Wednesday, January 18, 2012
If SOPA passes, hyperpolitical bureaucrats will be running the Interwebs
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) sounds like a good idea upon cursory examination, but when you look at the broad language, it's a little chilling in terms of free speech.
From what I've read, though it's noble intent is to stop piracy of music and other copyrighted material, SOPA would give the federal government's Dept of Justice(Eric Holder) the right to block unapproved, off-shore sites from viewing by law-abiding Americans because there might be some copyrighted material on them. That means that sites with millions of pages of information could be blocked if one sentence of copyrighted material were found there.
I don't know about you, but I'm uncomfortable with the federal government censoring sites from me for any reason. While a good idea in theory, because the very political justice department is the enforcement arm of the Act, owners of companies who donate to that President could apply pressure to have competing sites to their own blocked, effectively shutting them down. And don't tell me that our politicians and big-money donors are above that level of corruption. Every politician has his price and every donor is capable of bribery to help his business.
Wikipedia and other sites blacked out their web page for today in protest of SOPA and you may have noticed that Google put a black box over its logo with a link to get information on the slippery slope that is SOPA.
SOPA and the Senate version of the same bill, PIPA(Protect IP Act), both enjoy bipartisan support and Obama would like nothing more than to grab some power over the Internet. There has to be a better way than to involve the feds.
Say NO to SOPA and PIPA.