Do you know what SOPA is? You should. It’s a piece of legislation moving through Congress right now that, if it passes, may change the internet drastically. Here’s CNN’s overview if you’re not familiar.
In short, SOPA would force sites to go dark for US visitors if they were accused of infringing copyrights. Google has said that YouTube would “have to go dark immediately”. But possibly more alarmingly, the language of the bill is muddled enough that it really allows for sites to get shut down (not actually shut down, but dark for US visitors) on the whim of anyone with enough clout to get heard.
Sounds like China, right?
Let’s not go there. We still have a chance to stop this. Call your congresspeople, sign petitions, tell your friends–this bill is bad for the internet, bad for your rights, and already way too close to reality.
My opinion? People in congress are so far out of touch with the real world, and even further out of touch with the virtual world that has become so intrinsic to our reality, that they probably haven’t a clue what they’re actually doing here.
Several major sites, including Wikipedia, are going black on January 18th in protest of SOPA.