Did you go to Wikipedia today for your daily dose of random information searching and come up with…nothing? This is part of mass protests against PIPA and SOPA.
What is SOPA?
PIPA is a Senate bill originally titled the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act. Intellectual Property refers to copyrighted films, music, and books that can be easily copied and transmitted online without the content creator (or rights holder) being paid.
SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act and is a similar version of PIPA in discussion inside the US House of Representatives.
According to their legislative sponsors, the intention of PIPA & SOPA is to stop the illegal copying of music and movies, something that Hollywood studios, music publishers and many others state is a threat to their businesses.
Who has an issue with SOPA and PIPA?
The main issue many sites have is restrictions to the Internet. Many thought leaders and tech prognosticators believe that the Internet should be uninhibited and free. This law would be a first step in possible governmental intervention on what can be linked to on search engines such Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Domains of websites that are deemed offenders and therefore would have to be blocked from search results. There would also be increased pressure and constraints on many other sites to oversee content, links, and user generated video.
According to the Reddit Homepage,
PROTECT IP and SOPA will cause too much collateral damage, have a high potential for abuse, and won’t even be that effective at stopping the crimes they target.
The fear is after the first stone tumbles, will a rock-slide of regulation and govermental interference follow?
How to Prepare for SOPA?
If SOPA passes, US Internet users will ultimately pay the price. Preparedness for worst case scenarios of a more restrictive Internet should not be outside of the realm of your thinking.
We suggest you check out VPN service providers like NordVPN that allow you to mask your IP address location and allow users to tunnel their traffic securely in order to avoid these preposterous and illegitimate domain blocks.
The SOPA Protest is on
The SOPA protest might be the largest online protest ever (according to FastCompany). Here’s a quick list of a few major sites that have gone black in protest.
- Wikipedia (mostly inaccessible)
- Google (logo censored for U.S. visitors, link to protest info for everyone)
- BoingBoing (inaccessible)
For a full list, visit SopaStrike.com.
UPDATE: According to the LA Times, the bill has LOST 3 sponsors due to the protests and outpouring of Anti-SOPA activities.
Want to Read more on SOPA/PIPA?
Or just type in SOPA on your search engine of choice. Read up, be aware, and stay vigilant.