This Is Important, You Should Know About It of the Day: The despicable Internet Blacklist Bill — known as the “PROTECT IP Act” or S. 968 in the Senate and the “Stop Online Piracy Act” or H.R. 3261 in the House — has been discussed on TDW in the past, but crunch-time is upon us as Congress officially began holding hearings today on the most harmful Internet censorship legislation of our time.
An informative video on the bill’s many ills has been posted above, but, in brief, the legislation, if passed, would essentially hand the Internet over to corporations, allowing them to sue and shut down any website that so much as hosts a link to copyrighted material.
Internet Service Providers could be forced to block social media sites, search engines could be required to delete results, and startups could lose their funding — all on the whim of the copyright holder.
Perhaps most distressing of all, however, is the fact that this bill, in true Orwellian fashion, does nothing to prevent actual piracy. The only thing it will succeed in doing is turning the Internet into a dystopic plutocracy where people are no longer free to share ideas and be creative for fear of running afoul of Big Business.
Despite what some would have you believe, the hearings are offensively lopsided, with pro-SOPA voices far outweighing those opposed. A slew of tech companies including Google, Yahoo!, Mozilla, Twitter, and AOL, have undersigned a full-page ad in today’s New York Times opposing SOPA, but it’s doubtful their voices will be heard by those who need to hear it.
That means it’s up to you to get this terrifying, jobs-killing, Internet-breaking bill off the table for good. Here are a few things you can do:
— Reach out to your representatives in congress. Despite what they might think, they work for you. Remind them of that by e-mailing them this form letter (good), or look them up and write them a personal, heartfelt letter (even better).
— Sign this petition, and also this one.
— Share this post and/or the video above.
— Get the word out any way you can, because, soon, you may no longer be allowed to.
Get on this, my American friends.