Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 14th Jan 2012 20:57 UTC
Internet & Networking The Obama administration has responded to two petitions regarding SOPA, but in true political fashion, the response is 838 words of absolutely nothing at all. Here's a link, but don't complain to me about losing 10 minutes of your life reading this empty drivel. How about taking a stand for once, eh?
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Excuse me, but...
by Mrokii on Sun 15th Jan 2012 09:42 UTC
Mrokii
Member since:
2011-01-04

... is this the same petition-response Techdirt is reporting about? I can't help but think that this short OSnews-entry is kind of unfair, slamming the White House just because.

Techdirt points out that the response is indeed *against* the broad approach of SOPA and such, and I would agree. The thing is that they don't *need* to mention SOPA specifically but the intent of censoring the Internet or harming new technologies. From the short snippets I read, this is exactly what they're doing.

In hope that this doesn't get deleted: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120114/09513217409/white-house-c...

Sorry OSnews, but your approach isn't what I'd call good journalism.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Excuse me, but...
by l3v1 on Sun 15th Jan 2012 15:31 in reply to "Excuse me, but..."
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but it does not matter what they write or say in a response to a petition. Word in the wind. What matters, is what's inside the SOPA (and the others). The rest is just smoke.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Excuse me, but...
by AdamW on Thu 19th Jan 2012 01:07 in reply to "RE: Excuse me, but..."
AdamW Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, no, not really.

As I commented last time this came up: you have to understand the U.S. legislative process. The executive branch - the White House - has no ability directly to control or even really to influence the content of the legislation at this point in the process. It can't even _stop_ the legislation at this point in the process.

The President gets his chance once a bill has been passed by both legislative houses; he can choose to veto it. (In some cases he has a line-item veto power, which means he can authorize most of the bill but veto specific parts, but I'm not entirely clear on the circumstances which apply surrounding that, so skip it). But he can't veto a bill _until_ it's approved by both houses and sent to his office.

At this point in the process, what the President can do in public is effectively to set out his terms for vetoing or not vetoing a bill, which is what this statement does: it's clearly written to suggest, for e.g., that Obama would veto a bill containing the most controversial bit of SOPA/PIPA, the DNS-blocking provisions.

To be clear - right now, Obama has very little power over the SOPA/PIPA legislation. He could not actually choose, for instance, to kill it tomorrow. That just isn't how U.S. politics works. He could announce a definite intention to veto it, but that's about as far as he could go, and it would be a relatively radical stance: the presidential veto power is a somewhat sensitive subject in the U.S., and presidents don't like to look as if they're waving it around with the safety catch off, so to speak.

Of course, when the party of which the President is a member is in control of one or other house, the President may have substantial *informal* influence over legislation at the draft, review and voting stages, though he still has no formal, legislated influence. When the other party controls the house, he really can't do a whole lot besides threaten the veto the bill and ask for concessions to be made in exchange for *not* vetoing it, which is precisely what he's doing now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Excuse me, but...
by lucas_maximus on Sun 15th Jan 2012 17:04 in reply to "Excuse me, but..."
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Thom is yet again being dramatic, and he has seemed to miss the bit,

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/obama-administratio...

They said the White House cannot support legislation that "drives users to dangerous, unreliable DNS servers and puts next-generation security policies, such as the deployment of DNSSEC, at risk." Both PIPA and SOPA would do exactly that.


So it does seem they are actually against it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Excuse me, but...
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 15th Jan 2012 19:57 in reply to "RE: Excuse me, but..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Why don't you read the thing for yourself instead of relying on third parties?

Anybody with even a dime of undersanding about politics (and I have a very deep interest in the politics of my own country as well as that of the US, as I follow US politics closely) knows this is an empty statement. Nwhere does it say they are against anything. No stand is taken. No point is made. It's just meaningless jibber-jabber to appease everyone.

Incredible how people fall for this. In The Netherlands, you'd lose voters over non-statements like this.

Reply Parent Score: 3