Both houses of congress have devolved into dramatic debate recently over how best to obscure the intentions of their respective Internet censorship acts with misleading acronyms.
The House of Representatives originally assigned the task to a subcommittee before deciding that such an important issue needed to be open to floor debate for all house members. The issue remains how best to hide the meaning of the bill with an innocuous name–and a dull, lengthy acronym.
At first, legislators in the house ran with the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, because it fit the criteria for a name that completely misguided constituents about the content of the bill.
“We want to remove all Justin Bieber cover videos from YouTube–no questions asked. They’re a disgrace to America,” said representative Lamar Smith of Texas after admitting the bill had less to do with piracy, and more to do with his personal vendetta against users who imitate the Bieber.
“But unfortunately we can’t come right out and call it the ‘Rid YouTube of Trashy Pop Covers Act’ or the liberal media will have a hissy fit,” continued Smith.
Although SOPA accurately deflected the bill’s true intentions, congressional members maintained that the acronym was too catchy. The acronym fails the standard congressional litmus test for controversial bills that demands letters have no discernible pronunciation or otherwise memorable lexical value.
“Let’s get this baby into NCLBA territory,” said cosponsor Howard Berman of California. “People don’t even remember what the hell NCLBA stands for, and it’s destroyed public education. If we can think of a good acronym, we might be lucky enough for this act to destroy the Internet too.”
Fierce debate has led to many ideas, including the currently leading “Really Fun Bill For Protection” or RFBFP, which has a name that could be construed to relate to any public policy issue, and an acronym that no one will remember.
“It’s a rhetorical gem,” said California Rep Adam Schiff, “It seems super friendly, and in no way betrays our true intentions to sue the pants off anybody who posts a YouTube video of themselves covering a Katie Perry song,”
So far Lamar Smith representing CC Media Holdings (and a few people in the 21st District of Texas), has been the only opposition to the RFBFP because CC Media would prefer the bill have no name or acronym at all.