Today ThisIsOurTime Blog was blockedout in protest of the proposed U.S. legislation that threatens internet freedom: the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
Here is a little bit of information about these threatening legislation that are currently being rushed through Congress :
…and here are the concerns with the bills from Understanding the Internet piracy bills, SOPA and PIPA
A. Critics say they would constrain free speech, curtail innovation and discourage new digital distribution methods. NetCoalition, a group of leading Internet and technology companies, says they could be forced to pre-screen all user comments, pictures and videos — effectively killing social media. Search engines, Internet service providers and social networks could be forced shut down websites linked to any type of pirated content.
In addition, critics contend that young, developing businesses and smaller websites could be saddled with expensive litigation costs. And, they contend existing rights holders could impede new investment in the technology sector.
The White House said it would “not support any legislation that reduces freedom of expression … or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”
Leahy responded that there is nothing in the legislation that would require websites, Internet service providers, search engines, ad networks, payment processors or others to monitor their networks. He said his bill protects third parties from liability that may arise from actions to comply with a court order.
Michael O’Leary, a senior vice president at the Motion Picture Association of America, a key supporter of the legislation, said his industry is built upon a vibrant First Amendment. “We would never support any legislation that would limit this fundamental American right,” he said. Neither PIPA nor SOPA “implicate free expression but focus solely on illegal conduct, which is not free speech.”
The White House has responded to two petitions about legislative approaches to combat online piracy. In their response, the administration stress that the important task of protecting intellectual property online must not threaten an open and innovative internet.
Official White House Response to VETO the SOPA bill and any other future bills that threaten to diminish the free flow of information
Combating Online Piracy while Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet
By Victoria Espinel, Aneesh Chopra, and Howard Schmidt
Thanks for taking the time to sign this petition. Both your words and actions illustrate the importance of maintaining an open and democratic Internet.
Right now, Congress is debating a few pieces of legislation concerning the very real issue of online piracy, including the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the PROTECT IP Act and the Online Protection and Digital ENforcement Act (OPEN). We want to take this opportunity to tell you what the Administration will support—and what we will not support. Any effective legislation should reflect a wide range of stakeholders, including everyone from content creators to the engineers that build and maintain the infrastructure of the Internet.
While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.
Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.
Also call congress now to let them know censorship got no place in our democracy.