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augustlan's avatar

Have you seen today's Fluther blog post? If not, will you please read it now?

Asked by augustlan (46545 points ) January 16th, 2012

I know many of you don’t regularly read the blog, but today’s post (Fluther is in Danger!...) is pretty important. Please take a look, take action, and share it far and wide.

Thanks, jellies!

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75 Answers

filmfann's avatar

I am with you!

jerv's avatar

I have gotten a lot of funny looks for opposing SOPA for a long time, yet people took this long to see the dangers? I hate to sound like a hipster, but I’ve been on this since before it was mainstream :p

talljasperman's avatar

In Judo one “pushes when pulled, and pulls when pushed”... I say, “everyone on the Internet should consider going on a complete strike and boycott until this bill is dropped.”

Dog's avatar

Great article!
@jerv I know what you mean. When I tell people many do not believe me. Last night i told a friend and she said:

“Oh don’t worry- a bill like that would never pass.”

That SHEEP ATTITUDE is why it could!

People need to WAKE UP!

Joker94's avatar

Excellent post. We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@jerv A lot of us have been on this for a long time. The blog post is more of a result of previous efforts than the beginning of Fluther’s involvement.

jerv's avatar

@SavoirFaire I know, but I run into people who think this just started within the last week.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@jerv Unfortunately, that’s what happens when the companies behind our news organizations support a controversial bill.

HungryGuy's avatar

A good way to help keep free speech is to support Electronic Frontier Foundation

Dog's avatar

Regarding the weak comment from the Obama administration regarding this legislation, it is a meaningless and castrated statement, typical of a politician in an election year. It will not change anything and we need to be proactive.

As an example:

“As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said the federal government should not raid medical marijuana users and caregivers. Three months after Obama was inaugurated, his attorney general announced that it would be the administration’s official policy.”
Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times

And now:

“The Obama administration’s crackdown on California’s highly profitable medical marijuana industry represents a dramatic departure from the low-key approach it has long pursued.”
John Hoeffel, Los Angeles Times

It is now nearly impossible to get my mother her medication that is allowing her to live a normal life again with stage 4 cancer without resorting to criminal means myself.

Please take SOPA seriously! It will take unity of voices to override the powerful special interests that are backing it. Yes, piracy is wrong. Yes it should stop. But NOT if it unjustly prosecutes those who could be innocent.

Since when is that the “American Way” to condemn without a trial? Since when has it been okay to have collateral damage?

everephebe's avatar

I say let this bill pass and just see what happens. :D
Because when there is blood in the streets it’s always the best time to invest. ~

bkcunningham's avatar

It is odd to see people who were in favor of Net Neutrality screaming foul on SOPA.

Aethelflaed's avatar

So? Will Fluther go down for a day?

@bkcunningham Why? I don’t follow.

bkcunningham's avatar

On one hand you have those who say the FCC had every right to regulate the Internet. On the other hand you have those who say keep the government away from regulating the Internet by opposing SOPA and Protect IP.

Brian1946's avatar

@bkcunningham

“It is odd to see people who were in favor of Net Neutrality screaming foul on SOPA.”

Perhaps I’m oversimplifying here, but those in favor of Net Neutrality oppose ISP corporations blocking our access to internet sites, and those of us opposed to SOPA oppose the government blocking our access to internet sites.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@bkcunningham Ah. Well, the way SOPA is formulated, it’s not just failing to actually prevent piracy, but “breaks the internet” by severely weakening security structures in place. There are a lot of less ideological and more practical reasons people oppose SOPA, and many people oppose SOPA while also wanting to see something more done about piracy.

Blackberry's avatar

There are websites where people talk this to death. One website organized a bunch of people calling and emailing senators and such and a few even got senators to come on the website and discuss this with them. There’s a lot of movement online against this.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham Net Neutrality isn’t about the FCC regulating the internet so much as having corporations not regulate the internet. I suppose that you support censorship so long as it’s not the government doing the censoring? That corporations can strip us of Constitutional rights by making free speech a privilege? Sorry, but I don’t want anybody censoring things. And is you want to be able to share your opinions on issues, you should support Net Neutrality and oppose SOPA and PIPA too; otherwise, we become North Korea or Iran.

bkcunningham's avatar

You constantly rally against corporations and big business, @jerv. But you are willing to give control of certain Constitutional rights to the FCC which goes completely against the Constitution. Who are the people who serve on the FCC? Julius Genachowski, the chair, certainly isn’t associated with corporations or big business, is he? Robert McDowell or Mignon Clyburn aren’t from these evils either, right? Of course they are. I’m afraid I’m watching people fall victim to a sort of blindness and brainwashing and giving away too much power to the government. It is worrisome and confusing to me is all I’m trying to say.

