SOPA – A serious threat to our internet

If you are not yet aware of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) then you should be. This abominable piece of legislation has the potential to effectively cripple the internet and pretty much render it impotent. Wikipedia: SOPA

SOPA has been universally condemned, there are literally thousands of protests registered all over the net – one respected source had this to say:

SOPA will do irreparable damage to the Internet and by now, everyone realizes that it directly threatens everything that represents online freedom. The media industry is using SOPA as a weapon to create a clout of censorship. There is too much wrong with this bill, people the world over are trying to undo this damage and have written petitions and letters to the government.

The driving force behind SOPA is, of course, the U.S. entertainment and media industry. Apparently the billions of dollars revenue generated annually by the industry is not enough to satisfy their needs.

SOPA initially evolved from noble intentions but typically takes the parameters to a ridiculous level of regulation.  If it actually becomes law, SOPA has the potential to take down an entire website for just one infringement – even if published via reader comments. This has massive implications for the thousands of sites which encourage and utilize user-generated content – think social sites, blogs, forums, etc.

In their present form, the terms of SOPA are so far reaching and all-encompassing as to pose a distinct threat to the very existence of the internet itself. Thankfully there is plenty of opposition to SOPA, and from some powerful sources; Mozilla, Facebook, Google and many others have joined the fray. And because of the Global implications posed by SOPA, protests are being registered on a worldwide basis. The European Union has now also added its voice, with the EU parliament issuing a warning to the U.S. emphasizing “the need to protect the integrity of the global internet and freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names.”

In a very recent development, the group of international hackers known collectively as ‘Anonymous’ has declared Operation Blackout against SOPA. The exact nature of the group’s threatened protest is unknown at this stage but it can be reasonably assumed they will employ their usual brand of disruptive “hacktivism”.

Let us hope that sanity prevails and this deplorable piece of legislation ends up where it belongs…in the garbage!

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

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