretty easily guess whose side they're on. If that doesn't work, TorrentFreak points to  another developer-made anti-SOPA solution that's also in the works. Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell Issa  is busy rallying developers behind his transparent laboratory for digital democracy, as Reddit-types continue to flood the Internet with protest memes.

As the number of acronyms and parentheses in our intro suggest, the technical details of SOPA are, well, pretty technical. And with the exception of anti-SOPA folks like Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, most of the members of Congress now considering the legislation  are not tech experts. On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee decided to table SOPA until 2012, citing the need to speak to some Internet experts, to balance out the so-far overwhelmingly Hollywood-centric testimonies we've heard so far. Civil rights groups hailed the decision as a victory, at first. That is, until committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith scheduled a last minute hearing on Wednesday morning in an attempt to push the bill to the floor. Not long before he scheduled the hearing -- which may or may not happen depending on whether or not the larger Congress decides to break for holiday recess on Tuesday -- pro-SOPA lobbyists sent out a press release with the misleading title "Markup Shows Strong Support for SOPA." It quotes Smith, a Republican from Texas: "The criticism of this bill is completely hypothetical; none of it is based in reality. Not one of the critics was able to point to any language in the bill that would in any way harm the Internet. Their accusations are simply not supported by any facts."

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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