You have probably heard a lot of SOPA internet censorship in the last 7 days. For those who do not understand what it is, or if you’ve never heard about this concept before, please take a minute to know what is SOPA, how it can affect your Internet surfing and why it is so important.
WHAT IS SOPA?
SOPA, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” is another of the many initiatives from the U. S. A. government developed to protect copyright. This internet censorship project to stop “piracy” is quite specific and very possible to be applied in the next year (if not approved in 2011) that seeks to end all sites that violate intellectual property laws.
The law allows the U.S. government to shut down websites without prior summons. The same method used by governments such as Syria and Iran; it is also very similar to the censorship China holds to certain sites. This sounds ironic and some people already compared the Big Wall with a giant American Firewall.
HOW CAN SOPA AFFECT INTERNET USERS
Basically, SOPA attacks Internet users’ freedom and could mean the end of the internet as we know it.
When we say that SOPA may terminate our freedom it does not only refer to the chance of not having more free (and sometimes illegal) content providers, but it will also be a problem for any blogger or website that speaks of them or provide some link, despite off not being directly related to the crime.
As an example we mention that this law will also affect search engines and social networks, because if Google or Facebook allow you to publish at least one link to content that violates copyrights, they could be shut down in a minute or get penalized with a censorship bill. Same with YouTube: if a video has background music with copyrights the responsible for this violation would be YouTube. Crazy, isn’t it?
Finally, another critical point is that SOPA, despite being promoted by the U.S. Government, in practice this will affect not only this country but also the use of the internet worldwide. U. S. A. is playing the role of the World’s judge and executor. It seems if you have a site and/or domain in U.S. servers, better try looking for other country where to host them.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, Mozilla, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Youtube, AOL and eBay made a press release accusing the law to censor and destroy millions of jobs. The European Parliament, meanwhile, called on a resolution to respect and protect net neutrality, while members of the Green Coalition oppose the confiscation of domains for violating copyrights.
If this is a problem for big companies, just picture it for small websites and blogs… It would mean the end.
From our point of view, you can agree or not with piracy, but we believe that SOPA is an extreme measure to this problem.
We agree there is a huge loophole in security and theft over the Internet and something must be done about it urgently. However, while the internet today is no longer just a simple communication channel (as it was 6 or 7 years ago), but is part of our life. Some countries are trying to “own” or state what you want to see or do on the Internet. This is unacceptable at least. This will mean that people will get bored and will stop using internet. This will affect the economies of the companies that live thanks to the network and invest in websites or online advertising, and therefore, will fall in the economy of many countries that depend on advertising as a source of consumption, as the United States.
I think that U.S. Government still have to work much harder in SOPA if they really want to implement it, since there are several aspects, both economic and moral, which are being neglected and they are not insignificant at all!
This is a topic gives a lot to talk and I wonder what you think about it. Comment below and share your opinions about SOPA
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