SOPA and PIPA, two acts with names that sound like British royal wannabes, are now shelved. This is after a huge outcry of the internet users and internet companies.
What are these acts? In a nutshell – pieces of legislation allowing the government to censor Internet sites. The main force behind these bills is the movies’ industry, as usual. While the studios defend their monopoly on “piracy” (a word they use to describe sharing of licensed content between people), they tried to enter into our living rooms, bed rooms and offices and have the government watch (on their behalf) what we do there. If the government (on their behalf) finds that we’re doing something that the government (or the studios) don’t like – it will censor our actions. Cort orders? Due process? Who needs it when we have SOPA.
So that has been stopped. Is the fight over? Not at all.
There are more pieces of that very same legislation still pending in the Congress under variety of very politically-correct names.
ACTA (Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is exactly the same as SOPA, in a disguise of a trade agreement amongst several countries. In this case, not only the US government will be censoring the Internet under the direction of the movies’ studios (or political parties, or the dear leader, or the god and her representatives on Earth – choose your own nightmare), but several other countries as well. Have you heard about it? Has it been in the news? Not really. Well, here’s your chance to voice your opinion and call your Congressman about it.
PCIPA (Protect Children from Internet Pornography Act) is yet another version of SOPA. Here, the excuse for the censorship is not protecting the financial interests of media giants, but “protecting children”. Seemingly noble cause, because who would object protecting children from pornography? The people (same movies’ studios) who push this, will claim that if you are against PCIPA then you must be supporting child pornography, and who wants that, right? But the fact is that we don’t need to give up our civil rights to protect the children. We don’t need to allow censorship and give up the due process. And we certainly don’t need people on the government payroll sitting in their offices watching porn in order to decide whether the content should be censored or not. The whole idea is ridiculous, and the only reason it exists is to introduce censorship for some cause. Once its there for one cause, what excuse will we have not to allow it for another cause? No excuse. Once we give up our freedom – its gone. I encourage you to click this link. The article explains much better than me what is the real meaning of PCIPA, and how it will affect each and every one of us.
Benjamin Franklin once wrote: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety“. Franklin was one of the founding fathers signing the Constitution. That piece of paper that talks about due process and the freedom of speech. Remember that quote.
Your Little Advisor