Public protests continue against congressional legislation known as the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA.) Legislators are being pressured to re-write this bill to protect internet privacy and prevent censorship. Protecting intellectual property internationally has become a challenge with advent of the Internet.
This bill is claimed to attack the serious problem of foreign piracy and counterfeiting. Critics say the bill's intention is quite different from what the bill actually achieves because of the way it is written. Censorship is said to be imposed -- actually limiting internet freedom -- in the efforts to prevent online piracy.
This legislative bill's title plus initial pages likely fail to reveal the many details tucked away in words, phrasing and punctuation deep within what is a multi-page compilation.
(I personally know of an instance in another bill years ago when a simple omitted comma significantly altered acknowledged service intent. The bill was passed with the error before discovery, but was never corrected despite Congressional efforts to do so. The result has had limiting and more complicated consequences for select health services.)
This current open Internet issue is certainly about far more than just a comma, but SOPA language wording best be correct on passage. Needed corrections might never be enacted.
News reports have quoted major Internet company founders of Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo and others as being so concerned about internet censorship they were prompted to write that the bill would:
"give the US government the power to censor the Web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran."
These freedom issues are of significant import warranting serious consideration from every citizen.
Always of interest when considering conflicting viewpoints and interpretations of legislation is knowing who are the actual congresspersons involved in formulating any bill. So, here's a link to the official U. S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary website that shows each of the committee members and a detailed list of the bill's supporters -- also of value in assessing possible/likely influencing sources.
We can contact committee members and our congresspersons in these days ahead to make our views known -- that we desire an Internet free of government censorship techniques as purported to be integrated in Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261.) Do follow the evolution of this bill -- and not just what the committee chairman reports on the government website -- as the committee resumes work this February 2012.
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