Fighting SOPA.

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on December 29, 2011 in Internet, News & Opinion |

After my short post the other day about SOPA and what is happening to the USA, I’ve been giving it a little bit more thought, spurred on by several people on Google Plus and their comments and a few news items recently.

We’ve seen the reactions of GoDaddy following a considerable amount of pressure and the loss of a (drop in the ocean for them, but still) large number of domains. But perhaps we are hitting the wrong drum, perhaps we ought to be concentrating our thoughts and efforts elsewhere, and that elsewhere is directly in Washington DC.

The people who are going to push through SOPA, if they can, are the politicians. These are the people we elect to represent us in our daily lives, to control what is good and make our lives better and easier. Well, in theory.

Most of them, and let’s be honest about this, work from one election to the next, attend when they have to, open a few supermarkets and generally sit on their laurels as much as possible. Not all of them, but many.

The main point here is that they will all wish to be elected next time round. They will all want to keep their positions, their power, their special privileges and everything that goes with it.

Start putting pressure directly onto the politicians and things may well change.

Once individuals – especially those with high profile blogs – begin to work on these politicians, to highlight their stance, their plans for voting on SOPA in public, and more people become aware of what their politician, their representative in Washington is planning on doing to their freedoms many may well re-think.

I don’t agree with the Reddit plan of taking out one politician to scare all the rest. I do agree with the idea of getting each and every politician to declare exactly where they stand and to then make this public so that more and more people, especially those who make a living from the Internet but also the ordinary run-of-the-mill people who gain great pleasure from this form of freedom, more and more can react and voice their opinion.

The future of SOPA, and similar legislation, rests on those who react, those who publicise the stance of their local politician, of all politicians, and allow pressure through a mass movement of contact, of argument against this legislation direct with the politicians themselves.

Let your voice be heard! Contact your representative in Washington and let them know what you feel and whether you will vote for them in the next election should they support SOPA. Shake the bastions of re-election!

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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  • Francois Demers says:

    On the contrary, something like the Reddit strategy but with a touch of Wikileaks would be just about the only way to stop them.

    Pull SOPA or we put up all the dirt we have on ALL of you.

    Civilian privacy died forever on September 9, 2001. Understood. But from prevention of terrorist activities to censorship? From the same lawmakers who refuse to legislate handguns? How many kids died in 2011 from adult content on the Internet? From misused handguns?

    • viki says:

      Here we disagree. The Reddit people have suggested targeting just one person and making an example of them. This, to me, is a form of personal terrorism, a form of blackmail more than anything else. It doesn’t do the actual action any good at all when it is concentrated on just one person; one person does not make Congress, one person will not make a difference to the voting when SOPA finally comes up for a decision.

  • Francois Demers says:

    We are not disagreeing, we are violently agreeing.

    The idea of adding a touch of Wikileaks to the Reddit plan is to invite everyone who “has something” on a Congressman, any Congressman, to put it up on the web, maybe a dedicated anti-SOPA site. I would be more than willing to host it: I live in Ukraine and I own a server outside Ukraine and the USA.

    This would go hyper viral in 24 hours: disgruntled ex-aides, bribe payers who were scammed, EXes of both genders who were promised the Moon and got green cheese, classmates who know His Lordship was always picked last on the baseball team, victims of racist or sexists behaviour done carefully off the record, illegitimate children, now adult children vitims of fatherly violence or other family values, ER attendants who treated for illegal drugs or alcoholic coma…

    The idea is show who they really are, all of them.

    Entertaining and possibly even legal: political advertising in the US is absolutely censorship-free (ironic enough?)

    • viki says:

      If they all come under the spotlight then, yes, we agree. I read the Forbes article as if they wanted to pick out one and make an example of him or her to scare all the rest and that, for me, is a no go area.

      Legal in the Ukraine and, judging by recent events, legal in Europe too. There are several sites, which have been cleared through the courts, where teachers, for example, may be rated by their pupils. I see no reason why that shouldn’t be possible with politicians too, even desireable.

  • Francois Demers says:

    Something interesting might happen on January 24. Congress is scheduled to start debating SOPA on the 25th and several major internet-based firms are rumoured to plan a blackout the day before, as a protest and demonstration.

    And the list is not made of out_of_focus_pics_of_my_ex_nekkid.com or buy-horoscopes -earn-valuable-prizes.org…

    What will not work on blackout day would be: Google, Facebook, Twitter, E-Bay, PayPal, Amazon and other significant contributors to the new economy.

    Picking a rabbit out of the hat, I set the losses from this blackout at something ranging from one to two billion dollars (notably because it should make on line trading fairly difficult.)

    To be continued…

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