Edit: I will leave comments open on this but please be, well, somewhat civil.
If you want to be spared my editorializing below here are some sites with just the facts:
This Google homepage has excellent info that will stay up more than just today (I hope).
Probably the best single page for contact info on the key players in the matter can be found HERE.
The full list of SOPA / PIPA institutional and corporate supporters is HERE).
My two sentence editorial is this. The content providers want the government to help stop online “piracy” by wildly overstepping their constitutional and technological bounds while taking the first small steps toward infesting, monitoring, and controlling all content on the behalf of corporate content providers (and campaign donators) and bloated bureaucracies with their own eye towards increased influence and power. Certain segments of the government are drooling at the idea of finally getting their toe in the door in order to take control huge chunks of our freedom and technology.
My longer rant is this…
I usually don’t allow any politics either here or on the Facebook page. There’s lots of places for that. I come here to relax. But (like a lot of internet sites today) I’m making a one time exception to that rule. I like my blog just the way it is. I don’t need anyone telling me what I can reasonably post on here. Unfortunately, there are forces at work that feel differently.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste” is a big catchphrase in American politics. Make sure that any (usually Orwellian sounding) solution focuses almost entirely on the wrong part of the issue. Make sure it’s way to big and overreaching. Make it Expensive! Don’t really concern yourself that it won’t really fix anything long term (that’s really NOT the goal anyway). And most important, make sure it allows those people already in charge to increase that control as much as possible so they can sell that influence to the highest bidders… all hopefully without anyone noticing. Again, see the full list of supporters HERE.
It makes not one bit of difference what party you’re in, it’s who your masters are. In this case The President is against SOPA (and good for him) and a significant of bought and paid for” Congressman and Senators of both parties are all for it.
I realize at this point that a lot of folks are thinking “Oh come on Steve… this will only be an issue between “the big boys” of the web. The large peer to peer sites like Piratebay vs Sony or Disney and they’re only talking about shutting down access to overseas sites that brazenly facilitate the sharing of content so why worry about the average 4000 hit per day blog or whatever? Why should I care.
Well remember the part about increasing power. To quote this C-Net article, “How SOPA Would Affect You”:
“A little-noticed portion of the proposed law… goes further than Protect IP and could require Internet providers to monitor customers’ traffic and block Web sites suspected of copyright infringement. “
They’re back peddling now that all the attention is coming down on them but don’t kid yourself. The Internet is huge and it’s (for now) beyond their control. That’s not something that sits well with the powers that be. If they can find juuust the right reason and put a bow on it, they will take it.