SOPA is a bill (HR 3261) sponsored by Lamar Smith (R-VA), John Conyers (D-MI), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Howard Berman (D-CA) and several co-sponsors. The first hearings on this bill will begin in congress tomorrow, November 16th.
If SOPA is passed, it will give the US Government control of the Domain Name System in order to allow them to “cut off” blacklisted websites. This is tantamount to giving the US government control of major newspapers at the printing press. If an edition is deemed unsuitable, it never leaves the press.
The bill has been branded as a device to protect “our” intellectual property and something that is targeted at software pirates, thieves and criminals.
The reality is that SOPA will give the government control over who has the right to speak.
Print, radio and television are being replaced by Internet delivery systems from streaming music to video on demand, online newspapers and blogs. Every one of these relies on DNS to stay online. If our government has control over our DNS system, it has the ability to issue an instant warrantless gag order to any individual, corporation or organization if it doesn’t approve your message or content.
The World has moved online. If this bill passes and is signed into law, it will go far beyond ending the Free Internet. It will remove the press freedoms we had before the Internet existed.
SOPA’s effects are far reaching and go beyond government control of DNS. The effects will include harming businesses that rely on user generated content and preventing the creation of new businesses like Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Google’s YouTube and many others. The bill will effectively kill a powerful job creation machine at a time when we need it most.
You can learn more about SOPA and the destruction it will wreak at: