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The Stop SOPA/PIPA Campaign

Updated on January 20, 2012

The Opposition Is Winning

The latest news regarding the proposed SOPA and PIPA bills, is that support for the bills is at last starting to die down. On 18th January 2012 several websites were blacked out in protest including Wikipedia, Reddit, Craigslist and others. Google black out their logo and linked it to an anti-SOPA/PIPA petition. After over 2 Million people showed opposition to the bills, no less than 25 US senators have publicly stated that they now oppose PIPA.

According to open Congress, SOPA/PIPA previously had as many as 40 US Senators co-sponsoring the bill. However, that number has largely dropped down to just 25 and there are another 13 US senators that are beginning to lean towards opposing SOPA/PIPA. On the other hand, the bill is still receiving support from a total of 33 senators.

SOPA has gained a lot of opposition since being introduced with opponents labelling it 'internet censorship' that will cripple the internet and prevent whistleblowing. A remarkable amount of action has been taken towards opposing SOPA including protests, petitions, companies being boycotted and even ISP's are threatening a major black-out to coincide with the next congressional hearing relating to SOPA. Even an Android app to oppose SOPA has been released on Android Market.

Thankfully the anti-SOPA campaigns have been noticed and support for the SOPA is, at last, beginning to die down. In response to online petitions, the White House announced a rejection of some of the ideas contained within the SOPA bill. This is despite conspiracy theorist's claims that Spain have already been bribed into accepting the SOPA bill after the US threatened to cut off their media funding. David Cameron also made a statement opposing SOPA suggesting that the internet should remain a place of integrity and free speech. The White House have in fact officially stated "we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet" The Obama administration's official view on the issues raised in the SOPA bill actually seem to suggest that they actually oppose the undermining or the innovation of the internet, as suggested in the bill.

What Is SOPA?

The SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill, also known as document H.R.3261, was introduced in October 2011 in order to allow law enforcement agencies and copyright holders to act upon infringes of intellectual property. The bill would allow US Justice departments, aswell as others, take out court orders against websites, ban websites from search engines and allow ISP's (Internet Service Providers) to block access to websites. The bill will give immunity to internet services who voluntarily take action against websites related to copyright infringement and intellectual property crime. Ten infringements within a six month period could see a webmaster go to prison for up to five years. The bill is quite harsh, websites will be required to moderate all content, including user content and comments. Links to websites that condone piracy will not be allowed, not even in a user's comment. Several weeks ago MSN stopped their users from commenting on many of their articles - freedom of speech has already been affected.

The SOPA bill plans to operate by blocking the DNS servers of copyright-infringing websites, the same practise utilized by China in order to block offending websites. As acknowledged by the White House, DNS servers are one of the underlying architectural factors of the internet and they state "We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet" The points raised by the White House are relevant and important, if the SOPA bill was to be passed as it is, it would be the end of the internet as we know it.

Do you remember the 'internet will end in 2012' conspiracy theory? -


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