The way in which we surf, contribute, share, and enjoy the Internet is being threatened by two bills currently in Congress. It is crucial that everyone become aware of the issue as it puts into jeopardy the very nature of how the Internet operates and could drastically alter the landscape for the worse.
Image what would happen if congress, who has ZERO CREDIBILITY on innovation or technology were allowed to pass their ill conceived ideas:
Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who once proposed that Congress give copyright holders a special exemption allowing them to hack into the computers of those suspected of piracy. In a 2003 hearing, he suggested that damaging someone’s computer “may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights.” – Timothy B. Lee (Ars Technica)
True innovation like Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Wikipedia would not be possible if these bills were to pass. Please take a look at the video below from americancensorship.org which does a great job at explaining some of the issues:
The potential for abuse of power through digital networks — upon which we as citizens now depend for nearly everything, including our politics — is one of the most insidious threats to democracy in the Internet age. . . This is no time for politicians and industry lobbyists in Washington to be devising new Internet censorship mechanisms, adding new opportunities for abuse of corporate and government power over online speech. — Rebecca MacKinnon (New York Times)
The main “enforcement” mechanism in these bills is to put liability on third party service providers coming from the tech industry, undermining the safe harbors of the DMCA and the legal framework that has allowed tons of important internet platforms to evolve. — Mike Masnick (TechDirt)
When ideas are blocked, information deleted, conversations stifled and people constrained in their choices, the Internet is diminished for all of us. . . There isn’t an economic Internet and a social Internet and a political Internet. There’s just the Internet. — Hillary Clinton (United States Secretary of State)