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THE “SOPA” BILL – fight internet censorship

hthttp://youtu.be/6ngmhqoVxU4

 

 

A must watch video – which briefly discusses about the highly controversial bill that has been causing waves of protest across the globe – thousands of people all around have been outspoken about it in the last few recent days (which i just discovered the other way while surfing on wikipedia) — all which is occuring right now as I type this – Now “What is going on?” you may ask……

 

The main culprit in question is about the “S.O.P.A.” bill (also known as H.R.3261) —  no NOT  sopa (as in spanish for “soup!” i looove soup! lol) – S.O.P.A. – which stands for “STOP ONLINE PIRACY ACT” – a bill that has been proposed by the house of reps. back in late Oct. of last year…..and since it’s introduction, has spawned huge protests across the Internet….in which many people say that this new bill….would essentially become a big threat to the very nature of the Internet – (as no body of govt or any authority regulates or owns cyberspace ) –

While the purpose of the bill is intended to “FIGHT” against online piracy and copyright infringement, as well as preventing illegal activities from occurring on the web (for ex: selling illegal supplies and counterfeit goods “such as drugs”) – it would grant the U.S. gov’t law enforcement the enhanced ability to seek court orders against those who promote online piracy and protect the “intellectual property” of copyright owners….

 

What opponents are afraid of….is that this bill – if it becomes law, in its present form….could effectively enhance and increase the amount of “policing” that happens on the Internet, in other words, the Internet would for the very first time since its inception, become regulated by the U.S. law enforcement and thus, censored –   it would “cripple” the Internet infrastructure and threaten “freedom of speech” and other “1st Amendment actions…….

 

What is also freaky, is that due to the nature of the bill….largely hidden from the public – people wont know how large or how much will this bill affect how one surf’s the web, which could be detrimental…..imagine, we begin to find out that we are not allowed to say what we want to say on the web, certain website providers becoming blocked, and all the things we enjoy today on the web essentially becoming “banned” – what da heck!?

Dating back to the period of “Net Neutrality” a few years ago, when large corporations were seeking a law that would “censor” and “regulate” the web and block certain content to certain people for the corporation’s interests (like, banning a certain service unless the consumer is willing to pay, “usually high prices” for the service and/or accompanying packages) — the SOPA bill would threaten the online community’s ability to speak out against such things…..(in fact, something as simple as me, typing this very post….could be considered a crime in the law enforcement’s eyes!) — There is nothing in writing to say that these acts are criminal in nature…..it is left up to the law enforcement to decide what is “WRONG” or “NOT” –  in other words, anything we say or post online (websites, chatboards , social networks) would be subject to “censorship” — we would have to be careful…..for saying or posting one thing that the gov’t disapproves of or sees as a potential threat could be banned, and subject to criminal offense…….protesting against gov’t policies and actions  – “political dissent” – would NOT be tolerated…..

For example, when the Internet was used as a tool of defense during the uprising of the people of the Mid-East (“Arab Springs”) these recent years to fight back against opporsing goverments and authoritative entities…..with the word being spread across the web…..such actions would be outlawed……in other words, it’s “SHUT UP or Forever hold your Peace” —

(note: during “Arab Spring” – proxy servers, computers that essentially “fake” or hide your IP address and online identity – were used to anonymously spread the message across….such things would be considered “illegal” to use – Imagine, if a similar uprising of protesting would happen in our own backyard? – And we cant use these defenses to spread the message around without the govt watching every move?)

 

– The response to this bill has been huge! – millions of online users across the world, along with online companies & organizations we all know so well: such as “GOOGLE”, “YAHOO” and “WIKIPEDIA” – “YOUTUBE” (the bill would affect sites that host user content) — “Mozilla” (creator of the open-web browers “Firefox”) — “TWITTER” “AOL” “PAYPAL” and much more are opponents against the bill….claiming it is an “Internet blacklist” of sorts……

Also, video streaming sites have been in question as well…since online users can use these non-commercial services as sources of information to promote things that can be considered criminal offenses as well…..or to protest….or to post whatever they wish online — (the bill is also going after video streaming sites that illegally broadcast blacked-out programming…..which sucks, The major coporations, “like Viacom” that, as i mentioned above….block certain content unless the consumer is willing to pay exorbitant prices or including unwanted packages……so what if we just want to watch an event that is blacked-out due to things like this? — tough luck…..we wouldnt anymore under the new bill)

