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-IPÂ 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:
- Protect-IP Act Breaks the Internet (Video)
- American Censorship Day
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Protect the Internet (Mozilla)
- SOPA Hearing
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:
Here's hoping our government doesn't stifle one of the only growing sectors of our economy.