Today is an important day, as it is the first major international internet protest against proposed legislation, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), that will seriously threaten the internet as we know it today. The US government is considering making into law some proposals which supposedly are about stopping piracy online. However, this proposed legislation is so badly conceived that it threatens the internet as we know it, and we may end up with serious issues of censorship across the internet in a way which would seriously harm the way we use it today.
There is a lot written about this, but some of the better informed or interesting pieces are the following:
- an open letter by 110 prominent law professors in the USA (PDF)
- a piece by Tim O’Reilly, of O’Reilly Associates
- a page about SOPA by Google
- a Wikipedia article explaining why Wikipedia is blacked out today, visit English language Wikipedia today to notice the difference
Why are we highlighting this?
Our work at Akvo Foundation is fundamentally about transparency and openness. The tools and services we offer depend on the internet for its function, and an internet which is not encumbered by censorship. We believe that terrible legislation, like SOPA, could stop us from operating entirely and this is not acceptable.
What can you do?
The linked articles and pages above have a number of suggestions on what you can do as an individual or as an organisation. Please take action. However small. Everything helps.
Home page photo by M3Li55@