Thursday, January 19, 2012

Black Power

Whether it was Google's black stripe across its logo or Wikipedia actually blacking out its website for 24 hours, it appears freedom has one a battle in a long war waged by the State and its "business interests" in a conquest who's prize lies in the regulating of the internet.

Many internet users were surprised to see many of the sites the come to rely on so much in their day to day activities be altered or in cases like Wikipedia - shut down in protest of the legislation on the hill that threatens one of the key caveats of the net: anonymity.

That surly led to outrage, as users were directed by sites like Wikipedia to their local elected leaders of the House and Senate via their zip codes. I myself couldn't pass up on the opportunity to tell Mike Kelly, my Representative to the House just what i thought about HR 3261 (SOPA); and i did just that (thank you Wikipedia).

His office was rather cagey when asked of the Congressman's support for SOPA. Just introduced on October 26 2011, and being that its only in Committee, I was not sure where Mr Kelly would weigh in either way. He was not a co-sponsor and there was no vote and a Google search turned up... nothing. That's what his office basically told me... nothing: "we have no comment either way".

According to SOPA Track, Mr Kelly has received $101K from Pro-SOPA interests compared to $29K from Anti-SOPA interests. There has been online petitions with millions of signatures...4.5 million in Googles alone according to Forbes. In just days, eighteen Senators have tucked tail and dropped support due to the public firestorm, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds on a national level and in my case with Mr Kelly; the local as well.

Its a view that usually goes unnoticed, being the people vs big business and the representatives caught in the middle with their pants down. I, like many sit in eager anticipation to see where loyalties and convictions lie.

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