Imagine a world without Free Knowledge – For over a decade, we have spend millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Contact your representatives. … Call your elected officials. Tell them you are their constituent, and you oppose SOPA and PIPA. Why? SOPA and PIPA would put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won’t have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn’t being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won’t show up in major search engines. SOPA and PIPA would build a framework for future restrictions and suppression. Congress says it’s trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the “cure” that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease. SOPA and PIPA are not the answer: they would fatally damage the free and open internet.
Today, Wikipedia will shut down its English-language site (Wednesday, January 18th). However, MSNBCreports there is a way to be able to get to Wikipedia pages.
Government rarely “fixes” anything, it is why Thomas Jefferson and other Founders insisted that government power be limited – but since that time, Congress and presidents have found loopholes around that or just plain made sure that the Supreme Court came up with the right decisions. Google will also be participating in this protest (by blacking out its logo) against a bill that would usher in flat-out censorship. If they want to protect copyright laws, then they need to rewrite the bill and approach it in a different manner. Reddit.com also shut down its social service for 12 hours. Local listings, such as Craiglisttook a middle route, according to FOX 11 News …
…changed its local home pages to a black screen and directs users to an anti-legislation page. After 10 seconds, a link to the main site appears on the home page, but some surfers missed that and were fooled into thinking the whole site was blacked out.
The Internet is the last bastion of freedom we have in America and in other nations, it is a means to be able to obtain information like never before. Standards of conduct is one thing, but censorship by government should be forbidden – it is up to society to decide what is appropriate. Many sites offer a chance to click on a menu to let the website know that something they are presenting, usually videos, is offensive and/or vulgar, et cetera. We as a people should decide and maintain standards and values. Once a government is allowed to censor, even seemingly a harmless way, it paves the way towards loss of more than just freedom of speech.
Our government should be limiting its power according to the US Constitution, not increasing it and continue its policy of interfering with private lives.
To the members of Congress, and especially those who put these two bills together – shame on you, your job is to repeal obtrusive and unconstitutional legislation, not create more. Wasn’t that the reason why they were elected, and the “Conservatives” (so the Republican Party identifies itself) not have the majority – and this is what you are doing with your time in office?
Do your part, citizens, and tell your representatives and senators that they need to focus on the problems government has caused in past legislation, like ObamaCare – and work on repealing it, not increase government intrusion. Congress needs to work out the Fair Tax Act and get it passed, so we can rid ourselves of the 16thAmendment, income tax, forever. These two important issues would help the economy immensely.
If President Obama won’t sign a Fair Tax bill, then the Congress should override that veto with a two-thirds majority, which is required anyway to repeal an amendment – ratifying it for an amendment that will repeal the 16thAmendment – just as was done with the Prohibition Act.
It is time for elected officials to practice common sense, and equally as important, that voters also practice common sense and expect those they vote for to adhere to the Constitution and keep a limited government that allows people to choose and make their own mistakes without government adding to their miseries.