Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Internet Censorship


Earlier I attempted to open a wikipedia page,my favourite source of factoids on the internet,and was greeted with a splash page.I was informed that wikipedia was having a 24 hour blackout in protest of a bill that American Congress is considering passing right now.

The Bill in question is SOPA,or the Stop Online Piracy Act,and it's aim is what it's named,stopping the theft of intellectual property online.The goal is noble,piracy is bad,people require payment for things like games they've made,it enables them to make more games.

The uproar comes in over the reality of the Bill,in the words of Google "We strongly support the goal of the bill – cracking down on offshore websites that profit from pirated and counterfeited goods – but we're concerned the way it's currently written would threaten innovation, jobs, and free expression.".The worry is mainly in the wording of the Bill,in the power that it gives the U.S over the internet,in the potential for this Bill being used for eventual full censorship,in the websites that will be forced to shut down during court cases arguing over whether the material they are hosting is pirated.Possibly most importantly people feel this Bill may harm future online ventures and businesses,after all,who wants to invest in a site that may lose revenues during it's time in court?

Pro SOPA opinion has some good arguments too,they claim that without the Bill 2.2 million industry jobs will be at risk.They point out that even our search engines partake in piracy in a way,allowing for the streaming of pirated media,and that the people most vocal about the Bill don't fully understand it,misrepresent it.


I encourage all of you to Google SOPA,educate yourselves on the facts,the more informed your eventual opinion on the matter is,the more weight it will carry.I also encourage you to take note of all the sites that are down today,in protest,and imagine what your daily browsing would be like if all of them were gone.

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