Wednesday, 18 January 2012


On Wednesday Jan. 18th thousands of sites will go dark to protest SOPA & PIPA, two US bills racing through Congress that threaten prosperity, online security, and freedom of expression.

We normally stay away from politics here, but these are two fundamentally illiberal pieces of legislation unworthy of the democratic world. We are joining the international outcry against the US bills Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), which seek to deploy online censorship and surveillance in the name of enforcing copyright, employing the same tools used by authoritarian regimes. If you are a US Citizen, take action now!

The Senate version of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). SOPA has gotten more attention than PIPA because it was moving faster in the legislative process. But PIPA is just as dangerous, and now it is moving faster. Both bills aim to protect copyrighted works and intellectual property, but the provisions of both WILL lead to serious abuses, by policital and commercial interests, without achieving the objectives of these bills.

Both PROTECT IP / SOPA Act will ‘break’ the Internet as it presently functions.
PIPA would give the government new powers to block ALL (not just Americans’) access to websites that lobbying US corporations don’t like. The bill lets corporations and the US government censor entire websites by legally seizing the ENTIRE DOMAIN and cut sites off from advertising, payments and donations.

This legislation will stifle free speech and innovation. Even popular web services like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook will have to bow to US censorship or be closed down. The bill is scheduled for a test vote in the US Senate on Jan. 24th. Object now before silence falls. RC