SOPA Blackout: 18 January 2012 (Updated)
17 January 2012 Leave a comment
Normally, we don’t discuss politics here on the blog. Followers of our Twitter account, however, will be unsurprised to learn that we are speaking out against the SOPA (H.R. 3261) and PIPA (S. 968) bills before the US Congress. (Our Twitter posts cover a much wider array of subject matter than the blog: freedom of speech, internet freedoms, productivity, organizing, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, …)
There has been a lot of talk about these bills – bills that promise to kill the Internet as we know it and bring corporate censorship to America, and to kill the right to due process of law. Not only the very fabric of the Internet, but also the rule of law is at stake. These laws will basically criminalize the very tools used by dissidents world-wide – the tools that are promoted by the US State Department for avoiding censorship regimes.
There are a huge number of places you can go to get more information – but if SOPA were to pass, many of these sites would likely not be available. Today, January 18, you will get a glance at what that could be like: many popular sites will go “dark” and become unavailable for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours. These companies have stated they will be a part of the SOPA protest:
- WordPress.org – our blog platform host.
- The Internet Archive
- Mozilla (makers of Firefox, Thunderbird, Camino, and more)
- Reporter without Borders
- Mojang, developer of Minecraft.net
- The Free Software Foundation (the forces behind GNU)
- PHP.net (home of the PHP language)
- MAKE (and all of O’Reilly Media)
- XBMC (an open source media server project)
These sites have more information on SOPA and PIPA and why they are such a horrendously bad idea:
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)
- Fantastic infographic from Ape-Con-Myth – with links!
There is more detailed information on these bills at OpenCongress – there is a page on SOPA (H.R. 3261) and on PIPA (S. 968). Propublica also has a page on who supports and opposes SOPA and PIPA in the US Congress. A good central location for information is sopablackout.org.
Updates: Pardon the updates – there is a ton of good information out there, and many, many, many sites are taking part. I’m trying to gather the best information and put it all here (though that may be impossible!).