It basically allows the government to shut down sites suspected of online piracy without due process.
Site's like YouTube and Facebook could theoretically be shut down because they allow users to upload content that may be copyrighted, even though the sites themselves are not responsible for it.
The text of the bill H.R.3261.IH
does say that to block access to a site requires a court order.
(3) NOTICE- Upon commencing an action under this subsection, the Attorney General shall send a notice of the alleged violation and intent to proceed under this section--
(A) to the registrant of the domain name of the Internet site--
(i) at the postal and electronic mail addresses appearing in the applicable publicly accessible database of registrations, if any, and to the extent such addresses are reasonably available; and
(ii) via the postal and electronic mail addresses of the registrar, registry, or other domain name registration authority that registered or assigned the domain name of the Internet site, to the extent such addresses are reasonably available; or
( to the owner or operator of the Internet site--
(i) at the primary postal and electronic mail addresses for such owner or operator that is provided on the Internet site, if any, and to the extent such addresses are reasonably available; or
(ii) if there is no domain name of the Internet site, via the postal and electronic mail addresses of the Internet Protocol allocation entity appearing in the applicable publicly accessible database of allocations and assignments, if any, and to the extent such addresses are reasonably available; or
© in any other such form as the court may provide, including as may be required by rule 4(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
© Actions Based on Court Orders-
(1) SERVICE- A process server on behalf of the Attorney General, with prior approval of the court, may serve a copy of a court order issued pursuant to this section on similarly situated entities within each class described in paragraph (2). Proof of service shall be filed with the court.
The Attorney general will be following what he and congress believe is due process of law. There is a requirement that the offending site be notified of a court order, and have a chance to respond. Same to the ISP if the site is outside the United States. So in reality, they can't just go out and shut down any site they want to. The courts will have to approve.
The Supreme Court will likely have to eventually decide if the law is constitutional, assuming it passes. But it might not pass.
Fwiw, I think that the legislation will eventually die, or be rewritten in a more narrow manner.
Edited by Davidson Deac II, 18 January 2012 - 07:04 PM.