If you haven’t heard yet, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) will be voted on in the House and Senate, respectively, next week. The Huffington Post says “SOPA would give both the government and major corporations the power to shut down entire websites accused of copyright infringement with neither a trial nor a traditional court hearing … The proposed legislation has startled tech experts and free speech advocates, who warn that the anti-piracy tactics envisioned by the bill would bring about widespread censorship of legitimate content and hamper important cybersecurity measures.”
The article says Oregon senator Jeff Merkley has officially opposed PIPA, while Ron Wyden plans to filibuster; I’m unsure about Washington’s senators think about it. Regardless, the next seven days are your chance to speak up on SOPA and PIPA.
Here are some easy actions to take (in order of importance and greatest impact):
- CALL YOUR CONGRESSPEOPLE! Here are contact lists for Washington and Oregon – tell your representatives to oppose internet censorship!
- Spread the word on your social media outlets: post on Twitter, Facebook and other sites to let your networks know about SOPA and how they can help.
- If you have a website, make it go black tomorrow for the online SOPA protest. WordPress has quite a few anti-SOPA plugins, which are really easy to install. (More ways to strike online can be found here.)