shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: When Is Alexis Ohanian Gonna Run for Office Already?

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Your Name Here A Silicon Valley source had the pleasure of dining near Path cofounder Dave Morin and his wife, Brit.co founder Brit Morin recently. Mr. Morin spoke about the future of Path while Ms. Morin, a DIY enthusiast, used crayons provide by the restaurant to doodle on the paper table cloth, said the source. There were rainbows, flowers and balloons, but our favorite was a drawing of the Brit.co logo, with “Morin” written underneath and an arrow pointed towards Ms. Morin (just in case the restaurant staff didn’t recognize her). That’s one way to disrupt advertising, we suppose. Our tipster was kind enough to snap a pic on their way out.

Happy Internet, Mr. President Twice this week in conversation with tech types, Betabeat was asked when Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian was running for office already. The 29-year-old credited with helping to defeat SOPA/PIPA already toured the country (in a bus once leased for John McCain’s  “Straight Talk Express”) running for president of the Internet. But with Sheryl Sandberg hot on his heels, isn’t it time to start campaigning for the real thing? Read More

SOPA Opera

Congress Shelves SOPA After President Obama’s Involvement

Rep. Issa, Internet hero?

Detractors of the the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) may have reason to celebrate, albeit momentarily. According to Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-Rep.), an opponent of the bills,  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has assured him that SOPA will not move forward in Congress until “a consensus” has been reached.

Rep. Issa also said that a hearing regarding SOPA’s impact on cybersecurity scheduled for today has been postponed. On Friday, Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-Rep.), chief sponsor of SOPA, said he would take out a portion of the law that would allow the Justice Dept. to seek court orders requiring American ISPs to block subscriber access to foreign websites accused of infringing copyright, reports PC World.

Although Mr. Cantor’s camp has yet to issue a public statement, Rep. Issa, who is pushing for alternate legislation called the OPEN Act claims: Read More

SOPA Opera

Reddit and Union Square Ventures Go to Washington to Explain Why DNS and Search Engine Blocking Will Break the Internet

Rep. Issa.

Brad Burnham of Union Square Ventures and Alexis Ohanian of Reddit, Breadpig, Hipmunk and Google+ are headed to Washington to testify as witnesses for an “Oversight Hearing on DNS and Search Engine Blocking” on Jan. 18 called by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a fierce opponent of the Stop Online Piracy Act and a cosponsor of the similar but completely different Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act. Of SOPA, he’s said: “Butchering the internet is not a way forward for America.”

SOPA allows for Hollywood, record labels and other intellectual property holders to cut off U.S. users’ access to the servers hosting the bad content. That happens by basically removing the DNS entry for the infringing site. The law also applies to sites that link to infringing sites, which would give search engines a primary spot on the collateral damage list.

Opponents have pinpointed DNS and search engine blocking as failure points of the legislation. We know SOPA is bad because it counteracts the protection from user-submitted content made sacred by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, a law whose protections are credited for much of the innovation on the web. But DNS—the protocol and registry that translates natural language domain names into IP addresses—is a little more technical, so Betabeat asked New York tech godfather Anil Dash who helped Betabeat out with an explanation. Read More