So you may have noticed several of your favorite blogs ( Miss Jia, Concrete Loop) and some of your favorite websites (Tumblr, Craigslist) have all shutdown for the day with a protest page that says Stop SOPA. But do you even know what SOPA is, or PIPA, or why so many websites are protesting?
SOPA is a bill created in Congress, and PIPA is a bill drafted in the Senate, to stop the piracy of US goods abroad. In other words, the bills are designed to stop people in other countries from selling bootleg American products for profit like prescription drugs, “Polo” Shirts, Toy Story 3 DVDs, or any reproduction of illegal content. Sounds good, right? NOPE! The problem is that SOPA as written will take away due process, and give the government too much power to shut down suspected websites without a trial or prior knowledge.
So if your site is suspected of illegal activity, the government, and the person filing the complaint can get a court order to have your site shutdown or your links removed from Google, without your knowledge or consent. That’s good if you’re a bad guy in Sri Lanka illegally selling skin bleaching cream on the internet that causes cancer, but that’s bad if you’re a legitimate website wrongfully accused of piracy. Since this is America, we believe in due process, meaning you are innocent until proven guilty and you should have a chance to prove your innocence in a court of law before any actions against your privacy is revoked. The government should not have the power to take your property without due process, yet this bill will allow the government to do just that, if they so choose.
In order to protect our Constitutional rights to property and free speech, we have to fight this bill, Continue Reading →