In solidarity with other sites across the web, the front page of this site for the next 24 hours will be be a protest regarding bills currently before the U.S. Congress that are being touted as attempts to stop Internet piracy but in essence would lay out the groundwork for censoring the Internet. I would compare this legislation to the Patriot Act passed in the U.S. after the 9/11 tragedy. While the Patriot Act was passed under the auspices of preventing terrorism, it has essentially been used to restrict civil liberties for U.S. Citizens across the board.
The legislation before the U.S. House of Representatives is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and similar legislation before the U.S. Senate is the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). This legislation is being pushed by many large U.S. Corporations. Its primary allies are the motion picture industry and the music industry, who seem to feel that the openness of the Internet is costing them millions of dollars in annual revenue but the proposed legislation is also supported by a variety of large corporations and even some prominent Internet companies. Godaddy.com was a supporter of these proposed laws until they lost thousands of customers as a result of this support.
To learn more about these proposed laws and their potential effect on the Internet and Freedom of Speech, visit the sites below for more detailed information. The last link provides information on how those of you who are not U.S. citizens may protest this proposed legislation.
Since I have been out-of-town, the protest on this site is getting a late start and will have a late finish. It will start at 12 noon EST on January 18, 2012 and end on January 19, 2012 at 12 noon EST. Coming out of the protest, I will have some things to say about the NASA video fiasco. I am tempted to protest another 24 hours against the stupidity and confusion that has surfaced over this video but I can’t stay silent for too much longer regarding some of the foolishness that has popped up regarding it.