Protest SOPA, PIPA et al.

As you may have noticed various sites and domains that I manage went black - or rather redirected to http://protestsopa.org/ or to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

It probably does not wag the tail of anyone, but I felt that is incumbant upon me to express my support for freedom of speech and that I am prepared to defend it.

SOPA, PIPA - What is that?

The Stop Online Piracy Act is H.R.3261, and the Protect-IP Act is S.968 both are propsed laws in the US of A.

Why is bad?

The intent of both pieces of legislation is to combat online piracy. The problem is that the legislation, as written, is vague and overly-broad. The intention may be good and justified, but the implementation would be nothing short of legal censorship and discrimination.

It'd grant the executive the power to simply shut down information sources. In fact, if the law passes, it would not even require a court order to ban a service! A simple note would suffices to censor information, unless the provider of the content can prove and assure (monitor) that his/her site does not facilitate the commission of criminal violations.

There are times that everyday reasonable activities can be construed as piracy, but the actual problematic word is facilitating, as it opens the door to condemning sites that simply link to other sites.

Since the USA directly or indirectly controls most of the internet's infrastructure, and the proposed legislation has been written in a manner in which they specifically take into account “foreign rogue sites”, the legislation will, should it pass, have an impact upon the world as a whole.

These acts could have a significant impact on the way in which we currently use the internet: Free Speech is only as strong as the weakest link.

What to do about it?

Thanks to many activist sites (see links above and below) this is easy. If you are US resident, complain at your senator(s). If you are elsewhere, there are local efforts: e.g. join contacting the German minister of foreign-affairs who is supporting the law in the US!

Note that, Europe with the upcoming ACTA law is not too far behind. Act now!

References

For more information about SOPA/PIPA, please see:

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blog/protest_sopa_pipa_et_al.txt · Last modified: 20.01.2012 15:50 by rgareus
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