Wednesday, December 28, 2011

SOPA: The New Internet Censorship Act

SOPA or the Stop Internet Piracy Act is a new Act in this years congress's continuing battle against American civil liberties. Essentially the Act is designed to restrict access to sites like and protect copy righted content on the internet but how they are going about accomplishing this is nothing short of censorship and a violation of the 1st Amendment. SOPA not only will affect our civil liberties but will affect many internet based companies such as Reddit and the internet as a whole. Remember when you shared that video you saw on Youtube with your friends on Facebook under SOPA that will be illegal especially if said video was copyrighted in anyway such as song or a music video. SOPA is an extention of a battle that has long been brewing as lobbyists for the RIAA and MPAA (Record Industry and Motion Picture Industry)have fought to end internet piracy.On the surface, the SOPA seems reasonable, especially considering that "pirates" are afoot on the Web and inroad into the profits of global companies, which certainly must not be countenanced!!!. On the other hand, leveling a court order in a demand to exterminate a website's voice and presence on the basis of the Justice Department's dictum is overarching power. In the wrong hands, in the wrong administration, more amendments could be tacked on to the act to willy nilly obtain even more power to stop the voice and outcry of online American citizens who enjoy exercising their constitutional freedoms.

Coupled with the recent passage of the National Defense Act whose add on provision virtually eliminates habeas corpus for "alleged" terrorists (who might just tweet anti-government slogans) and ends first amendment rights of free speech as we knew them a year ago, this two pronged pincer attack against American civil liberties is beyond anything that we have witnessed in our lifetimes. Various individuals in our political system, appear to show a disregard for the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold. In another day and age, it would not be untoward to level accusations of treason against them for considering the passage of such law . But "pirates" and "terrorists" must be stopped.

SOPA: The New Internet Censorship Act

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