SOPA: It’s Time to Start Worrying
You’ve probably heard of SOPA, or the Stop Online Privavy Act. It’s basically the House’s answer to the Senate’s Protect-IP act, only worse. I could go on to explain how the act more-or-less empowers big media companies to do just about anything except stop piracy, but others have done that already.
I’m ashamed to admit that when it comes to net neutrality, I’ve often fallen into the old “It could never happen to me” trap: Government-approved censorship at the behest of ISPs or media companies just seemed so obviously wrong that there’s no way a bill supporting it would actually pass. But ever since SOPA was introduced, some pretty big names–and unlikely allies–are raising their voices in opposition.
I first got wind of this when Firefox pointed me to Mozilla’s FIGHT SOPA page. Later on, I was reading a Tumblr blog and I saw a reblogged post about how Tumblr is asking its users to get involved. (I’d post a link, but Tumblr appears to be down right now. I think it’s a coincidence.) A little further reading revealed that Mozilla was one of several companies that joined to oppose SOPA by sending a joint letter to Congress. Those companies are AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo!, and Zynga.
That makes it clear to me that this isn’t just bothering paranoid conspiracy theorists and professional activists. It’s a real problem, and we should all be concerned about it.
Update 12/07/2011: Here’s that Tumblr post I menteioned.
In unrelated news: That Mozilla blog post has a “Responses” section that linked back to this post. It has the wrong title, though, because I edited it after posting. Oh, well.