Apparently, the government doesn’t need to pass SOPA in order to start enforcing the ludicrous concepts embedded within the proposed law. A tweet from tech guru Patrick Norton earlier this morning revealed what can happen when the law no longer protects everyone.
A New York tech start-up company called Interlogy operates (or did operate) a domain called JotForm.com. The service allows webmasters to easily build web forms that they can embed into their websites. Web forms are all over the place and virtually every website has some type of contact form. JotForm claims to have over two million such user-generated forms created by their system.
The details are still sketchy, but apparently the JotForm.com domain name was suspended or shut down by an as-of-yet unidentified U.S. government agency. The domain was hosted by GoDaddy, which was previously a supporter of SOPA. Very few details have been released, but comments from customers on the JotForm blog post explaining the situation possibly points to a South African bank information phishing scam.
This whole situation is a good example of how something can go wrong really fast. Under the proposed SOPA law, any website that linked to JotForm.com could have been shut down as well. In this case, JotForm says that its web forms are used on over 500,000 websites. SOPA would put all of those websites in immediate danger of being shut down. Effectively (yet temporarily), that’s what the government did anyhow. Millions of forms embedded into hundreds of thousands of websites ceased to function properly because of the government’s action.
Even though JotForm.com has been suspended, the company quickly moved everything over to its JotForm.net domain. However, millions of web forms now have to be pointed from the old .com domain to the .net domain. Talk about inconvenience!
JotForm and Interlogy co-founder Aytekin Tank is correct when he says that it is impossible for them to review the more than two million user-generated forms. This is SOPA in action, folks. The government may say that it has our best interests in mind, but its quite obvious that they have absolutely no grasp of common sense.
This type of action is exactly what every internet and technology company fears the most – and it’s already happening. Our economy has been on shaky ground for years and technology companies are at the forefront of job creation. Leave it to the government to stymie small company growth.