COICA and its Consequences

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CoicaCOICA, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, was presented to the US Senate last year. But it wasn’t accepted. This year, both chambers of Congress are examining a new COICA draft. According to this act, the government is allowed to block sites at domain name (DNS) level  if the Justice Department considers them to be "dedicated to infringing content." The aim of this act is to abolish access to foreign piracy and counterfeiting sites.

With the help of COICA the government wants to solve the problem of online security and protecting internet privacy. The supporters of the act believe that it will be effective to gain the control over websites that engage in illegal activity.

But opponents of this act claim that such internet censorship will bring people to use alternative DNS systems or anonymous proxies to access blocked sites. They think that COICA won’t solve the problem and, moreover, that it will aggravate the situation.

Senator Ron Wyden, who opposes COICA, says: "It seems to me that online copyright infringement is a legitimate problem, but it seems to me that COICA as written is the wrong medicine. Deploying this statute to combat online copyright infringement seems almost like using a bunker-busting cluster bomb when what you really need is a precision-guided missile. The collateral damage of this statute could be American innovation, American jobs, and a secure Internet."


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