I am not a fan of big, over-the-top statements, but it is safe to say that the future of the internet is currently being decided. Will it remain a haven of free speech or will it become another tool of governmental and corporate control? A “fight for the internet” is taking place. On January 19th, the FBI shut down the popular file sharing site Megaupload while anti-SOPA protests took to the streets and the world wide web (you might have noticed that Wikipedia’s blackout). In case you didn’t know, SOPA and PIPA give the US government unprecedented authority to shut down websites without prior notice (see the article I published about SOPA back in November for more information).
Seeing that an overwhelming majority of internet users oppose this legislation and that its potential enactment has caused nothing less than a major uproar in the internet world, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used an old trick: He postponed the vote for SOPA, which was scheduled for January 24th, to a later date, hoping that the negative publicity surrounding the vote would die down. As you know, voting for ridiculous law in a context of general indifference is the elite’s favorite way of proceeding. It is up to us to stay vigilant, to not forget about this awful piece of legislation and to make sure our voices are heard until SOPA and PIPA are thrown in the garbage – where they belong. Here’s an article about the postponing of SOPA and PIPA.
Senator Reid: PIPA Vote Postponed
The anti-SOPA Day of Protest ripples continue to spread. On Friday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) put the brakes on a PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) cloture vote. The vote was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24.
“In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT IP Act,” said Reid in a statement Friday morning.
In a cloture vote, the Senate decides whether or not to end debate on a bill and bring it forward for a final up-or-down vote. For such a vote to be successful, three-fifths of the Senate (or 60 Senators) must vote in the positive.
Sen. Reid previously said that “we need to work on this and we’re going to — I will hope we can have a manager’s amendment when we get back here in a week or 10 days and move forward on this. It’s important that we try to do this on a fair basis and I’m going to do everything I can to get that done” during a Jan. 15 interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.
On Wednesday, major websites such as Wikipedia and Reddit went dark to protest PIPA and its sister bill in the House of Representatives, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Facebook and Google, which came out against SOPA and PIPA in a public letter written late last year, provided users with information about the bills and contact information for elected officials. Google also launched an online petition, which gathered over 7 million signatures by Thursday morning.
SOPA and PIPA made it into the CNN-Southern Republican presidential debate Thursday night, with each candidate denouncing the bills to some extent.
Supporters of the two bills consider PIPA and SOPA necessary new tools in the fight against online piracy and copyright infringement. Opponents claim they give excessive power to copyright holders and the federal government, and that they risk making the Internet slower and less secure while also stifling online freedom of speech and digital innovation.
Do you think it’s good that the Senate is taking more time to consider PIPA? Let us know in the comments below.
- Source: Mashable