Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, has been asked to speak at the upcoming hearing concerning SOPA and PIPA, everybody's favorite Internet acronyms; for the moment, anyway. Apparently, the U.S. House Oversight & Government Reform Committee wants to hear from the "other side," and so, they've invited a number of Internet celebrities to speak for or against the piracy acts.
Considering Reddit's position -- just ask GoDaddy -- it's pretty easy to figure out what side Ohanian will be when the hearing starts. Over at Ohanian's Google+ account, he provides the details of his upcoming appearance, courtesy of the government's press release, including the witnesses in attendance:
"House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today announced that the Full Committee will hold a hearing on January 18 to examine the potential impact of Domain Name Service (DNS) and search engine blocking on American cyber-security, jobs and the Internet community. In light of policy proposals affecting the way taxpayers access the Internet, the hearing will also explore federal government strategies to protect American intellectual property without adversely affecting economic growth. The Committee will hear testimony from top cyber-security experts and technology job creators."
“An open Internet is crucial to American job creation, government operations, and the daily routines of Americans from all walks of life,” said Issa. “The public deserves a full discussion about the consequences of changing the way Americans access information and communicate on the Internet today.”
On January 18h, witnesses from the Internet industry will be better-represented:
Stewart Baker Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Brad Burnham: Partner, Union Square Ventures
Daniel Kaminsky: Security Researcher and Fortune 500 Advisor
Mr. Michael Macleod-Ball: Chief of Staff/First Amendment Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union
Lanham Napier Chief Executive Officer, Rackspace Hosting
Dr. Leonard Napolitano: Director, Center for Computer Sciences & Information Technology Sandia National Laboratories
Alexis Ohanian Co-Founder, Reddit.com, and Web Entrepreneur
From Ohanian's perspective, this latest hearing is the House's attempt to "bring in the nerds," most, if not all, of which oppose the acts in their current form. The question is, much like the dissenting reactions from the previous SOPA hearing, will the opposition fall on deaf ears, while being treated like they only want to protect intellectual property pirates, or will Lamar Smith and his posse' continue to ignore the counterpoints being made?
Considering how the prospective amendments designed to clean SOPA up were tossed out like yesterday's garbage during the previous hearing, I know where I'm leaning.