SOPA: A Righteous Cause or a Piracy Crusade? To better understand the act, one needs to first examine what “SOPA” is and means. First and foremost, SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) were big bills recently in the EU and America that caught the attention of nearly every internet user. It was hard to not notice these two bills. These legislations would have pushed copyright infringement on many sites and much of the internet as it is known would have been shut down. On January 18, big sites such as Wikipedia, and Google blacked out their site for a day. This sent a loud and clear message to the creators of this bill and they put it on indefinite hold. While this was happening another bill decided to raise its ugly head. It had been lurking in the shadows of the other two bills and would prove to be a much more immense monster to face. Much like SOPA and PIPA, the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), would restrict users of the internet exponentially, and there would be a large amount of unnecessary prosecution because of it. ACTA is an international bill that has some great potential, but lacks proper structure, therefore most of the internet, as it is known, will be shutdown or deemed illegal in many of the established countries around the world.
"Wikipedia, MoveOn, Reddit, Mozilla Shuts down to Protest SOPA/PIPA, How to Prepare." CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2014.
Internet Censorship With the click of a mouse, anyone can access an incredible wealth of information on topics ranging from aardvarks to zygotes. We use desktops, laptops, palmtops, and cellular telephones to connect through telephone lines, cable connections, and wireless ports. The Internet is here. It has made our lives richer and easier; it has collapsed boundaries and expanded horizons.
The Internet is like many great inventions, it has some flaws, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. The Internet has become an educational tool for students, increased communication, and allowed for knowledge of all subjects to be shared. These are but a few benefits of the Internet. Censorship is generally an evil and should be avoided where ever possible (Butt, 2000). The regulation or censorship of the Internet will make it difficult for people to express their mind openly, block even more useful sites for students, and deny American citizens their first amendment right to free speech.
The Stop Online Piracy Act was proposed in January of 2012. SOPA was a legislative act that attempted to prevent piracy through DNS blocking and censorship. The legislation caused the protest and blackout of multiple online internet services including Reddit, 4Chan, Google, Wikipedia, Mozilla, and Tumblr. Now, internet users are faced with another possible challenge called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. CISPA was quickly passed by the House of Representatives on April 26th, 2012, and is now being processed through the Senate (Beadon). CISPA's purpose is to promote national cybersecurity through allowing private companies and the federal government to exchange users' private information, including emails and text messages, with complete legal immunity and one hundred percent anonymity. To some, CISPA appears as SOPA 2.0, another attempt to further limit American rights and privacy. Meanwhile, to others, CISPA appears as a milestone that needs to be reached in order to advance technologically and improve the nation's security. CISPA's purpose appears noble, but the current version of the legislation at least requires a revision due to its privacy invading policies, vague terminology, possible restrictions of internet freedom, and violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Arguing the opposition of Censorship For centuries, government nations and society have been withholding certain pieces of information from the public to ensure safety and prevent catastrophic out bursts; this detainment of public knowledge is called censoring. Censorship started in the early twentieth century, when profane literature began to surface in the wake of World War I; ever since then it's been a normal part of all society. Without the use of censorship and the methods used to sustain information, society would evolve and erupt into complete and utter chaos. What is censorship?
The question that has been fought for the beginning of this new implementation, especially to those countries that relies heavily on internet access and commodities, is that: Is Internet Censorship really a good idea? Did it really provided changes and security on the people as they exposed themselves to the impending threats of internet surfing and other activities? How about the hampered freedom of expression? Did the benefits outweigh the risks in this particular situation? Was the government right in the first place when they had implemented this internet censorship? Too many questions one might think, but apparently, these are the truths about the internet censorship and its being the most controversial measure that the government had decided to counter and protect people from the harms of internet as the newest form of communication media (Zuchora-Walske, 2010, p. 2).
In this paper I will be analyzing the position to the ACA and their strategies on how to repeal the Law. But first I will include a brief introduction about the ACA to give you a quick understanding about it and the key laws that are contributing to the he...