If you haven't heard about SOPA, you probably should start goggling it as chances are it will effect you the same way it will affect me. On this coming Friday, US time 20th Jan 2012, a couple of website will go blackout in protest of this bill. the lists includes: Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing, WordPress (.org websites), Twitpic (Twitter photos), Mozilla and a few other giants. Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook have voiced their concerned but if this bill pass through, our internet lives will never be the same again.
So what is SOPA you ask? In short, it is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress. Sounds good doesn't it, well piracy sure ain't right. That we all know. So if this bill pass through, doesn't it benefit all of us?
Here's what will happen if SOPA goes through, it will grant power to content creators, EXTRAORDINARY POWER over the internet. I'll give you an example. Let's say Dreamworks claims a site somewhere in Sweden is torrenting a copy of Kungfu Panda, the studio can now tell Google (yes, tell, not request) to remove that particular website from its search engine, tell PayPal to not accept any payments to or from the site and tell the website's ISP to block internet traffic to that particular website. The best part of this is, Dreamworks just need to send out a single letter or email claiming the studio has "good faith belief" that the particular website has committed a piracy act. Yes, no checking, no notice. If YOU, yes YOU as a user accidentally linked such a website to your Facebook account, they can inform Facebook and SHUT YOU DOWN. Once Facebook receives that notice, they will have 5 days to either oblige or challenge that case and take it to court. We all pretty much know what Facebook will do right?
This is just part of the story, want to know more? Google SOPA today.
*If you can't surf most of the websites on Friday, don't panic. At least you know why now*