Today is a pretty interesting day in political history. Today is the day that Reddit goes black from 8am to 8pm EST to protest the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. This is also the day that a hearing is taking place about these two bills being pushed through Congress – and there are a lot of amazing brains testifying today in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about how these two bills are going to kill the Internet as we know it.
From an article in The Hill, House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa:
“An open Internet is crucial to American job creation, government operations, and the daily routines of Americans from all walks of life,” Issa said. “The public deserves a full discussion about the consequences of changing the way Americans access information and communicate on the Internet today.”
Also, from an article at Ars Technica, Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro:
“The bill attempts a radical restructuring of the laws governing the Internet,” said CEO Gary Shapiro. “It would undo the legal safe harbors that have allowed a world-leading Internet industry to flourish over the last decade. It would expose legitimate American businesses and innovators to broad and open-ended liability. The result will be more lawsuits, decreased venture capital investment, and fewer new jobs. The significant potential harms of this bill are reflected by the extraordinary coalition arrayed against it. Concerns about SOPA have been raised by Tea Partiers, progressives, computer scientists, human rights advocates, venture capitalists, law professors, independent musicians, and many more. Unfortunately, these voices were not heard at today’s hearing.”
One more poignant one, from Representative Zoe Lofgren, regarding the expert opinion letter that she asked Dr. Leonard Napolitano, Internet Security Expert and the Director of the Sandia National Laboratories’ Center for Computer Sciences and Information Technologies to write on the SOPA and PIPA mess:
“This analysis from one of our nation’s top cybersecurity experts is the definitive word that this legislation would undermine Internet security efforts and would harm the Internet. Dr. Napolitano and his team are tasked with securing our cyber infrastructure. Their assessment as experts at our national lab gives us the final answer as to whether these bills would endanger our security. They would.”
You know, this affects us all. If you use the Internet, if you’re reading this message, the SOPA and PIPA affect you. If you like JimOnLight.com (which, quite frankly low on the totem of importance in this issue), this affects you. As PIPA is written now, if we were to post even a link to something on the site and someone disagreed with me linking to them or to their content, they could just sue us, and then block the site from the web. How far are we all gonna let this go, folks?
Then check this out – from AmericanCensorship.org:
Where do YOU stand? How do you like your internet?
Are you FOR or AGAINST the SOPA and PROTECT IP Act?
- Against (93%, 14 Votes)
- For (7%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 15
Here are some additional resources on SOPA and PIPA – get yourself informed. Ignorance is not an option or an excuse, not anymore.
- a great SOPA/PIPA FAQ from Reddit
- Guardian article on SOPA as an “Internet Blacklist Bill“
- the full copy of Dr. Napolitano’s letter in response to SOPA/PIPA
- video: The PROTECT IP/SOPA Breaks the Internet
- here’s a list of companies that support SOPA/PIPA, and another list of companies that oppose SOPA/PIPA
Thanks to Questionable Topic for the photo!