Today, in protest of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) legislation, Wikipedia and other sites (including my new Tumblr!) are “blacked out,” preventing access to information on these sites.
It’s an effective strategy, and I think it accomplishes the goal of forcing the American public to carefully consider how this legislation will influence their daily lives. The Internet is not just Facebook and Downton Abby animated gifs. It’s a vast wealth of information, information that helps us every single day (how many times have I Googled “toxic foods for dogs” in a panic after Chief has eaten yet another sketchy morsel from the sidewalk?), information that most of us take for granted. Think back to when you were growing up, before every household had at least one personal computer–our lives were just different then. And there’s no going back.
If you agree that the bills, if passed, could be irreversibly damaging to the Internet and society, consider signing this petition at Google, or contacting your local representatives. Voting begins on January 24.
I’m likely preaching to the choir, but I think it’s a worthwhile discussion–what would you do if your access to the Internet was limited or censored? Do you think there’s any benefits that can come from the above legislation?