If you haven’t heard of SOPA and PIPA then you might want to perk your ears up.
SOPA and PIPA are two bills being brought before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. If passed these bills would allow for internet censorship and could threaten some of your favorite sites – Google, Ebay, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube, Etsy, Pinterest – the lists goes on and on.
Essentially the bills give the government the right to remove or blacklist sites from the web for suspension of copyright, with no innocent until proven guilty, just immediate shutdown. The government would be able to force ISPs and search engines to block users’ attempts to reach certain websites’ URLs. And it gets worse: the blacklist bills’ provisions would give corporations and other private parties new powers to censor foreign websites with court orders that would cut off payment processors and advertisers.
These bills are being pushed forward under the guise that they will help stop piracy.
Sadly, that could not be farther from the truth and instead of stopping piracy these bills will instead: encroach on freedom of speech, hurt economic growth, harm user-driven sites, hinder start-ups and tech innovations, and much more.
So not only will we have bills that don’t do what they are supposed to do (combat piracy) and will ultimately hurt more than they help but they will also be putting American internet censorship at the same level that it is in China.
If you’re looking for a quick overview – this video is a great option – http://vimeo.com/31100268 – (on second thought… WATCH THE VIDEO!!!! …. this censorship threat is becoming more serious by the minute and way too “Big Brother”-esque for my liking)
Afterward, I hope you’ll make an informed decision to speak out against SOPA and PIPA.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please take less than a minute and sign this petition to not allow these bills to pass.
And, if you want to do more, this website will help you get in contact with your Senator so you can help protect the internet!