As you likely know by now, you can't look up Lamar Smith on Wikipedia today. Some of the biggest websites on the Internet are making themselves unavailable today, and it's Lamar Smith's fault.
That's right. Texas's Republican Lamar Smith. The same Lamar Smith who represents part of this technologically-inclined city we know as Austin (including, according to the maps of the last decade, the University of Texas at Austin). You may be tired of the embarrassment that Rick Perry and Ron Paul bring to Texas. You may be looking forward to the reprieve after South Carolina, when Mitt Romney may lock up the Republicans' presidential nomination.
But Lamar Smith is stepping up to the plate to bear the standard of embarrassing Texans on a national level. In October, he filed the Stop Online Piracy Act. This actually builds on a Senate bill filed by a Democratic Senator, however, called the Protect-IP Act.
But you don't see uproar over PIPA on the Interwebs nearly as much as SOPA. SOPA is on everyone's lips, and that's because Lamar Smith chose not only to ignore his constituents by filing the entertainment industry's anti-Internet bill, but by championing it at every turn.
He already wrote a national editorial weeks ago, attacking protectors of the Internet, especially Google:
Since there is no basis for their complaints, one wonders what the bill's critics are really worried about. Perhaps they don't want to be held accountable for directing consumers to illegal websites. We know that's the case with Google.
The search engine giant recently paid $500 million to settle a criminal case because of the company's active promotion of foreign rogue pharmacies that sold counterfeit and illegal drugs to U.S. patients. Their opposition to this legislation is self-serving since they profit from doing business with rogue sites that steal and sell America's intellectual property.
Google got in trouble, by the way for accepting advertisements for illegal activities. But it's pretty obvious that no one is complaining that a bill might stop them from taking money about illegal activities. Perhaps you should listen to a constituent or two, Mr. Chairman.)
Even yesterday, after President Obama's Statement stalled Lamar Smith's censorship plans, Rep. Smith called his colleagues out: “Due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks, markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected to resume in February.”
Retreats? At least other politicians started listening to voters. But being a tone-deaf hypocrite is apparently much more fitting to Lamar Seeligson Smith, who is actually a copyright violator, himself.
All #SOPA Coverage on BOR: