17 January 2012


So, Wikipedia are doing this "blackout" tomorrow in protest against PIPA (SOPA being pretty much dead now), a piece of proposed legislation in the US Senate that, they argue, will severely damage the freedom of the internet.

I support efforts to stop online piracy - it does damage the incomes of a lot of decent people who deserve to profit from their creativity. PIPA however seems to be going a bit far - shutting down a site solely based on an accusation isn't justice and the proprietors need to have the right to defend themselves. I trust that these media companies will at least ask for the removal of offending content first - it will ultimately damage them otherwise - and courts will be sensible in this. The United States government, of whatever political hue, is a strong guardian of freedom of speech - there are a lot of things they could have done pretty easily in the last twenty years and haven't, whereas many other states would do them without blinking.

Speaking of "freedom of speech" (which will still exist on the internet), I wonder if people are going to protest against DNS shutdowns in Iran and China? A violation is a violation regardless of jurisdiction.

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