January 18, 2012

Senator Risch EPIC FAIL

Unless you just crawled out from a rock, you have no doubt heard about the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA).  It is a House of Representatives bill that has a Senate counterpart that not as many people have heard of.  The "wonderful" Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011, or PIPA, or Protect IP Act is the Senate's version of the same dangerous bill.

It's like using a chainsaw instead of a biopsy needle to check the body for cancer.

I've used an online form that was designed to send my Congressional representatives a form letter to fight/not support either bill.

Tonight I went online to see who supports SOPA and PIPA, as well as who is actively opposed to the bills.  I was a bit upset to not find one name from the four elected representatives from Idaho.  I was downright pissed to see that Senator Risch was not only a support of PIPA, but he was one of the co-sponsors of the bill.


Oh, hell no!  Some form letter isn't going to cut it.  I headed over to Senator Risch's website so I could send him an email.  He has an email link on his Contact page, but you cannot actually use it to send a regular email.  Instead he has a contact form you can fill out.  Like a good little citizen I go and fill out the form, entering in a respectful letter asking him to reconsider his sponsorship of PIPA.  I enter the Captcha text and hit submit.

Nothing....well, almost nothing.  The page reloads and tells me I have to enter in my last name to send the form.  There must have been an issue with the auto-fill text.  I re-enter my name, fill out the new Captcha text, and hit submit.

Again the page re-loads, telling me that I need to enter my last name in order to send my "email".

Seriously?  No wonder my Senator sponsors SOPA.  He obviously just doesn't get how some basic internet "stuff" works if he cannot get a simple website form to work.  I find it amusing, in a getting-kicked-in-the-balls-and-you-chuckle-too-keep-from-losing-it sort of way.  Here I am trying to use the internet to tell my Senator to withdraw support for a bill obstinately designed to make the internet difficult to use, and the internet is difficult (if not impossible) to use for just this one purpose.

Obviously he's already got the fucking up the internet part down at least in his own little corner.

Yes, I get that Senator Risch doesn't actually program his own website.  He probably doesn't have a clue about HTML, IP addresses, or even how to hook up to his wireless network.  He has people to do that for him.  It should be safe to assume he also has people to advise him about aspects of upcoming legislation he doesn't know anything about.

I want to know who told him that not only is PIPA a good idea, but it's a great enough idea he should hitch his wagon to it as a co-sponsor.

This person will be shopping for a new Congressman, possibly more than one should either bill go through.

Luckily for me I can still call, write, or possibly visit his local office.

EDIT: My wife informed me that she was able to get Senator Risch's online form to work for her.  I find it interesting that and hour after my blog post and a small Twitter rant it works all of a sudden.  99.9% sure it is a coincidence, but the .1% is hoping that there IS a connection and maybe we'll hear tomorrow that Senator Risch is also abandoning the bill.  As of right now though, still EPIC FAIL.


Unknown said...

Hahaha, it wants me to put my home address on a web page that isn't https secure.

Oh hells no.

Christopher Stogdill said...

It does appear that Senator Risch's site isn't https secure, but I went ahead and used the web contact form anyway.

You'd have to be an even bigger idiot that his web designer to not find my address easily.

Yet another EPIC FAIL.