SOPA, PIPA, OPEN, and Censorship

Featured, Politics, Technology

The English Wikipedia, Google, Mozilla, Reddit, WordPress, and many other websites are protesting these three bills today. Each of the bills is for some kind of censorship of the web.

SOPA would allow the government to block any and all websites that they deem fit for censorship, without due process, and without any form of checks and balances. This bill is call “Stop Online Piracy Act” and sounds good to begin with, but in reality it would hurt free speech. This is the same thing that China, and many other countries have done. This bill is harmful to free speech, and could wind up in the censoring of any website that the government does not like. And there would be no way to stop them.

PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) Focuses on doing much the same as SOPA, with an emphasis on doing it globally. The impact of this bill is that the U.S. government would have the power to censor the internet for the world, not just the United States.

OPEN (Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act) is a bill that requires people that are registering domain names to provide some form of government id, and government approval. This prevents free speech, and is unconstitutional.

While these bills would work to end piracy, the problem is that someone is going to abuse the power. It always happens. This inevitably leads to unstoppable blocking of any website anywhere for any reason, and preventing anybody from getting a web address for any reason.

You can go to to sign a petition to make your voice known on the issue of SOPA. Wikipedia has a convenient search by zipcode to find your congressman so that you can tell them of your concern. Mozilla and Reddit also provide you with ways to voice your concern on the issue.

Stop online piracy? Yes. Give the government unchecked power to do so? No. Giving the government unchecked power to do anything is a bad idea in the first place.


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