Is it really censorship?

Topping the headlines this week not only in the local newspaper, but also on just about every website on the net is a lot of hoopla about this thing called “SOPA.” Admittedly, I was extremely uninterested about it because I simply didn’t know what it was about. I just recently learned the significance of SOPA and PIPA and thought it would be a suitable topic for the school blog.

We all use the web on pretty much a daily basis. The internet itself is something that we all take for granted, as it’s something that has always been accessible with the click of a mouse — literally.

SOPA and PIPA are two bills that Congress is going to be reviewing this week. SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA is the Protect IP Act. The point of these two bills is basically blocking sites that are potentially related to piracy. Search engines would be forced to omit hundreds of thousands of sites just because of a potential piracy issue! Today I have noticed a lot of websites protesting SOPA by either completely shutting their site down for awhile as a protest, or by just putting a SOPA related article front and center.

It really is a big deal. If either of these bills gets passed it will change the internet for the worse. Not only would it block innocent sites, it would also do NOTHING to stop the sites guilty of what the bill is trying to abolish. Either of these bills being passed would not only ruin your surfing experience, but it would also put people out of work. Lot’s of work. As if our economy wasn’t bad enough, if SOPA or PIPA were to

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be passed, sites like Google, Yahoo, Reddit, Youtube, and even Facebook (Yes, Facebook!) could be shut down if JUST 1 unsubstantiated copyright complaint. Not only will the sites have to be very careful about what is put on their page (really, how can Facebook monitor who puts what on their profile?) but investors across the globe would stop investing into those sites just because of the potential risk.

This is just a small amount of information on SOPA, and PIPA. If you would like to know more about either of these two bills, feel free to check out this website: http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/17/technology/sopa_explained/index.htm

What are your thoughts on SOPA? Voice your opinion now with an email to: studentblogger@scf.edu.