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January 18, 2012

Farewell, Internet! It was nice knowing ya!!

"As to the evil which results from a censorship, it is impossible to measure it, for it is impossible to tell where it ends." ~Jeremy Bentham

Likely due to action by a broad and bipartisan coalition of Internet users, companies, and organizations, the U.S. House of Representatives has reportedly put the brakes on SOPA, for now.   SOPA would allegedly use Internet censorship to combat overseas copyright infringement. Even President Obama's White House has joined the opposition, although I guarantee that he would, "reluctantly" sign either bill into law if passed, especially in light of Obama's connection to the entertainment industry

Despite floundering SOPA support, the Senate is continuing to move forward  with its equally dangerous version of the bill, called PIPA, the Protect-IP Act.  PIPA is the rewrite of last year's controversial Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which was discussed numerous times on this site.  

As written, PIPA would result in our government importing censorship and surveillance techniques pioneered by countries like China and Iran, and reversing longstanding U.S. policy on Internet freedom.  This would be an outright betrayal to U.S. First Amendment values and would only result in  further damaging our already blemished standing around the world.  In addition, the bill would threaten our job-creating innovators, and undermining Internet security for everyone.  Many sites would be forced to shut down, without being afforded any degree of due process, including this one and many other alternative news and information sites. 

Despite the online and real life protests of these fascist bills, the long list of supporters contain some of the top lobbying powers in the United States and some of the biggest names in industry.  It's evident that these bills were spearheaded by the entertainment industry, and now with the vast array of support, there is no way that the Internet, as we know is, will continue for much longer. 

Today is a day for action across the Internet. Learn about these destructive and offensive bills. Tell your Senator what you think.  Congress needs to hear from you.  Tell your friends.  Email strangers.  Post on Zuckerberg's wall.  Do whatever you can, and make sure you are doing your part in the fight against censorship.  The more mediums that the Powers That Be control, the easier it is for them to manipulate information and dominate the masses.  We've allowed them to take too much from us already.  Let's hold on to our free Internet. 

"Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." ~Noam Chomsky