The holidays are over. Legislators are heading back to DC and they already have your rights on the chopping block.
Senator Harry Reid has scheduled a vote for as soon as the Senate reconvenes on S. 968, the cynically named “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act,” which will allow any copyright holder to shut down any website with nothing more than an accusation of piracy, actually scrubbing its IP address from the internet and blacklisting content providers, all with no due process or hearing of any evidence or ruling from a court. Corynne McSherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation described this act as “the worst piece of intellectual property legislation we’ve seen in the last decade.”
Senator Reid is working for media industry lobbyists who want the government to control the internet the way they do in China. Groups like the MPAA and Creative America have bought off enough Senators that he believes he can pass this bill quickly before anyone realizes what is happening in the post-holiday lull. He already has 40 sponsors from both parties, including big-government Republican traitors like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Orin Hatch and even Marco Bubio.
The amazing freedom to innovate and to engage in entrepreneurial creativity which the internet has empowered is genuinely under threat from the proliferation of this kind of legislation. As the United States has lost the lead in traditional manufacturing, we have seen most of our growth in the online business sector. This is where the jobs of the new millenium are and it is where most of the hope for economic recovery lies. PROTCT IP and SOPA (its companion bill in the House) will have a chilling effect on this increasingly important sector of the economy and lead to wholesale violations of the privacy rights of individuals and businesses. It’s another bad idea from a government which has become too big and too eager to interfere in every aspect of our lives.
Our best hope right now is to win over as many Senators as we can and promote a Senate filibuster, but this is just the beginning of the fight. Please email your Senators now and be prepared for the next steps in the fight to keep the internet free and open for all Americans. We’ll keep you updated as the fight goes on to the House.
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