Does A Simple Firefox Add-On Make SOPA Useless?

Are browser add-ons the key to defeating SOPA?

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Does A Simple Firefox Add-On Make SOPA Useless?
[ Technology]

As the world of SOPA continues to turn, the emergence of a simple Firefox browser add-on may render the potential punitive actions of these protection acts null and void; or, at least ineffective, if not outright useless.

Firefox, which already boasts an outspoken stance against SOPA, and has already shown they are willing to stand by add-on developers who create circumvention extensions designed to go around measures currently employed by Homeland Security, has welcomed a new add-on, one that is designed to circumvent whatever SOPA website blacklists that are created, provided the bills become law.

Working much like the MAFIAAFire Redirector extension, the DeSopa add-on was developed by Tamer Rizk, and designed with SOPA circumvention in mind. Naturally, the idea behind the add-on is to be in defiance of the oft-maligned protection act. This even includes the extension’s name, “DeSopa,” which is short for, “DNS Evasion to Stop Oppressive Policy in America.” On the extension’s page, there’s also a multiple paragraph manifesto of sorts, detailing the developer’s stance.

An example:

This program is a proof of concept that SOPA will not help prevent piracy. The program, implemented as a Firefox extension, simply contacts offshore domain name resolution services to obtain the IP address for any desired website, and accesses those websites directly via IP. Similar offshore resolution services will eventually maintain their own cache of websites, without blacklisting, in order to meet the demand created by SOPA.

If SOPA is implemented, thousands of similar and more innovative programs and services will sprout up to provide access to the websites that people frequent. SOPA is a mistake. It does not even technically help solve the underlying problem, as this software illustrates. What it will do is give undue leverage to predatory organizations, cripple innocent third party websites, severely dampen digital innovation and negatively impact the integrity and security of the Internet.

If you’ll notice, the blocked quote also contains a description of how it works and if this is all it takes to sidestep/circumvent/defeat SOPA measures — “[DeSopa] simply contacts offshore domain name resolution services to obtain the IP address for any desired website, and accesses those websites directly via IP” — then these protection acts are worth less than the paper they’re written on.

The sad things is, if you were to point these shortcomings out to the government officials who support SOPA/PIPA, there’s a strong possibility it would get ignored, or they would pass it anyway and worry about the details later.

As far as the inevitable backlash that DeSopa will probably get from concerned government officials, keep in mind, Mozilla has already outspokenly stood by the MAFIAAFire Redirector, so I would expect the same when it comes to DeSopa.

Image courtesy.

Does A Simple Firefox Add-On Make SOPA Useless?
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  • Jim

    The facts in this article are quite mixed up.

    The MAFIAAFire team released a second (and different) addon that takes on SOPA / PIPA called “ThePirateBay Dancing”, details here: http://torrentfreak.com/the-pirate-bay-dancing-add-on-kills-dns-and-ip-blockades-111130/

    “DeSopa” is another addon by another developer.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

      I never said MAFIAAFIre was developed by the same guy. I said they were in the same vein of one another. There’s a huge difference, and while I appreciate the TorrentFreak link, if you would’ve followed the links in this article, you would see we already know about MAFIAAFire and what it does.

      And since I never said they were developed by the same person/group, the facts are fine.

      Thanks for reading.

      • Jim

        Sorry, I guess I misunderstood the article’s flow.

        Good info though :)

        Have a good day!

        • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson

          /Tips hat.

          You too, good sir.

  • http://inficron.com Tamer Rizk

    Developer of the DeSopa extension here. Much respect to the MAFIAAFire team for their extension. I do not mind if credit is mixed up or whatever. I just want congress to realize that SOPA is ineffective and hence pointless. I really hope that they catch wind of both application before the vote, and it helps them decide to rethink SOPA altogether.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/ Chris Richardson


      Sorry if there was any confusion. I am well aware the developers of MAFIAAFire and your DeSopa add-on are not the same, although, apparently I wasn’t explicit enough in the article.

      The ONLY reason I mentioned MAFIAAFire is because they hold the same values about the free web as you do, and their add-on does something similar — that is, find an alternate destination for a site that’s been seized, on, in DeSopa’s case, SOPA’d, for lack of a better term.

      Both extensions have the same goals in mind, hence the comparison. As for SOPA itself, we, sir, are in complete agreement on ineffective/potentially damaging effects it can have.

      Good luck with your add-on and I hope you continue your fight against these protection acts.

      • http://inficron.com Tamer Rizk

        Chris, no problem, I am a fan of the MAFIAAFire extension and am glad you gave it props. Thanks for the well written article helping to make people aware of the struggle to keep the internet free.

  • Patrick Henry

    What I am waiting for is an add-on that makes it convenient to browse sites on the SOPA blacklist. If they have blacklisted something, it’s definitely worth a look.

  • http://suijurisforum.com dana shetterly

    hmm…… how to defeat this SOPA!?!?!?

    Oh ya it’s called a phone book with IP addresses instead of phone numbers….
    Congress is so frickin stupid.

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