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How the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) Would Affect Colleges and Universities

In a continuing effort to keep our members apprised of implications of this legislation (see previous posts on May 25, 2011), the EDUCAUSE Policy Analysis and Advocacy Program has released a Policy Brief that further delineates how PIPA presents troubling technical and cybersecurity implications for the Internet's Domain Name System and poses significant risks of collateral damage to the technical workings of the Internet.  If enacted, the bill has the potential to adversely impact college and university network operators.

Recently, a group of prominent and respected DNS experts released a paper discussing the technical and cybersecurity implications of the bill’s DNS provisions.  The paper explains that “[m]andated DNS filtering would be minimally effective and would present technical challenges that could frustrate important security initiatives.  Additionally, it would promote the development of techniques and software that circumvent the use of DNS.  These actions would threaten the DNS’s ability to provide universal naming, a primary source of the Internet’s value as a single, unified, global communications network.”

On Thursday, July 14, 2011, the Internet Society and the Center for Democracy & Technology will present a press briefing/Q&A session with the authors of the technical paper hosted by EDUCAUSE and Internet2 and the U.S. UCAN Project in their co-located Washington Offices to discuss these critical issues.