If passed by Congress, the government will receive new powers to block Americans’ access to websites that corporations don’t like. Think about the number of videos you record and upload to Facebook and Youtube. The next time music plays in the background of your video, you could be criminalized and sent to jail. The next time you record a video of your kid playing a video game, you could be arrested. The next time you videotape someone performing a karaoke song, you could get in serious legal trouble.
When the Electronic Frontier Foundation strongly urges you to take action, you owe it to yourself to listen and follow suit. The EFF opposes these bills and they explain their passion here.
In case you need a refresher, SOPA could allow the U.S. government and private corporations to create a blacklist of censored websites, and cut many more off from their ad networks and payment providers. This bill is bad news, and its supporters are trying to push it through before ordinary citizens realize just how much damage it can cause.
Commenting on the Politico website (scroll to reply #17), Okpulot Taha argues the importance of opposing this legislation:
Charter Communications serves tens of millions of internet users. A website using Charter is accused of copyright infringement. Same day, domain name servers for Charter are required to remove the domain name, “charter.com”. This disables internet service for millions of Charter customers.
This may seem an extreme example but this is how the Protect IP Act operates. This would have a severe impact on small “mom and pop” servers typically operating in rural areas and small towns. An accusation is made, no due process, no proof needed, and a small internet service provider is taken offline by court injunction.
If you want to protect free speech and innovation, and keep services open with names such as Twitter and Facebook, you need to ask your elected officials in Washington to oppose the PIPA and SOPA bills.
Join me and fight government censorship.
American Censorship Day is November 16, 2011.
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