18 Jan 2012

BLACKOUT: Protesting the SOPA and PIPA ‘censorship’ bills


I’m not technical enough, so I don’t know how to blackout my entire site here on Blogger. But, for what it is worth, this blog is in support of the one-day protest of the SOPA & PIPA bills to be voted on in the US Congress.

 Why is a lone lady Hindu UK-based yoga blogger even interested in this? Well...

Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, told the BBC: "Proponents of SOPA have characterised the opposition as being people who want to enable piracy or defend piracy. But... the bill is so overly broad and so badly written that it's going to impact all kinds of things that don't have anything to do with stopping piracy."

An internet user from the UK has expressed why the blackout should be global:

“When I read on the SOPA page ‘The bill would authorize the U.S. Department of Justice to seek court orders against websites outside U.S. jurisdiction’, this belief that the world's most powerful nation has the right to censor anyone on the planet and extend its laws anywhere it wants just because someone in the US doesn't like something is more than worrying. It’s a thin edge of the wedge... One day's inconvenience is nothing.”

One site that will be down entirely is The Western Hindu blog. Here is what Tāndava has to say about why he is joining the protest:

Why am I doing this on a religious blog? The reason is that the SOPA and PIPA rules will allow anyone to get an American court order to take down a site for copyright violation, even if that violation is in a comment. This means they can remove any .com or .org or other non-national address and leave people in the rest of the world with no recourse unless they can afford to go to America and appeal the decision. They can also force search engines not to list sites and service based in the US like WordPress to remove them. Since contesting this wall cost money, it is quite likely that most actions will be unopposed.

In the past religious groups have used copyright law for monetary gain, to keep secrets, suppress splinter groups,  and most worryingly to avoid criticism and debate.  With SOPA in force if someone didn't like a comment they could apply for the site removal. Very possibly the first a blogger would know about it is when the blog disappeared. If they did get any notice if could well be "Turn up in a court in New York, Honolulu, or Anchorage if you want to object".


Latest updates:

Obama comes out against piracy legislation

Tim Bray, Not Piracy

Stop Sopa or the web really will go dark: The corporations lobbying for Sopa
know exactly what they want: control of online information for profit.

The Guardian Explainer: Understanding Sopa



  1. So sad. Even ind India (Bharat) Sonia led Congres government willing to ban free speech on internet.

  2. Yes, you're right, it is sad and a worrying trend happening in several nations around the world.

    As one news reporter put it today, if we let governments get away with slipping censorship by us under the rubric of 'intellectual property' or 'securing financial rights', then "They will create an information monocolture where regimes work with corporations to control more than what we can read, hear and watch, because they will control how we can speak beyond the room we're in at the moment. The stakes are that high."

  3. What has the world become to ;( Human greed knows not its boundaries. I pray that the universe doesn't allow this to happen.