Meet The Global Online Freedom Act Of 2011By: Zach Walton - January 16, 2012
Alongside SOPA, PIPA and OPEN, H.R. 3605 has joined the party.
H.R. 3605, otherwise known as the Global Online Freedom Act of 2011 was drafted and introduced to the House on December 8 by Representative Christopher Smith from New Jersey.
The bill’s wording states:
To prevent United States businesses from cooperating with repressive governments in transforming the Internet into a tool of censorship and surveillance, to fulfill the responsibility of the United States Government to promote freedom of expression on the Internet, to restore public confidence in the integrity of United States businesses, and for other purposes.
The bill currently has two co-sponsors in Representative Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan and Frank Wolf of Virginia. Both men are Republicans.
The bill has been referred to committee according to govtrack.us and was sent to the subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises.
The most important thing in this bill is that it explicitly states that it promotes “freedom of expression on the Internet.” It’s also noteworthy that it seeks to “restore public confidence in the integrity of United States businesses.”
The bill could be a partner with the Senate’s OPEN Act that seeks to put the ITC in charge of shutting off cash flows to foreign infringing Web sites.
The Global Online Freedom Act was brought to the House before in 2006, 2007 and 2009 but never made it past committee. Rep. Smith may be using the hostility towards SOPA to get it passed this time around.
The bill’s past attempts aren’t very promising, but its new wording and renewed focus (even if unintentional) against SOPA might give this bill a chance to get through.