Such as twitter, facebook, YouTube, and many other sites if the "Internet Blacklist Bill" (so politically correctly called the "Stop Online Piracy" Act) passes, websites like this, or any other site The Man doesn't like could be yanked. The bill's purpose is supposedly to stop sites like The Pirate Bay which have been a thorn in the RIAA's side for years. The solution? Pass a law saying any site with objectionable content or hosting objectionable content could be blocked.
For those not aware, the US not only controls the internet (virtually all top level DNS servers are administrated in the USA) but is one of the few countries that doesn't actively block "objectionable" sites, such as sites hosting opinions that aren't the governments. That could change with the passing of this bill - from The Guardian:
"In a blogpost, Google said: "We strongly support the goal of the bill – cracking down on offshore websites that profit from pirated and counterfeited goods – but we're concerned the way it's currently written would threaten innovation, jobs, and free expression."
Art Bordsky, spokesman for Public Knowledge, a Washington-based public policy group, said Sopa was "the proverbial bull in the proverbial china shop" and that the bill as it stands would have "terrible consequences" for the internet.
"The international aspects alone are very worrying," he said. "It appears that the US is taking control of the entire world. The definitions written in the bill are so broad that any US consumer who uses a website overseas immediately gives the US jurisdiction the power to potentially take action against it."
At present, if Facebook, You Tube or other leading websites are found to be holding copyright material without permission, then they are told to take it down. Sopa would make it possible for the US to block the website. Such far-reaching powers could kill smaller firms and put off investors from financing new companies, said Holmes Wilson, co-founder of Fight For The Future, a lobbying group."
What can you do?
- Sign this petition (there's also a good video about the legislation on this site)
- Send an E-mail to your senator via this link
- Send a letter to your senator, find their contact info via this link
Protect our rights. Today.