With politicians in Washington set to debate – and quite probably pass – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), a number of groups have joined together to encourage US citizens to call the US Senate to demand a rethink.
SOPA and PIPA are effectively attempts to US corporations to take firmer control of the internet, and to have the power to demand websites are taken down without offering any real evidence of wrongdoing. It’s not clear why these rich and powerful companies have been able to persuade America’s notoriously honest and incorruptible politicians to accept legislation that is so obviously damaging.
Perhaps the most annoying part of the whole debate is the fact that for those of us who are not in the US, this is happening without us having any chance to register our opposition. Then again, perhaps it just proves that the internet is a fundamentally American system over which the rest of the world has no real power. And even if SOPA / PIPA are defeated (which seems unlikely), the battle will keep being fought until they win.