I’ve obliterated the site’s logo at the top to draw attention to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which is currently going through the American legislature process.
This is a piece of law which is unbelievably draconian in nature, with huge repercussions for the internet across the world – not just the States.
The justification for this bill is that it is meant to protect the entertainment industry from people who illegally download films, music and everything else.
The problem is that it doesn’t just do that. The bill allows for the American Government to completely shut off access to any website that even links to anything deemed copyright content. Doesn’t seem so bad? That means that sites such as Tumblr, Youtube, Twitter… could all come into the firing line for starters.
Much darker is what lies further beneath the surface. Copyright claims are already used by Scientology to stop people from finding out what they really believe and how they treat their supporters as well as those who oppose them. Copyright claims were made by the American Government to the material that was released by Wikileaks which showed up examples of corrupt military tactics.
In Wikileaks case, the Government made moves to have the site knocked offline, and financial institutions like Paypal and Visa cut off their funding… but were unsuccessful. This bill would allow any site to be subjected to the same treatment for speaking out against injustices if those in power deemed it so.
Click through on the black link on the right hand side to spread the word, and to email your Congressman (if you’re American), or to put pressure on the State Department if you’re further afield.
We all ridicule the Great Firewall of China for the restrictions on free speech it places upon the Chinese people – this could well be the beginnings of a Western equivalent.