HungryGuy's avatar

FYI, I also rally against corporations and big business. The existence of corporations (businesses that are owned by no one, and no one is truly accountable for their behavior, and yet control billions of dollars and use their power and wealth to influence public policy to the detriment of the people) is the root cause of all that’s wrong with the world today. This is just another data point to support this case.

jrpowell's avatar

Wikipedia is going down on the 18th.

Fluther must do the same.

Symbeline's avatar

You damn right I’m signing this. Freaky shit…who the hell do these people think they are? :(
EDIT
Bah, crap. It asks for an obligatory zip code. I’m in Canada, we don’t have zip codes, we have postal codes. Typing mine in says it’s invalid. How the hell am I supposed to sign this?

lloydbird's avatar

So, the internet can be uninvented?
I doubt it.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@lloydbird No, not uninvented, broken.

@bkcunningham I’m not sure you have to choose between letting the government censor stuff or corporations. You can be against both censoring things.

@Symbeline Go with “90210”.

Joker94's avatar

I highly recommend everyone check out @Blackberry‘s link.

HungryGuy's avatar

If this comes to pass, one solution (maybe not a popular solution, but a solution) is for everyone to host their sites overseas. Anyone use The Pirate Bay? Read their blog how they thumb their noses at all the copyright violations they receive from around the world. Everyone will just have to move all their servers to Sweden…

jrpowell's avatar

@HungryGuy :: This goes way beyond hosting your stuff in another county. They can just remove your DNS entry so it looks like your site is gone.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham In an ideal world, I would not let the FCC control things either.

This isn’t an ideal world. I sided with freedom over censorship. By the same token, I did not vote for Obama, I voted against McCain.

I do not trust government, but at least I have some control (however little) over them; corporations do not have any such oversight and are only accountable to their shareholders.

You also think I am against big business. Not really, though I can see how you get that idea. I merely feel that special interest groups should not govern us all, and you have to admit that an entity whose sole purpose is economic profit qualifies as “special interest”.

@HungryGuy I have to re-read it, but I think they have that covered; they will attack you overseas too.

augustlan's avatar

@Symbeline If you go to this link, and scroll down until you see the part that says “Not in the US? Petition the State Department”, there’s a place for you to enter your email address. Great way for non US residents to join the cause!

rebbel's avatar

So, we’re closing shop the 18th?
At last, a day off!
I’ll sign the non-US citizen thingy.

jrpowell's avatar

Wikipedia is the 8th most visited site in the world. 75 Million unique visitors per month. And that is just in the United States.

This should get interesting.

If Google, Facebook, and Twitter did the same this could be wonderful.

Aethelflaed's avatar

And now, for an adorable comic summing up what is wrong with SOPA/PIPA.

jerv's avatar

And note that the pirate ship is still afloat ;)

Aethelflaed's avatar

@jerv But of course! It’s almost like congress didn’t consult tons of professionals trying to figure out what would actually work, choosing instead to brag about how ignorant they are of “nerd” things.

Symbeline's avatar

@augustlan Thanks, signed it. And I’m gonna sign as many different forms as I can find. Maybe i should use all my e-mails for every signing haha. That might not count though. :/

Dog's avatar

@Symbeline You are like… so AWESOME!

I think we need to all protest on the 18th regardless of how the press is trying to tell us not to bother. We need to finally unite and SPEAK by action.

We are the ones who are affected by the legislation. We might not have the millions to form a lobby BUT WE ARE THE MAJORITY AND WE HAVE A VOICE!

I am still closing my sites.
I am not logging on for the day.
I am not passive or a sheep.
I believe that WE THE PEOPLE have the POWER.

YARNLADY's avatar

Thanks for the info.

