I do not like to talk about politics on this blog. When I do have something political I want to say, I will normally go to Twitter. However, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are not a Democratic or Republican issue, but rather a freedom of speech issue and given what is happening on the internet today, I have no problem filling you in a little bit on what this is about. I know of Democrats that support SOPA. Bob Casey, the man who used to be my favorite Democrat, co-sponsors SOPA. I know of Democrats that oppose SOPA. I know of Republicans that support SOPA. I know of Republicans that oppose SOPA. Michelle Bachmann, perhaps my least favorite Congressperson, opposes SOPA.
The intention of SOPA is fair enough. To stop online piracy. It is a reasonable aim. However, the mechanism SOPA seeks to use to enforce the end of online piracy threatens to destroy the very fabric of the internet. I wish that last sentence was hyperbole.
President Obama has hinted at a veto of SOPA. However, this issue won't go away. Powerful lobbyists in the entertainment industry will continue to pursue this legislature and this figures to come up again as we head toward the Presidential Election of 2012. An example must be made and it must be made now. Acts that limit freedom of speech on the internet will not be tolerated by the American people. I'm all for putting an end to piracy. But this act does not end piracy. This act threatens liberty. These two should never ever be confused.
What follows below are a set of links that can help you learn more. Please, do not just take my word for it. Read the bills themselves (first and second links below). Read analyses from well-informed technical experts, something the House and Senate chose not to do before drafting such drastic legislature. Then at the bottom, there are links to take action. Sign Google's petition. Email your local congressperson. Take action. Now. Every voice counts. Every vote counts. Be heard. Let your representatives know you are not okay with Congress limiting freedom of speech on the internet.
H.R.3261.IH Stop Online Piracy Act
S.968.RS Protect IP Act
A technical examination of SOPA and Protect IP - blog.reddit
Why SOPA Is Dangerous - Mashable
SOPA and PIPA Learn More - Wikipedia
How PIPA and SOPA Violate White House Principles Supporting Free Speech and Innovation - Electronic Frontier Foundation
SB Nation Officially Opposes SOPA - SB Nation
Tell Congress: Don't Censor The Web - Google
Write Your Representative - United States House Of Representatives
Senators of the 112th Congress Contact Information - United States Senate