BlackOut — SOPA’s Choice

January 18, 2012

(Illustration found here).

Today is a kind of watershed moment when the Internets respond to attempts to censor shit by banging down the back door, but a load of ‘Net peoples have chosen instead to go black.

Daily Kos  has an action line to protest the twin online-control orbs SOPA ‘Stop Online Piracy Act,’ (US House) and PIPA ‘Protect Intellectual Property Act” (US Senate), which reportedly are designed to shut down access to overseas websites that traffic in stolen content or counterfeit goods, but like a lot of other surveillance-state-of-affairs, there’s more than just bullshit flying.
Copyright law can be a step away from censorship: “Like many other tech companies, we believe that there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking U.S. companies to censor the Internet,” a Google spokeswoman told Reuters on Monday.

And today (Wednesday) Google has a black band over its name on its search site, and Wikipedia leads to a Gothic-looking spot which proclaims “Imagine A World Without Free Knowledge,” in protest of the upcoming Congressional bills.
Along with Wiki, Reddit and Boing Boing, among others were also going black for awhile to protest.
Even HuffPost had a huge, black box at the top of his home page (where a photo/headline usually appears) early Wednesday, and supplies a factoid page here.

All authority hates freedom — one wonders how the popular uprisings in the Middle East, even the Occupy movement here in the US would fare under these laws, and how would freedom really be effected because as it is now, the real freedom is in the ability to get the truth out there.
Even in the most totalitarian regimes on earth, a little iPhone camera can change the outlook of the whole, entire world — in a real sense, currently there can’t be a total news black out and we need to keep it that way.

An understanding via the LA Times:

Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, said the bills set “a horrendous precedent globally” and that much of the content users put online — such as open publishing, crowd-sourced information gathering or comments sections — could all become “incredibly dangerous” if the bills passed.
“We would end up in a situation where we’re trying to do needlepoint with harpoons,” he said.
“You can’t target only pirated information, content or media without getting tons of collateral damage that removes entirely legal content.”
As a screenwriter, East Hollywood resident Steven Darancette, 40, uses Wikipedia often for background information. But he isn’t too concerned about the website going dark Wednesday, saying he supports the protest.
“If I need to get research, I’ll just Google,” he said.
“There are also these things called books.”

The way-big problem, though, is once that door is opened, then locked back again by SOPA/PIPA there’s no going back, the freedom of pure communication will be lost in an Orwellian influenced society, and that ain’t good at all.

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