Resolved: The Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) Should Be Utilized to Try to Control Bad Behavior Such as Copyright and Trademark Infringement

January 25, 2012

The Debate

[On December 13,] the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) approved an influential Recommendation on Principles for Internet Policy Making [pdf]. … Many of these principles uphold … fostering an open Internet, evidence-based policy-making, multi-stakeholder policy development, decentralized online decision-making, effective global privacy protections, and limiting Internet intermediary liability. But … in spite of this landmark … policy framework, … the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) enable online censorship on a massive scale and threaten to break the Internet, all in the name of intellectual property enforcement. … the DNS blocking contemplated by these bills would undermine the usability of the DNSSEC security measures that are meant to authenticate domains and deter tampering with the DNS system.

The 112th Congress has introduced legislation that would strengthen U.S. law enforcement’s capacity to take action against foreign “rogue” websites that traffic in stolen and counterfeit American-made films, television shows, music and other goods. This legislation is bicameral, bi partisan, and would protect hundreds of thousands of American jobs, billions in taxes and economic output, and health and public safety of all Americans. The legislation would protect American consumers from the deception of these foreign thieves, and ensure those that play a role in the internet ecosystem, such as advertisers, payment processors, search engines and ISPs, have shared responsibility in cutting off these sites from the American marketplace.