Posts Tagged ‘Arab Spring’

A lot of people in the United States have criticised the Chinese government for censoring the Internet – Chinese citizens are often blocked from even basic sites like Google and Facebook because the government wants to control what the public knows.  Until now the First Amendment has protected Americans.  But now two new bills in Congress, referred to as SOPA and PIPA, plan to enact those same censorship powers here in the United States using “online piracy” as the excuse.  What’s worse, these new bills give the power not to the government, but directly to big corporations WITHOUT ANY JUDICIAL OVERSIGHT.  A big corporation could put you or your favorite website on a blacklist that would severly limit or block your access, and there would be NOTHING you could do about it.  Talk about Big Brother!

It galls the powerful that there is something out there that they fail to control – the Internet – and they have seen its power in the Middle East where the Arab Spring has otherthrown the traditional power structures.  It scares them silly.  So they are going to use “online piracy” as the barely-credible excuse to take control of the Internet and limit its freedoms.

More information on how frighteningly broad these bills are can be found at:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/how-pipa-and-sopa-violate-white-house-principles-supporting-free-speech
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/English_Wikipedia_anti-SOPA_blackout
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOPA

Please contact your Congressman or Senator, sign petitions, write blogs, spread the word, and make sure that everyone knows what is hidden in these oppressive bills.

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