These bills are called SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, the Protect IP Act.
Wikipedia's English site has gone dark today, Google has blacked out it's logo, Reddit has gone down, Wired has blacked out all of it's front page articles, Firefox is down, and one of my favorite sites, I Can Has Cheezeburger, has gone down. The Bloggess has posted about it. All this is to raise awareness of the damage these to bills can do.
|Google Doodle for 1/18/12|
Kind of like China's current system.
You know, the system of government that doesn't allow it's citizens to protest anything...ever.
Facebook, Twitter and Google have led the fight against these bills. The response from those active in online communities has been so great that the bills are currently set up to be redone. The Washington Post has a great article on what current members of congress are doing to correct the bills.
As a blogger, I believe that these bills could do more harm than good. The verbiage in the bills leaves so much room for interpretation that it makes it dangerous for all citizens to express their 1st amendment rights online.
Websites like Pinterest, You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia could find themselves shut down. All of these sites employee multitudes of people who would no longer have jobs. Cause that would be great for the economy.
We need look no farther than Lybia and Egypt to see how beneficial the Internet can be. The fight against injustice in these countries was aided by social media sites. The Occupy Wall Street movement, which was a peaceful protest...for the most part, was largely supported by social media sites.
I have signed the petition against SOPA and PIPA to help protect my first amendment rights and to help keep George Orwell's 1984 from becoming a reality. Will you sign?