If you have looked at many of the popular sites today, such as Google and Wikipedia, and The Techbookshelf home of WordPress, then you may have noticed a change. Today is stop censorship day all over the internet. This is in lieu of the two bills up before Congress and the Senate called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect intellectual Property Act). These bills would give the US government the right to block certain websites based on what is perceived to be copyright infringing material. What’s worse is that the government would be given the right to do this without check.
There are multiple problems with this and few benefits. The benefits are to the Movie/Television/Music industry who are large contributors to the sponsors of these bills. In fact, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Movie and Music industry are the largest campaign contributor to Representative Lamar Smith .
As for the problems, well the bills would for the most part be censorship opening the potential for the US government as oppressive as countries like China when it comes to controlling internet traffic. But these bills will also stifle business. Search engine providers and sites like Reddit where users share links to interesting content, could easily be pulled from the air simply because users may put up links to offending materials.
There needs to be a better solution to the problem of piracy, unfortunately, these bills are not it. Read more about these bills and get involved by writing your local representative.