About the Author

Chris Shiflett

Hi, I’m Chris: web craftsman, community leader, husband, father, and partner at Fictive Kin.

Stop SOPA and Save the Internet

I'll level with you. I've not really paid much attention to all the chatter about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT-IP Act. I'm busy, and I know anything to do with government policy as it relates to the Internet is going to be a big bummer. This is definitely a big bummer, and if you're like me, our inaction sure hasn't helped.

I've always felt like there's not much I can do to prevent the US government from doing stupid things from time to time, especially when it comes to the Internet, or even technology in general. Most of my peers feel as helpless as me, which is why we sometimes resort to making fun of the cluelessness on display. The people in charge seem to know less about technology than most people's grandparents. (No disrespect intended; most grandparents probably wouldn't be audacious enough to try to tell us how to do things.)

Another reason to feel helpless is that the Internet's biggest companies have already spoken against both of these acts. Even the man who made the Internet has spoken out. So, I'm left wondering why, according to Mozilla, "the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act have widespread support in Congress and are expected to pass." Yikes.

The good news is that I think it's not too late, and there are a lot of people trying to intervene on our behalf. We can do our part by helping to spread the word, contacting our representatives, and paying attention. I'm going to try to do better.

For more information:

If you don't have time to post to your blog, you can still censor your logo:

<a style="width:400px;height:100px;vertical-align:middle;text-align:center;background-color:#000;position:absolute;z-index:5555;top:50px;left:50px;background-image:url(http://americancensorship.org/images/stop-censorship-small.png);background-position:center center;background-repeat:no-repeat;" href="http://americancensorship.org"></a>

And, you can mimic the experience of being censored as an extra call to action:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://americancensorship.org/js"></script>

Here's hoping our government doesn't stifle one of the only growing sectors of our economy.

About this post

Stop SOPA and Save the Internet was posted on Wed, 16 Nov 2011. If you liked it, follow me on Twitter or share:


1.Luke Welling said:

I find it interesting that big mature tech companies, who are much better at playing politics than Google and other more recent empires, all seem happy to let their BSA talk for them in favor of SOPA.


Apple, Microsoft, Dell and Intel have embraced the internet and acted warmer and fuzzier of late, but they are at their hearts not internet companies. They did OK without it, and they'd do just fine if it became less like the internet we know now and more like cable TV.

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 at 18:16:53 GMT Link

2.Chris Shiflett said:

Thanks for pointing that out, Luke. It's pretty disappointing. I just read another post going into more details about the BSA and SOPA:


I know companies are more willing to take a stand when it protects their own interests, but it sure would be nice if they would take a stand just because it's the right thing to do.

Fri, 18 Nov 2011 at 13:40:44 GMT Link

3.Chris Shiflett said:

Matt Cutts has written an optimistic post about the progress against SOPA:


Mon, 21 Nov 2011 at 19:03:06 GMT Link

4.Chris Shiflett said:

It looks like the BSA, at least for now, finally stands in opposition to SOPA:


Wed, 23 Nov 2011 at 13:49:16 GMT Link

5.Joel Caton said:


Thanks for posting this... I had to put a similar post on my blog after reading yours. It is critical that this does not become law.

Sat, 26 Nov 2011 at 23:01:37 GMT Link

6.Chris Shiflett said:

Here's a good article on A List Apart that covers this issue:


Tue, 29 Nov 2011 at 14:19:00 GMT Link

7.Andréia Bohner said:

An open letter from Internet Inventors to the U.S. Congress:


Thu, 15 Dec 2011 at 16:25:47 GMT Link

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