In spite of being busy this morning, I took time to write letters to all of my representatives in the House and the Senate to ask them not to support SOPA. While I’m a little ashamed to admit this, I’m having trouble figuring out which side of Congress has the bill in its hands, so I sent this letter to all three reps. Hopefully whichever rep or reps has to deal with Protect-IP will consider the same points as they apply to that bill.
I am increasingly disturbed by the SOPA bill. In addition to the ease with which it allows censorship, I am given to understand that it would also destabilize the internet as a whole.
In my studies at college, it became clear to me that there is no solid definition of “globalization”. There are a couple of things about it that everyone agrees on, though. One is that it is important — that the countries of the world are rapidly knitting together in ways that were never possible before the development of current technology and that any country which doesn’t jump on the globalization bandwagon is endangering itself. Another is that the internet is the pin on which all this hinges.
The internet allows faster and easier exchanges of knowledge than ever before. Some of these uses are abuses, to be sure, but businesses — and especially small businesses — thrive on the conveniences the internet provides. Even if the infringement definitions in the SOPA bill didn’t make it possible to shut down innocent sites, threatening the stability of the internet threatens the operations of businesses of all sizes… but will most likely hamper small businesses far more than big ones.
I have heard that when experts tried to explain how the SOPA bill could lead to the destabilization of the internet that many of the representatives demonstrated a lack of willingness to listen or to learn and understand what they were being told. This disturbs me even more than the SOPA bill. Our representatives owe it to us to make EDUCATED decisions. If you do not understand, then swallow your pride and learn — or consult someone who DOES understand and take his or her advice seriously. If you doubt that person’s opinion, then get a second, and a third, and a fourth until you’re sure you’re getting the information you need. I was appalled that our senators would even CONSIDER passing a bill without even trying to understand the consequences of it. I have never, ever, been more disappointed in our government.
Please do not back the SOPA bill. Even if you don’t believe (or aren’t sure) that it is a vehicle of censorship, you owe it to us, your Alaskan constituents, as well as the rest of the United States of America not to be hasty in making this decision.
More Sincerely Than Any Other Letter I Have Written in a Long, Long Time,