Thursday, January 19, 2012
Where did she go?
Many of you were wondering what happened to me yesterday. I apologize for any confusion. In protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), I decided to make my blog private for a day.
I'd like to take a minute to get a little political here, even though I don't really enjoy discussing politics. But I think this issue is so much bigger than donkeys vs. elephants. This is about freedom.
Go back in time 10 years. Where were you? I was a freshman in high school (commence baby jokes). Even back then, the Internet was nothing compared to what it is today. Google was just a little tyke, connection speeds were snail-slow and neither YouTube nor Facebook existed. And Twitter? It wasn't even on the radar.
Today, the World Wide Web has totally blown up. It has become the #1 source of information. Everyone uses it, regardless of age, race and gender. People communicate through it, read the news on it, bookmark recipes, watch videos, listen to music, shop, book flights, get ideas, run businesses and air their frustrations, among thousands of other activities. In my opinion, the Internet, as it currently exists and as it will continue to grow and flourish in the future, is our nation's greatest commodity. It has created millions of jobs and has encouraged a rolling snowball of innovation in recent years.
SOPA and PIPA threaten our beautiful Web. If passed, they would give our government the power to shut down sites which violate, or even are accused of violating copyright laws. They also would prevent advertisers and search engines from affiliating with sites in violation. They would allow offending domain names to be removed at the click of a button.
Sounds good, right? We don't like people who steal others' content! But not so fast. The United States already has copyright laws and penalties in place for violating them. If someone feels their copyright has been violated, they already have the power and right to take action against offenders. SOPA and PIPA just take this one step further by giving the government the power to shut down entire sites outside their jurisdiction for even accused violations.
Plain and simple, it's censorship at the utmost degree. It's an interference with the free market. It impedes our First Amendment right of free speech. It's dangerous.
So please, if you like your Internet the way it is (and it is YOURS!), go here and sign the petition to block SOPA and PIPA. Also, contact your local representative in Congress and ask them not to support these bills.
Now, I'm off to watch a YouTube video of Hanson's "Mmmbop." Because let's face it -- that song is just plain catchy.