WASHINGTON, DC – The Internet Blacklist Bill is back — and even worse than before. New draft language show Senator Leahy plans to reintroduce it as the PROTECT IP Act, complete with even more draconian censorship measures that would force search engines and web browsers to censor individual web pages.

According to the text, not only would ISPs have to block access to blacklisted sites but they’d also have to censor any links to blacklisted sites. Web browsers would also have to edit web pages people visit to ensure they didn’t display any links to blacklisted websites. Recently the popular Firefox browser refused a DOJ request to block access to certain sites; the new bill would allow the Attorney General to get an injunction against Firefox forcing them to comply.

Furthermore, it wouldn’t just be the Attorney General who could add sites to the blacklist, but the new bill would allow any copyright holder to get sites blacklisted — sure to result in an explosion of dubious and confused orders.  These individual holders would also be able to force advertisers and others off of the blacklisted sites that they suspected of infringement.  Imagine if Viacom had possessed this unilateral ability to choke off sites when it went after YouTube a few years go, what would have happened to video sharing and Web 2.0?

Demand Progress Executive Director and Internet activist Aaron Swartz said:

“This new Internet censorship bill is the worst net-related bill to be considered by Congress this year. Even China hasn’t gone so far as to insist web browsers delete any mention of censored sites. The PROTECT IP Act is like a virtual 1984 where ISPs and browsers would be forced to send any mention of blacklisted sites down the memory hole.”

Your help is needed to stop this despicable, unjust and illogical bill.  Stop by DemandProgress.org and sign the petiton!