“The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion.” Henry Steele Commager
Internet censorship by country– click on the link for explanation of the color coding. Lilac shows areas of pervasive censorship.
Call your elected officials.
Tell them you are their constituent, and you oppose SOPA and PIPA. Why? SOPA and PIPA would put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won’t have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn’t being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won’t show up in major search engines. SOPA and PIPA would build a framework for future restrictions and suppression… Wikipedia
Why is the internet on strike? By now, most of us know that this was a historic day on the Internet; many of the major players from Google, Wikipedia, WordPress to Mozilla decided to participate in a blackout in protest against a bill in the US Congress that could have an adverse effect on what we do. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate, which is planned for a January 24th vote, will limit our ability to use, share and interact with data we typically gather on the internet; even with the possibility of facing a 5 year sentence if we are found in violation of the law. Today, millions of internet users in the USA joined their virtual hands in protest.
PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks the Internet
As Mozilla explained it, “Communication platforms – from YouTube to Facebook to Amazon – could be shut down if a single rights holder alleges a violation. It would make the Web less stable and less secure. Social networking sites, like Twitter or Facebook, could be forced to track and control user behavior, stunting innovation and undermining free expression. Your Internet provider could be required to inspect all of your traffic and browsing.” As a blogger, I rely on the vast network of sites that provide me with pictures, videos, quotes, links and all sorts of information that would no longer be accessible to all of us. Can you imagine a virtual world where instead of open doors, we have walls and boundaries…? It would be like going back to the dark ages.
“Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.” Potter Stewart
Mark Zuckerberg: The internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet’s development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet. The world today needs political leaders who are pro-internet. We have been working with many of these folks for months on better alternatives to these current proposals. I encourage you to learn more about these issues and tell your congressmen that you want them to be pro-internet. You can read more about our views here:Facebook Washington DC – Anti-Piracy Bills
According to a Los Angeles Times article, 4.5 million signed the Google petition, 1.458 on Avaaz.org and over 350,000 sent emails from Fight for the Future. The tremendous outpouring of support for the blackout and protest showed that the virtual community we enjoy is not only vital and proactive, but also strongly supportive of efforts to ensure the internet remains accessible to all. Free Speech and Intellectual Property are vital to the creative process and the work we do on the internet. While there are those who use the internet with criminal intent, the majority of us use it as a medium of communication, as a resource for research, and for artistic purposes. SOPA/PIPA could take that away from us. Even the Whitehouse agrees it needs re-evaluation. No one should take their freedom for granted as this event will impact us all. It is imperative that we get informed and take action! Today, many on WordPress joined in by either choosing a full blog blackout or by adding a ribbon to our blog. Join the WP Censorship Protest! It is never too late to add your voice! More below.
“Censorship in any form is the enemy of creativity, since it cuts off the life blood of creativity: ideas.” Allan Jenkins
Today, Mozilla is joining the virtual strike against Internet censorship – along with others like Wikipedia and Google – to raise awareness of US Congress legislation that could fundamentally alter the Internet we know and love. This harmful legislation, called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate, will be voted on as early as January 24th in the Senate. If you live in the US, there’s still time to help stop these bills from becoming law. Please visit mozilla.org/sopa for information on the bill, and on ways you can reach out to your senators…
Visit mozilla.org/sopa right now for information – and make your voice heard before it’s too late. Please join today’s strike, and help protect the Internet.
Jane & Winston
I received the email letter above (showing a portion) from Mozilla/Firefox today, and it is a testament to the passion, energy and determination many organizations and groups showed, and the great effort made to ensure all of us were informed of the protest. Given the current state of the economy; with unemployment, foreclosures, lack of healthcare and other problems facing many, it would be wise for our Representatives in Congress to focus their efforts on ensuring that all of us have jobs, a place to sleep, and food to eat. Censorship is not the answer.
What are your thoughts? How did you respond to the event? What are your thoughts on Censorship? How will SOPA or PIPA affect you if passed? Do share! Thank you. 😉
Positive Motivation Tip: Any form of censorship is a vote against freedoms that must never be challenged. Speak up!
- Join the Internet Blackout. Stop Censorship. Stop SOPA/PIPA. (crazyadventuresinparenting.com)
- SOPA Outside The U.S.: What it Means for The Rest of The World (currenteditorials.wordpress.com)
- [SOPA] Please Help Stop SOPA and PIPA (androidcrib.com)
- Stop SOPA/PIPA Censorship! WCMA Joins the Strike! (wcma2.wordpress.com)
- Why Blackout? STOP SOPA/PIPA (emmiemears.com)
- Protest SOPA/PIPA…what is it, what to do? (closetwriteranonymous.wordpress.com)
- Keep the Internet OPEN (towriteistowrite.wordpress.com)
- SOPA, PIPA Protests (strategistalks.com)