Two birds with one stone
update, 14 Nov: Hi Sideshow-ers, and welcome to our wee nanoblog. And thanks for the kind, Avedon C., as BDR would say. And yes, she has been pointing out that we'll miss the internet when it's gone for some time.
Or maybe, "two birds with one stone(around your neck)"?
Many bad things are happening but this is one of them, and it's not just because you'll miss the internet.
The video above is via Cory Doctorow at Boingboing.net and Gary Farber. Doctorow notes that SOPA has been characterized as an end run around net neutrality, but he's right that it's much more than that, and it sounds like it's being pushed through the congress PDQ.
PROTECT IP (S. 968)/SOPA (HR. 3261) creates the first system for Internet censorship - this bill has sweeping provisions that give the government and corporations leeway and legal cover for taking down sites "by accident," mistakenly, or for NOT doing "enough" to protect the interests of Hollywood. These bills that are moving very quickly through Congress and can pass before Christmas aim to give the US government and corporations the ability to block sites over infringing links posted by their users and give ISPs the release to take any means to block peoples' sites, including slowing down your connection. That's right, some say this bill is a workaround to net neutrality and is bigger than net neutrality.
I'm reminded of how quickly Visa, Mastercard and Paypal accommodated the government's request to shut down Wikileaks' funding, even though it wasn't necessarily all that clear that they were doing anything unlawful, just so the money people could demonstrate their fealty to the state, that they were going to be accommodating, while it also demonstrated how close the relationship is between the federal government and big corporations. Likewise, this doesn't sound like it's just about shutting down media piracy, but shutting down non-corporate speech, gadfly speech, whistle-blowers, etc.
Sometimes I feel like I inhabit a neighborhood of the blogosphere where the denizens usually feel like activism and demonstrating anything resembling civic earnestness just proves you're naive, and I mostly concur. All the same, I still feel this is something we should try to stop, whoever we is, via writing(or faxing) your congresspeople, etc. Even if stopping may be prove to be just delaying, it's worth it, because tomorrow's another day, etc. Anyway, the kids with the bongo drums can't do it all by themselves.