The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) sets up a system through which the US government can blacklist a pirate website from the Domain Name System, ban credit card companies from processing US payments to the site, and forbid online ad networks from working with the site. This morning, COICA unanimously passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.
This is an ominous development. The feds are already seizing domains under other laws (see Feds seize 82 domains accused of selling counterfeit goods); COICA is sure to expand this and other IP enforcement activities. (See other COICA posts.)
Unfortunately, COICA, like the dreaded ACTA, seems likely to pass.
Update: On TWIT 275 Leo Laporte and his guest hosts discuss and rightly criticize COICA. One of the guest hosts, Zadi Diaz, joins in the criticism of COICA, and then says “this is why we need net neutrality.” This shows just how confused non-libertarians can be about property rights and the role and nature of the state. Consider: she is concerned about the baleful effects of regulations, laws, and controls created and enforced against private individuals and companies by the untrustworthy state; and to combat this, she suggests that the state should impose regulations on private companies and the Internet! Net neutrality legislation is a bad, and unlibertarian, idea. (See my posts A Libertarian Take on Net Neutrality and Net Neutrality Developments, and Geoffrey Allan Plauché, CrunchGear vs. the Tea Party on Net Neutrality.)