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!
SOPA WON’T SILENCE ME!