Symbeline's avatar

@Dog Truth be told it’s freaking me out. I mean maybe there really is nothing to worry about, but maybe there is. And if there IS, might as well do something while we can. Because SOPA is complete bullshit. I mean it’s like, someone builds a building, it can easily be torn down in seconds, even if you saw it there every day of your life for the past 29 years. We can’t be fooled. I really hope this crap doesn’t get through. In the worse case scenario, I don’t have much hope, but me and Kanada will do what we can. :)

incendiary_dan's avatar

You know I’m always down with fighting the man.

Dog's avatar

@Symbeline It snows there but I could be tempted~

Seriously though. I always thought the people who were anti-government were nut jobs. Parinoid creepers.

But then I had to deal with the “Orphan Works” attempts to remove copyright protection.

And the government taking over Flu shots when a potentially awful strain was heading our way- this meant, instead of going to our pediatricians office to give my asthmatic (high risk) child her shot we had to wait in a huge line with 600 other (potentially INFECTIOUS) people for three HOURS to get the shot from the Feds.

Then the government decided to over ride the will of the people and close down medical marijuana clinics because a few were being issued prescriptions who did not deserve it. They did so knowing that those who really need it would not be able to access it, but justified it by saying it was being abused. (yeah- so why not close down ALL pharmacies- after all PRESCRIPTION drugs are abused all the time! NOBODY should have any meds!)

Anyway- I am finding myself in the very uncomfortable position of no longer trusting my government to make rational decisions for the better of the people.

It is sad. Really sad.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Dog Now, calm down, the decision hasn’t been made yet, and even after it is – there are many avenues to change/challenge it.

Dog's avatar

@YARNLADY I do agree that it can be fought after the fact, but we all know that it is far more difficult to overturn an existing law than to prevent it.

ETpro's avatar

Thanks for the link to it, and thanks to @augustlan for the great write-up. I’ve already signed the petition and written my senators. No need to wrote my representative, because I know he stands with me in opposing this insanity.

Paradox25's avatar

I wasn’t aware of this bill but thank you for the link and info.

jerv's avatar

@Paradox25 Many people aren’t, and many who are aware of SOPA are not aware of it’s twin, PIPA, over in the other chamber.

MilkyWay's avatar

Oh great. If this goes ahead, than the world really is coming to an end…

HungryGuy's avatar

@jerv – Will this act as a block of all traffic to/from designated IP addys at the US border (like China does [I think])? Or will it just mandate that ISPs remove banned sites from their DNS servers? If the latter, people could get around it by using a foreign DNS server, no?

@Dog – Well, maybe now you understand why censorship makes my blood boil, even when it’s done under the guise, “we’re in charge and we make the rules for the good of all.”

jerv's avatar

My understanding is that it will erase the entry from any US DNS server, and demand that any other DNS server abroad do the same, though how successful that would be is unknown. It would also blitz anything ending in .com, .net, or .org

However, it would still block most Americans from those sites even if all it took was using a different DNS server. Think, how many people know how to change their DNS settings? Before you answer, note that I have repaired a few computers and installed Firefox on them, which prompted the owner to ask, “Where did the Internet go?”. One of them refused to believe that Firefox connected to the same internet even after I demonstrated. While you and I have no problems with that, people like my boss, my parents, and the average person on the street will be screwed. And while it is true that there are already ways—(like browser extensions) to circumvent DNS blocking, rest assured that it will turn into an arms race anyways. There is also talk of abandoning DNS anyways, but that is a rather long, technical digression.

Also, this thing isn’t just about the US. Look at the other things that will get you in trouble with US law even if you are abroad and your actions are perfectly legal there, and look at how we are trying to impose our laws on foreign jurisdictions. We threatened Spain into adopting something SOPA-like. ACTA is in the works. SOPA isn’t really dead anyways

This will be a long fight, and I think the best way to fight it is to make sure that any politician that supports measures like this knows that such an action will make this their last term in office and wind up changing their mind and going with the will of the people they represent. I am not foolishly optimistic enough to believe that we could unite strongly enough to make that actually happen, but I can dream.

jerv's avatar

BTW, there is already a “SOPA Lite” bill being drafted in the House; the OPEN act ( Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act). It was actually drafted around the same time as an alternative to PIPA and supported by Google and Facebook, but vehemently opposed by the MPAA because it did not totally block access to Pirate Bay (they oppose any IP bill that doesn’t).

