Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Protect the Internet

By Meghan B

Just a quick note to rally the troops, as it were. Today, November 16th, the American Congress is expected to start hearings on a measure called SOPA.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is a hideously made bill that would censor our beloved internet. It has incredibly far reaching implications and could change the internet as we know it. Many websites (Google, Facebook, Reddit, Mozilla and others) are extremely against it and are actively trying to fight it. Google CEO Eric Schmidt called the measure "draconian" and "extremely dangerous".

What SOPA does is enables the United States to use internet censorship tools already in use in places in China, Egypt, Iran and Syria. A few links that are thought to be "infringement" can have an entire website shut down and removed from search engines. What is "infringement", exactly? No one knows yet. Your email could be censored because you include a link to an "infringing" Youtube video. There are serious jail sentences for people who post things that infringe. Check out this detailed infographic about SOPA, and reel back in shock that this is actually happening.

The bill is incredibly unpopular amoung Americans. Despite this, the bill has a shockingly good chance of actually passing.

Take action NOW. Contact your representative in Congress and tell them to say no to this insane bill. Stand up and protect the internet. Go to Mozilla's informative SOPA page and find out how this bill could damage the internet and the websites you love. Sign the petition, tweet on Twitter, get involved.

As we here in sci-fi circles say, you can't stop the signal.
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