Have you been paying attention to all the hubbub online about the proposed U.S. legislation (SOPA/PIPA) that threatens internet freedom? I wrote about it last week over on WordPress.org, but the gist is this: there’s a bill in the U.S. Senate that if passed would put publishing freedom severely at risk, and could shut down entire sites at the whim of media companies. Fight for the Future created this nifty video to sum it up better than I can.
Today, when I went to Wikipedia trying to look up information on Venus Williams (triggered by watching her play in Australian Open yesterday), I saw Wikipedia sharing this information and my expression was no less than a shock. A shock so visible on my page, the person sitting right across me asked me if everything was okay.
I just can not see myself living in a world where all this information is stopped and controlled. We are already living in a world where the powers in the world want to control what is shared and Wikileaks have shocked many people. Authors like Dan Brown bring out the theories which Christianity call out as Conspiracy Theories. The information we receive today is already so controlled that at times it is hard to believe what really is true and now there is an act to stop “free information”.
I like the idea of stopping online piracy and also to protect IP; but if that comes at a cost of stopping all free information I would be dammed.I did read what the acts say – SOPA and my simple and limited understanding I see that the objective is to stop piracy and ban sites that deal in such content. But, my worry is that a measure so strong will only give such powers that they will virtually control what goes online.