Anonymous Protests Irish SOPA, Sees ResultsBy: Zach Walton - January 26, 2012
Anonymous is targeting Irish government Web sites over their own version of SOPA.
The country is looking to bring into law their own version of SOPA before the end of January. The law would allow Irish courts to block access to Web sites accused of infringing content according to TJ McIntyre, lecturer in the School of Law, University College Dublin.
The part of it that has people up in arms is that the Irish parliament won’t have a chance to debate it as the law is being brought in by a statutory instrument which only requires the minister to sign it into law.
The law was drafted by Sean Sherlock, Junior Minister of the Department for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
The law in question is just like SOPA in that it gives vague powers to the courts to block access to Web sites through ISPs, but it could also give the power to block social networking sites, forums and video hosting sites. McIntyre says that the the law is so vague that “leaves the future of the Irish Internet in the discretion of Irish judges.”
A petition was created to urge Sherlock to abandon the legislation and allow it to be democratically voted on instead of being pushed through with no vote. It currently has over 45,000 signatures.
Anonymous has been doing their part in the fight by attacking Irish government Web sites all night. The Journal is reporting that Irish’s Department of Justice Web site was taken down before midnight with the Department of Finance and other minor government Web sites going down throughout the night.
Anonymous’ branch in Sweden seems to be taking responsibility with other branches joining in to help.
The attacks seemed to have had some sort of effect as Sherlock posted the draft legislation in full today so citizens may read the bill and make their own decision on it.
The legislation is also going up for live debate today before the Irish parliament. Stephen Donelly, a TD (member of parliament) for Wicklow and East Carlow, confirmed the news via Twitter and his Web site.
Just learned that SOPA legislation NOT going to go ahead without public debate, I believe in the Dáil. Good politics from Gov & Opp.
This story is still developing and we’ll let you know what becomes of it after the debate today.