EDITOR'S UPDATE: As many sites across the Internet are blacked-out today as a way of protesting the possibility of SOPA being passed, we are re-posting the information below as well as an additional list of links to help you take action against the internet being censored.
- Google's "Take Action" page which includes a petition against SOPA that you can sign
- The Washington Post rounds of the best of the online protests
- Propublica lets you clearly see who stands where on the issue in Congress
- This Twitter feed is helping give much needed information to users confused by Wikipedia's blackout
The power mongers are at it again; their electric eyes are scanning every nook and cranny of American lifestyles, looking for any crack in which to instigate themselves. They are chipping away at the nations freedoms in the name of security, in hopes that American citizens won't notice the slow erosion of our rights and freedoms.
The reinstating of the PATRIOT Act was bad enough, but with the newly drafted and hotly contested Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the Internet and other venues of free speech are up in arms over what they perceive as an egregious violation of civil liberties.
In short SOPA and its Senate cousin Protect-IP would grant the right for the government to censor websites that it deems associated with Internet piracy. Similar to dictatorial third-world countries that block IP addresses with questionable content from its citizens, the US government would be able to censor websites hosting material that engage in, enable or facilitate, copyright infringement. US based search engines that host illegal material can also be sued, and have financial services revoked from offending sites, which include blogs and forums.
Many specialists conclude that these two movements in internet security would actually destabilize the structural safety of the Internet. Some of the webs largest names such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo, and LinkedIn have rallied against SOPA, calling it a serious risk to both security and innovation.
This vague wording that would assumedly be up for interpretation later down the road is much like anti-terror legislation that loosely defines terrorism and can dangerously incorporate more than it should. Recent legislation has passed allowing the possibility for US citizens to be held indefinitely if drawn up on charges of terrorism. What seems like a blow towards all things truly free and sacred about the Free World SOPA and Protect-IP are constantly being updated and tweaked for congressional and senate approval.
Heres a video summarizing some of the more contestable issues people have with SOPA: