It’s SOPA Protest Day

signGood morning, people. Well, it seems to have slid past noon, so good afternoon, people. It’s the day may sites are going dark to protest the SOPA internet censorship bill. I shouldn’t even be on, but am checking my email and wanted to say something, then I’m off the computer (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) til tomorrow. How will I survive? I live here. Anyway, if you live in the States and haven’t yet contacted your Congressmen and/or Senators, haven’t signed any petitions, now it the time to do it. Censorship is not a good thing. Seriously. Here’s an email I received today about it:

“Much of the internet is going dark tomorrow to protest an ill-conceived law that the US Congress is proposing in the name of stopping online piracy, but at great expense to free speech and the integrity of the internet. Given the huge sway the US has over the operation of the internet, many see it as the biggest threat to internet freedom ever.

That is why I’m on my way to DC right now to meet with a number of key Senators about the law, known as the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. We are up against a dangerous piece of legislation that seriously threatens digital rights, innovation, and the integrity of the internet.

In my bag is an important document. It is a letter to the US Senate

which Access coordinated, bringing together dozens of human rights groups from around the world including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters Without Borders, calling on them to “stand for human rights, defend the open internet, and reject the PROTECT IP Act.”

I’ll be delivering this letter to the Senate, which Washington insiders say will have a real impact in switching some Senators votes, but this fight is far from over. This legislation is coming up for a major vote in just seven days, and unless we act now, it might very possibly become law.

Tomorrow there will be a huge protest in New York City outside of the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, who are both co-sponsors of the PROTECT IP Act. If you’re in the City or anywhere near it, I urge you to join the Access team and countless others at this Emergency NY Tech Meetup. Look for the big banner with the Access logo and the names of all the signatories of the letter from the human rights community on it. Details can be found here:

If you’re in the US, but not in NYC, there are protests happening tomorrow in San Francisco

, Seattle

, and many other places

. I urge you to attend if you’re in these cities! If you’re not, please contact your Senators while they’re home for the January recess.

This legislation will also seriously affect non-US websites and users as well. As we explain in the letter, this legislation, which targets foreign websites, would create a double jurisdiction problem, whereby non-U.S.-based sites must determine whether a site is legal in both the country it is operating in and the United States, or face losing access to payment providers, advertising, and links to their site. Moreover, this legislation would send an unequivocal message that censoring the web is not only acceptable, but encouraged.

If you’re not in the US, join sites like Reddit, BoingBoing, Tumblr, Wikipedia, CREDO, WordPress, and countless other sites, and of course Access, in blacking out your site. Or talk about it on Twitter, Facebook, G+, make sure your friends know that the internet is going on strike tomorrow.

The internet is a key enabler of human rights and innovation, and decisions over its governance should not be made hastily. With each passing day the claims for urgency for copyright legislation whither, from the demonstrably false data used to make economic arguments about losses and jobs,[1]

to the efficacy of DNS filtering,[2]

to the baseless claims that countries like Spain, Egypt, or Sweden have lost their film industries due to piracy.[3]

Nothing short of a global outcry is going to defeat this terrible legislation.

Jochai Ben-Avie
Access Policy Director”

Here’s where you can sign a petition:


Please do your part in keeping America free. Thanks. Jean

1 thought on “It’s SOPA Protest Day

  1. Pingback: SOPA and PIPA Update. We Won, for now. « Jeff Oakes

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