Today was “American Censorship Day.” It was an effort by an organization called “Fight For The Future” to make our voices heard concerning House Resolution 3261, the “Protect IP Act.” Also known as the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” the bill would allow the government to order Internet Service Providers to block Websites at the request of big money content providers in Hollywood and elsewhere without due process. It would also break DNS, which is the foundation of the Internet. It would subject users to felony charges (with minimum 5 year prison sentences) for singing even a few lines of a copyrighted song on YouTube or Facebook.
Like many other sites, The Daily Dispatch participated by inserting a snip of code that made it appear as if this site had been blacklisted by the U.S. government. It was more than just a flashy gimmick. That is precisely what could happen if this bill passes. Once free speech is abrogated for commercial purposes, it won’t be long before it’s abrogated for political purposes.
If you care about freedom, please visit http://americancensorship.org to learn more, and take a few moments to contact your Representative concerning HR 3261. There is little in life that is more precious than liberty, and in our time, that means freedom of expression online too.
While you’re at it, please consider joining the Electronic Frontier Foundation. EFF is the first line in defense of our freedom online.