As some of you are aware, Congress is set to pass House Bill 3261 on January 24th. This bill is the controversial face of the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA), which was introduced to the US House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by Lamar Smith (R-TX), a House Judiciary Committee Chair Representative (and part-time control freak, apparently), alongside 12 other bipartisan co-sponsors.
This bill, if passed, would empower US law enforcement officials and copyright holders (a.k.a., the entertainment industry) to (essentially) censor the Internet, under the guise of fighting online trafficking of copyrighted intellectual property. It’s a close cousin to the PRO-IP Act of 2008.
In an ideal world, the US government would curtail the Orwellian abuse of this power; but as of now, we don’t live in a world of rainbows, unicorns, flying ponies and faerie dust. Beneath the bill’s vague political subterfuge and hubris, SOPA would effectively violate our rights to free speech and privacy on the Web.
Lastly, be sure to check out FightforTheFuture.org’s PROTECT IP video (embedded below). It gives the viewer a concise rundown of the dangers inherent to bills like these.