 

In fact, today (Jan. 18th) has been called, “American Internet Censorship” day….. with many of these popular organizations and sites listed above are participing in a large massive online “boycott” all day…..essentially “BLACKING-OUT” their websites for 18 hrs…..shutting down their websites in protest against this bill…..(right now as i type this, i cant even go on “wikipedia”)

Wikipedia, one of the largest opponents, claim the bill would threaten the “openness” of its popular resource format……in which anyone can edit or add information the the online encyclopedia…..an online encyclopedia, “for the people, by the people” –

Instead of its usual “Homepage” — this is what is up right now…..

 

“Imagine a World
Without Free Knowledge”

For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.

 

Here is the link about the blackout:

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/English_Wikipedia_anti-SOPA_blackout

 

This has been creating waves of protest across cyberspace…..with every other opposing site being shut down…..(“reddit” has also joined with the blackout) – sending a very “nonviolent” but stern message to the proponents of the bill….(people in the gov’t such as former pres. Bush, senator McCain….well well….) – and corporations as the RIAA and MPAA –

Even RON PAUL himself, who is very outspoken about people’s rights…..openly protests against this bill…..and also the Obama admin. has stated that it would not support a bill that would potentially censor the internet, squelch freedom of speech and innovation…..if those clauses arent fixed and addressed…..in response to a petition sent to the White House by opponents….

 

While the bill was initially was supposed to be passed into law back in mid December of last year, it has been postponed of sort due to the presidential races going on right now…..to continue at the end of Jan. — which coincides with its twin brother….the “PIPA” bill — these protests are taking place well ahead of this period…..to fight back against these “potentially” dangerous bills…..

 

(first it was the controversial bill back in Nov’ that threatened our basic rights as Americans……now, it’s a bill that would effect the very Internet itself….which goes beyond the borders of the U.S. — now “they” want to have a regulated and censored Internet?)

 

Since the very beginning, when the the Internet was in its infacy back in the early 60’s….developed as a research project under DARPA – which back in the day was called, “ARPA-net” – the theory published in a paper written by Leonard Klienrock…..proposing a mass communication network…..J.C.R. Licklider and Robert Taylor, then head operatives of the project, further developed the idea…..later on….the first ethernet equipment was innovated, email developed by Ray Tomlinson in 1972……the first authentic “ISP” (internet service provider) called “TELENET” was introduced in 1974, TCP/IP (the protocol currently used with IP addressing) was invented….Danny Cohen, David Reed, and John Shoch — DNS (domian name service) came into the picture…..when finally, Tim Berners-Lee finally introduced the WWW (world wide web) to the public in the early 90’s…..when it no longer was top-secret……

The world has been forever changed since……and since its very creation, was meant to be a vast network of networks, providing services and a wealth of information to ALL (i rememberd when my uncle in Canada first introduced me to the Internet back in 94′ — I WAS HOOOKED!!!)  — in a “FREE AND OPEN” nature…..the flow of information unhampered by law enforcments and censoring……which made the Internet as we know it, exist in its present form….

 

Sure, there are many bad things out there on the web (so does in the “real world”) — that’s why we have our security programs to protect us……Anyways, the Internet should be just that…”FREE” – no one owns or regulates it – Who is to say what we can or cant do or post online? – without the govt. bodies tracking every move we make……it’s quite a scary thought…..first our human rights, now it’s our rights as surfers of the web……what’s next?

 

While I support the protection of copyrights and stuff….and against actual “bad” things on the web such as terrorist (killing people and other mean things) – selling of drugs and stuff……one can claim the whole Internet enables copyright infringment……and that this bill would be bad for web-related business…..there’s lots of implications involved…….and that is why many are opposed to it, the “INTERNET” as we know it to be….the way we experience it, would be changed….maybe for the worst – it is hard to tell…..at this point ~

 

FIGHT CENSORSHIP – SUPPORT NET NEUTRALITY –  (and please pass on the “SOPA” – it’s not my favorite kind…..although i like “Minestrone soup” – lol)