Friday, November 18, 2011

The Fight Against Censorship

Introduced to the House of Representatives by Texas Congressman Lamar Smith. It is being called the “great firewall of America.” SOPA or the Stop Online Piracy Act is intended to drive-out copyright-infringing websites. The bill would allow the Attorney general to come up with a blacklist of websites that they see as engaging in infringing activity to be blocked by internet service providers, search engines, advertising networks and payment site all without a court hearing or trial. SOPA would also remove the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and require social websites that host user content such as: YouTube, Tumblr and Facebook to be held responsible for ensuring the blockade of user posted infringement materials.  Sponsors and advocates proclaim SOPA is needed to help U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders fight online traffic in copyrighted intellectual property and ensuing revenue and job losses. SOPA was introduced to help the entertainment industry combat online piracy estimated to cost $200 billion annually but has been met with fierce opposition.

Opponents call the bill pure censorship and that it will “break the internet”, cost jobs and that it will threaten whistleblowers and other free speech provided by the internet. Along with everyday internet users and internet communities such as 4Chan and Reddit the nine giants of the Internet: Google, eBay, AOL, Facebook, Yahoo, Zynga, LinkedIn, Mozilla and Twitter have placed full-page ads in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the Washington Times as part of their efforts to fight back against SOPA. The blatant infringement of internet anonymity goes against the institutions that have been in place in this country since its existence. Democracy and the Constitution protect the rights of We the People and should be protected by every citizen. Fight internet censorship.

To learn more about Democracy and the constitution read: Democracy For Beginners and US Constitution For Beginners

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