More info on OPEN

jerv's avatar

Apparently I spoke too soon. Here is a pledge that reads:

“In 2012, I will only support candidates who stand for Internet freedom and who oppose the PROTECT IP Act and SOPA. I will work against any candidate, of any party, who votes to censor and stifle the Internet.”

6,354 signatures so far, but the more they get, the more real the threat of losing the next election becomes to our legislators.

Dog's avatar

Jerv please keep us appraised of these cheap covered repeats. The Orphan Works bills did the same thing- constant reincarnations hoping to ram it through. I still do not trust that they will not put it through again.

Let us know…

jerv's avatar

@Dog I will try.

As I said though, I think the best way to prevent this type of legislation is for the voters to make it abundantly clear that supporting such a measure ends your political career. But that would require an informed populace capable of ignoring over-funded rhetoric and actually learning about issues.

Dog's avatar

My father has suggested that we set up mock guillotines when we protest… Too much?

bkcunningham's avatar

Are the guillotines representative of something, @Dog? I mean, something I’m missing besides the obvious.

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham Since our elected officials seem to disregard their low approval ratings (and actually seem to be striving to lower them), a more dramatic expression of our disapproval is required.
However, things are not yet to the point where we need real guillotines, so I wouldn’t worry too much… unless the government continues to ignore the will of the people, in which case the mock ones may well be replaced with real ones.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Oh, yes… I read that blog post. The title had an urgent ”READ ME RIGHT NOW IF YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU” feel. Needless to say, it stood out. I felt like it would be wrong of me not to read it. ^_^

Thank you for bringing our attention to it. I have seen this topic mentioned before, but didn’t know what on Earth it was about… so didn’t pay much attention. After reading your blog post, I realized why it’s being talked about so much and I am glad you posted it! I am not even American and I can see how outrageous this is.

jerv's avatar

@AnonymousGirl Many people haven’t paid attention. That is how stuff like this becomes law.

jerv's avatar

Update – Seven Congressmen (including Orrin Hatch) who co-sponsored SOPA/PIPA withdrew support and removed their names from the bills. Source

bkcunningham's avatar

@jerv, I have no idea where or what type of protest @Dog is planning. The guillotine didn’t fit into any visual representation I could think of for a protest against SOPA/PIPA. I was thinking a some sort of wall with pirates would be pretty cool. I just don’t get the guillotine.

rebbel's avatar

@bkcunningham In short (pun intended) it means: “Off with their heads.”

jerv's avatar

@bkcunningham If this bill actually had anything to do with piracy beyond some misguided notion that it would actually affect piracy, then maybe. However, pirates would be the only ones not hurt by SOPA/PIPA, so they would have no reason to protest.
This is simply regular people telling government, “We’re mad as Hell, and we’re not going to take it any more!”.

Dog's avatar

@bkcunningham It is a reminder of the French Revolution, a time when Government was completely detached from the needs and desires of the people.

bkcunningham's avatar

Merci beaucoup, @Dog.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv I am a Web developer, and my son is a inveterate nerd. We were just going through today all the ways pirates would have been completely unscathed by SOPA/PIPA. It shows that the legal beagles for the big content providers and ISPs are as f***ing clueless about how the Internet works as former Alaska Senator Ted (The Internet is a series of tubes) Stevens of bridge to nowhere fame, and George W. Bush on the Internets.

It’s fine to be ruled by people that lack knowledge in certain areas, but not by the unconscious incompetent that are such morons they don’t even know that they don’t know, and need to ask somebody who does.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro Remember, Kevin Mitnick could whistle into a phone (any phone!) and hack into the Russian defense grid and launch nuclear missiles, which was how they justified keeping him in solitary confinement.

To say that the law (or at least the legislature) does not understand technology is an understatement. In fact, even that last sentence is an understatement.

jerv's avatar

SOPA is back off.

I wonder how long before it comes back this time….

Dog's avatar

@jerv If it is anything like the Orphan Works we will back in defense mode in 9 months.

jerv's avatar

@Dog I think sooner :(

Dog's avatar

:( Bastards.

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