There is a devious new bill making the rounds in the legislature. It's called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), or as it's known by its more freedom-hating name, the Internet Blacklist Bill. I don't want to waste much time describing it, so here are some links for your perusal.
I'll let you read up on that for a bit.
OK, onto my editorial.
Oh boy, where do I begin with this wretched piece of shit?
First of all, this bill can best be described as disproportionate retribution. It's the equivalent of killing mosquitoes with a nuclear missile. It's expensive to implement, causes massive collateral damage the politicians failed to think through, and when the dust and vapor finally settle, there will still be a few mosquitoes left, and these mosquitoes will end up breeding like crazy, and by next month, you'll be faced with the same problem you had last month. Pirates will always find a way around these new provisions, but the average internet user will be left wondering why reddit no longer exists.
On top of that, the powers granted in this bill will be far too easy to abuse. You know how the atheists on YouTube have a big problem with creationist trolls filing bogus DMCA claims against their videos? SOPA will be far, far worse than that. The wording of this bill is so vague and broad that any troll or asshole with an axe to grind can easily shut down any website they don't like simply by claiming that the site is host to copyright-infringing material. All they have to do is complain, even if there is no evidence of copyright infringement. Let's say a right-wing asshole wanted to shut down Daily Kos. All he would have to do is say that there is copyright infringement going on - again, with no evidence - and this site will be shut down in a matter of days.
I also find it hilarious how most of the people supporting this bill don't know shit about technology. Case in point, Lamar Smith:
“I’m not a technical expert on this...”
People who don't know how to use technology should not be in charge of technology law!
What's scariest of all is that there is a very high chance that this bill will pass. There are a lot of powerful entities backing it and the politicians who support it don't seem to give a shit what their constituents think. However, there is one silver lining, one reason why this bill will ultimately fail: the people will never accept a government that censors the internet. The American people hate their government enough as it is, what with their support of Wall Street thieves and rampant police brutality. If this bill is passed, it will cause a massive, massive backlash, particularly among the young generation. Little Timmy will be none to pleased with the way our country is governed when he discovers that he can't get onto Facebook anymore.
The powers-that-be would gladly destroy everything we know and love on the internet in the name of "stopping piracy", and for what reason? To maintain the obsolete business models of the movie and music industries? To please the corporate giants who refuse to adapt to a changing marketplace? If they really think they're going to change the way we use the internet, they got another thing coming.
If you want to help save the internet from this hideous display of government overreach, sign this petition: