The Stop Internet Piracy Act – SOPA is to the Internet what a giant meteor would be to Earth. Hopefully, this particular meteor is still pretty rough around the edges and will miss its mark, but it is going to need your help to do it. Its presence alone is enough to make an entire hoard of netizens take up virtual torches and pitchforks. This isn’t just your regular angry Internet mob, as they’ve got the weight of some pretty huge corporate giants behind them. Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, led the protest, threatening to shut down the Internet’s virtual Fount of Knowledge in protest to SOPA. Wiki isn’t alone in the protest either. Google, Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga, LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal, Etsy, IAC, Mozilla, OpenDNS. Yahoo! and – yes – Facebook have also decided to join in on the protest. It’s going to be a huge sneak peek into what would happen in an Internet Armageddon.
Of course, this could cause some pretty major displeasure from the customers of these sites. In fact, there’s probably going to be quite a bit of rage from average users. However, just a simple note from these sites would explain the SOPA and how it would change the internet as we know it. It would really help raise awareness and would no doubt direct the rage to the one that really deserves it.
Simple streaming of any “unauthorized content” would be a felony. The task of policing the Internet would fall onto companies, when by all rights it should be the government who does it. Furthermore, if the SOPA act does get passed, these ISPs will be forced to intercept the web traffic of their customers. Also, SOPA could force us to say goodbye to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. If members of these sites post copyrighted content, the government would have the right to shut these sites down. SOPA would truly impede sharing on the Internet and to make things worse, they didn’t even clarify which content is illegal and which isn’t. Basically, SOPA would simply kill innovation and startups would have quite a bit of difficulty in raising capital for fear of getting shut down.
There aren’t any concrete plans for the black out yet, but sources agree that the likely date for it would be on January 23, just a day before the date in which the senate is scheduled to convene in order to discuss SOPA. It’s going to be inconvenient for the customers, but there’s no doubt that it’s a small price to pay for stopping this irrational act.