Internet censorship is coming to America. It’s in the form of a bill in Congress that gives corporations unprecedented power to blacklist websites at will.
If passed, the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” or SOPA (HR 3261), could rip apart the open fabric of the Internet. People could see their websites disappear from the Internet for a “crime” as innocent as posting a video of themselves singing along to a favorite song.
It paves the way for the sort of heavy-handed blocking tactics you’d expect to see in China, not the United States.
SOPA would grant the U.S. government the ability to block almost any website on the Internet if the site is perceived to be an “infringing site.” Search engines would be required to remove the site from their search listings and payment processors and advertisement networks would be forbidden from doing business with the site. The bill provides little detail about what would constitute an infringing site, which makes the potential for abuse far greater. We have already seen how these kind of systems can be abused. In 2010, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) mistakenly seized a domain name belonging to a music blog and labeled it as a “rogue site” the domain name was not returned until a year later.
SOPA violates our right to free speech. Sign this letter urging your House representative to stop SOPA and defend the open Internet.
Learn more about SOPA HERE.