I Ain’t Afraid of No SOPA

Emblazoned on the frontpage of Wikipedia:

Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge

It didn’t take a lot of imagination yesterday. When you went to Google, there is a giant black censor block. I logged onto WordPress, and found myself staring at a page filled with censored blogs, where there should have been featured blogs. Upon clicking, this headline sits before me:

You may not be aware of the pending legislation called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act).  It sounds good in theory.  I would know, because Representative Tim Murphy from Pennsylvania got to me first.  He declared it to be in our best interest to stop cyber terrorism.  This legislation is heralded as the great protector of our sensitive information in banks, hospitals, etc.  After I had several fraudulent charges on my joint bank account within two days of each other, two sliced and diced debit cards and no way for easy access to my money, I considered this a great thing!

Until yesterday, January 18th, 2012.  Until I was forced to open my eyes and do my civic duty by actually reading what these bills are all about.  (Thank you, President Obama for the Freedom of Information Act).

As usual, we’ve been duped.  Essentially, these bills equate to the US Patriot Act, in a manner of speaking.  The US Patriot Act is there to deny civil liberties guaranteed by our Amendments, if they suspect you as a terrorist.  They’ve set it up so that if you speak out, it can be very easy for you to disappear.

This is another step toward totalitarianism.  SOPA and PIPA seek to criminalize our freedom for information.  By doing that, they also grossly violate our First Amendment rights to write, create, and pass on information as we wish.  It grants permission to Internet Service Providers to block any information they wish.

Doesn’t this seem suspicious that these were pushed on the dawn of the Occupy Movement?  The Occupy Movement consists of local grassroots organizations that rely on the internet to make international connections between them.  What happens to all of the grassroots organizations, such as Occupy and Blog for Mental Health 2012, when our voice is stifled?

And that’s what Pendulum would look like if certain politicians had their way.  It is bad enough that many of the mental health bloggers feel the societal pressure to take refuge behind glowing monitors and clever pseudonyms.  Now, our medium and content are being threatened.  Extreme discrimination could take place.  If one party, just one, find our content to be vile, disturbing, irresponsible, or amoral, then we are likely to get shut down.

I won’t stand for that.  Personally, I want to stop this thing dead in it’s tracks.  This is my own forum to discuss mental health.  In the days of old, families would lock up their “insane” in basements, cellars, and attics.  What we would experience would be the modern equivalent.  I was tired of hiding and being disguised.  That’s why, exactly seven months ago today, I came here to be on display for all of the world to see.

It saved my life.  And, I wouldn’t know what to do without it.

If you feel that your civil liberties to talk about your mental health and special concerns are in danger of being violated, take a stand.  Do it now before it’s too late.

Google wants you to take action.

Even certain parties in the White House want you to take action.

Around the world, in the UK, individuals are taking action.

And millions of others all want you to take action against SOPA and PIPA.

Every signature on every petition counts.  Shout it out, loud and clear!


9 thoughts on “I Ain’t Afraid of No SOPA

  1. Brilliant! Thank you for this well put together and informative article. And thank you for the links that will help those who need direction. 🙂 Well said!

    • I tried to put together something that would be able to provide information with less slant. I know this piece is absolutely peppered with my own political ideals to suit my taste. But, I’m thrilled a reader enjoyed it!

  2. Thanks for writing this Luna – this is a great post. I had been wondering what SOPA was all about and tried reading about it previously but was quickly bored. Your post told me what I needed to know in a very easy to read and interesting way. Now I know what it is all about I am most definitely against it!

    • Thanks for the shout on Twitter! I probably should put a disclaimer on this about the slant. I don’t usually write opinion pieces unless I’m especially moved. I’m not sure if I’m left or right in this. I stand for less government and more freedom. That’s usually right, right? Except, why does this feel so left? (Probably because I was originally fooled by a half-truth from the right).

      Back to your comment. I had to plow throigh the legal jargon to make sure I wasn’t just running off at the mouth. My dad used to say, “Your crocodile mouth is writing checks that your hummingbird self can’t cash.” I really detest it. The problem with the law is that it’s too broad and limiting. Any act of suspecterd copyright infringement? Every website that’s not a government website would go down overnight if thwy were to enforce that. The implications are huge and terrible.

      I’m glad I could put it in the people’s language. And it’s not like I’m grabbing my eye patch, and shouting, “Arrr!” – as I clutch my Blackberry in the middle of my classroom. I’m not for piracy at all. I’d be pretty PO’ed if someone nabbed something I created for profit. Otherwise, I don’t care. It’s free. Just quote me. Give credit where credit is due. And there is no need for anyone snooping around my nlog. Because it’s all out there.

      Big brother! Come get some!

  3. Thanks for the more succinct version. Yes, I too was unaware of its ramifications. I got lost in the jargon of some stuff that I had seen written on it. I will have to snoop around to see if any Canadian petitions exist. I am not sure if my north of the border voice will do much stateside. But we’ll see.

    • Yeah, it happened to me too. That is the very last time I’ll let a politician schmooze me. As far as I’m concerned, they are tyranical, self-serving, decievers. Done! *throws hands up in the air*

      Many countries have petitions floating around. The global impact would be huge. English Wikipedia went down. There would be no more Youtube. It’s even possible that American based blogging sites would be put out of business too. That would be the biggest injustice ever perpetrated since the Civil War.

      I didn’t realize how many people were misled by this. I am elated that you consider me to be an enlightening source for this topic!

  4. I have signed several petitions in the last few days. I feel kind of bad for not honoring the strike in some way on my blog yesterday, but oh, well. I had *meant* to, but then I guess it slipped my mind. Not a good excuse, I know. At the moment, the Internet is probably the most effective bastion of freedom of speech. Losing that would be a huge step in the wrong direction.

    • I had this half-written the morning of. I didn’t discover there was code to completely shut down my site in protest until the following day. Oh well. At least it’s out there now even if it’s fashionably late!

      The Internet is the only true medium left for freedom of speech. Talk is cheap. Words are precious and eternal. Okay, maybe not all of them. A few bloggers and I have been batting that one around lately. Off topic!

      I am happy to spread awareness. But, realize that there is a serious slant on this, just to be fair.

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