What is SOPA and why should you care?
If you haven’t already heard of SOPA, you probably will today as a large number of web sites are willing redirecting to the SOPAStrike site in protest.
SOPA is the Stop Online Privacy Act, a piece of legislation that is up for consideration in the very near future. The goal is to protect the owners of intellectual properties such as movies, television, books, music and even software. While this is a noble and justifiable goal, the powers that SOPA grants to censors are far too broad and could be implemented with very few checks and balances. In essence, it would create an Internet “blacklist” of sites that are blocked due to a suspicion of hosting files that violate copyright laws. Sites could land themselves on the list simply by means of a complaint letter sent on behalf of the owners of the intellectual properties.
Critics even say that it stands the chance of breaking some of the core functionality of the Internet. Once a complaint is filed there is a potential for an entire domain to be blocked as a result of one page having questionable links or files.
I’m far from being a radical anti-government spaz, but it’s legislation like this that lead to more and more government and, worse yet, corporate control over our lives.
Here’s a few articles that you should read to familiarize yourself a bit more.