Today, Jan. 18th 2012, websites occupy censorship. If you found yourself on Google, Wikipedia (in english), Reddit or one of your other favorite Internet sites, you probably noticed something black. Google blacked out its logo. Wikipedia has blacked out their English site for an entire 24 hours today. Reddit has also gone dark. Internally censored. There are a reported 12,000 websites that are demonstrating some form of protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) - two bills that are approaching a critical point of action.
As with all stories, there are two sides to these proposed bills and the accompanying protests. The supporters of the SOPA bill (currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives) argue that foreign rogue websites are committing mass copyright infringements and need to be blocked or shut down. The PIPA bill is eerily similar and will go before the U.S. Senate. Obviously, copyright infringement is bad and needs to be stopped. Credit needs to be given where credit is due. The other side of the story is that while both bills are targeted at international sites, the same laws would apply to any website.
The United States sets the precedent for Internet laws and if other countries would follow suit, who’s to say how far the censorship would go. Free speech online would no longer be free. Governments influenced by lobbyists would wield a sword strong enough to strike down the adage that the pen is mightier.
Decide for yourself. Read the facts. This is important.
Contact your local representatives. If you are not sure who they are…
Congress.org - right side of the screen, enter your zip code under the “Get Involved” heading.