There has been a lot of talk about SOPA lately, we even did a post about it HERE. I believe SOPA is being used as a cover. Let me explain my theory.
Under ICANN right now anyone can basically buy a website and have freedom of speech. In all western countries a $5-$10 domain name per year is a negligible price. Even for a person in Eastern Europe, Asia, or Africa someone could potentially scrape up $10 for a domain name and say whatever they want to the world. i.e., the cost of free speech and freedom is negligible.
With the new rules of ICANN and the handover of ICANN everything is changing and no one is opposing these changes as we are all so focused on SOPA. Under the new rules ICANN will be greatly expanding its TLD ("top level domains" meaning .com, .org) base. Right now ICANN has pricing caps on its TLDs. No matter which website you buy your domain name from... godaddy, network solutions, etc... you will never pay more than the top fee (whatever it is). Right now, all Top Level Domains will never cost you more than say $12 a year.
With the new rules coming soon THERE WILL BE NO PRICE CAPS. Think about that for a second please. ICANN will basically "censor the web" by pricing websites which ever way it wishes. Lets say you visit a popular political website that questions your dear government. ICANN may not charge $12 a year for the domain, it can and will charge whatever it wants... say $50,000 or some other unreasonable price structure. ICANN will control free speech, I guarantee it. ICANN will find other ways to control the flow of free information on the web too. He is another way. Lets say Netflix which uses a lot of bandwidth goes up for its yearly domain name renewal. ICANN will say they use XXX amount of bandwidth so ICANN will charge them for their domain based on bandwidth usage. $12 for Netflix.com? FORGET IT. ICANN feels like charging $7.8 million for the domain name now.
The freedom on the net, which was once so easily obtainable by most anyone on the planet, will soon be unreachable by many. Millions of people will lose their voices on the web.
ICANN is also toying with the idea of having criminal background checks for those who want a domain name. You thought SOPA was bad? You havent seen anything yet!
(I wonder if ICANN will change their name to ICANT. Just saying.)
So my bottom line is this: I think SOPA is a terrible bill that will restrict freedom on the web. Its just horrible and we should be paying attention to it. Although, I think SOPA is being used in a "smoke and mirrors" fashion to hide what ICANN is potentially up to and we should also keep our eyes on them as well.
Where do you stand? What do you think?