Support internet freedom. Oppose PIPA and SOPA.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, if you’re in the tech industry odds are you’ve heard of PIPA and SOPA, currently making their way through the Senate and the House, respectively.
For those of you who *have* been living under a rock, SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, is a bill expands the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods… which is a good thing. The only problem is that the bill is deeply flawed, and opponents generally agree that it gives far too much power to copyright owners and the government, and will result in many legitimate websites being effectively shut down and written off as collateral damage. The loudest opponents say that it will stifle innovation, drastically undermine online security and ultimately “break the internet”.
PIPA, the PROTECT IP Act (which, incidentally, is an acronym within an acronym… the bill’s full name is the overly austentacious “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act”), isn’t much better. It essentially would allow law enforcement to block infringing domains on U.S. DNS servers, much as countries like China restrict access to certain domains.
These bills are, at best, ineffective and flawed, and at worst, government-supported censorship of the internet. Either way, anyone who makes their living on the internet… anyone who *uses* the internet, for that matter… should be concerned about this legislation.
So make your voice heard.
For starters, tell Senator Wyden you support a free internet and ask him to read your name into the record during his filibuster of PIPA at StopCensorship.org.
Also, keep your eye on AmericanCensorship.org, which organized an online protest on American Censorship Day during the SOPA hearing and is gearing up for round 2.