Editor’s Note: We don’t frequently post opinions here, but as a small content creator and provider, we couldn’t sit back and do nothing.
Today is an important day for The Internet. Like most of you, we wouldn’t have jobs, livelihoods, passions, projects, and companies without the internet.
Unfortunately, the internet as we know it is in danger. Since Al Gore created it, the openness, cost, privacy, and censorship of the web have been debated. Recently, two bills are working their way through Congress that could potentially affect the internet as we know it.
The first, introduced by the Senate is known as “PIPA,” the Protect IP Act. The second, making it’s way through the House of Representatives is “SOPA,” the Stop Online Piracy Act. Both of these bills endanger user-generated content sites and follow a guilty-until-proven-innocent system of justice.
Watch this video created by Fight for the Future on the Protect IP Act:
There’s also a fancy infographic on SOPA here: http://americancensorship.org/infographic.html.
Many of the web’s most popular voices are already speaking out against these bills, including Google’s Sergey Brin in a post on Google+:
“Imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States. Two bills currently making their way through congress — SOPA and PIPA — give the U.S. government and copyright holders extraordinary powers including the ability to hijack DNS and censor search results (and this is even without so much as a proper court trial),” Brin wrote. “While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement (which I don’t believe these acts would accomplish), I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.” – Sergey Brin
At a recent conference on digital freedom, Hillary Clinton spoke out about restrictions on the web:
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is even considering a full blackout of the site in protest. Wondering what you can do to show support?
- Watch live right now as the bill is debated in a House Committee: http://keepthewebopen.com/sopa.
- Here’s an easy list of 12 things you can do right now to Stop SOPA.
- If jokes & comics are your style, Get Your Censor On.
- If you work for the internet, tell the whole world.
- On Twitter, follow the #SOPA stream.
- You can quickly & easily send an e-mail to your Congress-folk (all you need is your Zip code, not their names) by Clicking Here and scrolling down.
You can also use this form to call them up right now and give ’em your two cents: