Kill SOPA, save America's Internet and American jobs: ACT NOW, bill goes to the House TOMORROW

Tiffiniy from American Censorship sez, "Tomorrow, the US government will vote to have broad powers to block any site. SOPA would not only hurt free speech, it will choke off the internet workforce and its readers by taking down entire websites. Today is the only day we have left to have our voices heard. It's time to pull all stops - please make a call right now to protest censorship. Your call matters. If you don't call, SOPA will pass. If there is one call per minute into every one of our representatives, we have a chance of stalling SOPA enough so it dies for quite some time. Please call Congress now and tell them you oppose internet censorship and stifling the internet. If you own a site, you're in the best position to spread the word. Please post this call widget. If we're really going to stop SOPA, we need you to get involved. If you write emails or have a blog, or if you post to Facebook, twitter, tumblr, tell everyone by blacking out your text here. It's super easy. SOPA kills jobs that we need right now and blocks sites to Americans for the purpose of serving copyright in vague and overbroad ways, in ways that are not even well-agreed on by academics in the field. Please help us stop SOPA now."

American Censorship

(Thanks, Tiffiniy!)


  1. What are the implications for us foreigners doing our foreign business on our foreign websites, if the USA shoots itself in the head with a suicidal enactment of SOPA? Shouldn’t the ROTW rejoice at the governmental idiocy of a competing economy?

    If such rejoicing is not appropriate – presumably on the grounds that SOPA will be equally as bad for our economies – what are we supposed to do about it? Calling our congressman is not an option. (And if you point me at the State Department, forgive me’n’all that, but a petition, really?)

    If the USA is going to fuck up the world for the rest of us, I think it’s long past time where we need a vote. No globe-tweaking without representation!

    1. representation!
      You already have this. It’s called Citizens United, and it gives you as much of a voice in US politics as you can afford. Aint “democracy” grand?

    2. Move your website to a domain not controlled by the US:  .com, .net etc. will be vulnerable to censorship even if you aren’t in the US.  I don’t know for sure that country-level domains will be  safe actually – .tv belongs to Tuvalu, but they haven’t got nuclear weapons, so I suspect the US attitude to taking down .tv domains will be “fuck ’em”.

      I will be highly surprised if US companies get any .eu or .ru domains taken down for the purposes of censorship or fraudulent copyright abuse without serious trouble ensuing, though. Sadly,  .uk will probably roll over and beg for more.

    3. Most of the internet root servers are in the US. The US controls the .org, .com and .net TLDs. Even if a website is hosted on a non US based server, created by non Americans and used solely outside the US, if it uses .net, .com or .org, the US can bring it down.

      Also, whenever the US passes a law, Australia, the UK, NZ, Canada and a butch of US allies almost always follow suit with something similar.

  2. I am a Non-American, so please forgive my naiveté here. But it seems to me that this bill quite obviously clashes with a little piece of paper you USians are so terribly fond of and call “The Constitution”, specifically its 1st amendment.
    Please note that I’m perfectly aware that SOPA, well, fucking sucks, and that it’s a disgrace to freedom of speech and democracy. But wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that this bill is so blatantly against free speech, that even the most conservative of SCOTUSes (SCOTUSi?) would strike it down in a heartbeat?
    Sure, it would, again, totally fucking suck if this thing actually passed. But surely, even then not everything is lost?

    1. Sadly, I don’t trust a single person in this FUBAR government to adhere to reasoning further than to serve their political agenda. SCOTUS has been showing that it is no exception.

    2. You are absolutely correct that SOPA would clash with the First Amendment, however the government doesn’t seem too concerned with the rights of citizens anymore.  I don’t know if you’ve heard much about the TSA or the recent police violence, but the 4th and 6th amendments are pretty much ignored when convenient these days.

      Corporations run the government now :/

    3. I have had this same thought. I wonder whether the best thing for the bill would be to pass it as-is, because it seems there is no way it can pass Constitutional muster. It would immediately be struck down and that would be that. I mean, how can it possibly pass the prior restraint test?!?!

    4. You think the US government cares about the US Constitution? DHS and TSA break it all the time (The TSA does so with the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th and 10th amendments close to 2 million times a day).

  3. You’re quite correct (though I believe the term is Usanians, not Usians) about the first amendment argument as should apply to SCOTUSi. However, you should be aware that the congress has been lobbied (a polite way of saying ‘bought and paid for’) by the industries whose interest this bill serves. It is consequently in congress’s interest to pass it. Philosophy butters no toast.

  4. is now blocked from access from China. If that doesn’t tell you who approves of this new development, and where things are headed for all of us in the U.S, I don’t know what will. 

    1. Because although many would appreciate the delicious irony of censorship being imposed due to the voices of anti-censorship being unheard due to their suggestion of a demonstration of censorship, we’re in a rights fight, not a food one.

      1. i should have been more clear:  the website linked by this post recommends that people who support this use a censoring widget to censor their own websites/posts/facebooks/emails/whatever.  so, exactly as you say they recommend the voice of anti-censorship use their censoring widget as a demonstration. 

        1. Nah – you couldn’t’ve been clearer. I’m aware of what you were referring to and was just joining in the spirit of your wit (or the wit of your spirit, one of ’em). I believe we’re on the same page.

  5. I wrote to my senators and congresswoman for San Francisco. Here were my talking points:

    1) Blocking didn’t work for Snocap (the Napster alumni who tried to create a p2p client with acoustic fingerprinting which enabled blocking) resulting in file sharers going elsewhere.

    2) Blocking will negatively affect US Commerce, sending traffic offshore.

    3) Blocking is bad for national security, forcing sharers to use obfuscation tools and offshore redirection.

    4) Blocking sets a poor precedent for Human rights, providing tools for despots (see Arab Spring).

    5) Creative works are derivative. A new Disney-like company would be blocked out of existence (search on “Lessig Disney Mother Goose”)

    6) Recording artists are against SOPA, (search “Megaupload news”)

    7) Instead, Mobile 3G+4G presents a revenue opportunity: higher bandwidth and immediacy, where live mobile socializing has a door charge. (search “Facebook music news”)

    8) Instead, leverage cloud services and 4G to make it easy for fans to hang out with their favorite purchased music as the social glue. (extend Apple’s model, of simplifying digital purchases with iTunes, to mobile 4G with digital socializing.)

    In other words, the transition from vinyl+radio to digital+mobile is almost here; the scarcity of atoms-in-space has shifted to bits-in-time. The old business model is dead. Legislating a dead business model will negatively affect USAnian commerce. (Insanian commerce?)

    1. In other words, the transition from vinyl+radio to digital+mobile is almost here; the scarcity of atoms-in-space has shifted to bits-in-time. The old business model is dead.

      That sounds so much like an over-simplification that I can’t quite believe it. But in its context I can’t find a damn thing wrong with it.


        1. Did you include several thousand dollars as incintive money?

          If not then it’s too high brow and will hit the trashcan faster than this thing’s being railroaded through.

  6. What I don’t understand is the lack of activity from the anti sopa/pipa side. Widgets like the above should have been posted darned near everywhere for the past few weeks rather than now, the zero hour.

    These two bills, when passed will change the most important development in global communication forever yet activism against it has been stunningly sparse.

      1. Google, Yahoo!, eBay and the rest have blown some golden opportunities to demonstrate what the new, censored web will look like.

  7. I care about this issue, but I am a busy man trying to support a family. I can sneak off to BoingBoing for a few minutes, but I cannot make phone calls, wait on hold and chat with my rep without getting in trouble here at work.

    Who can I throw $50 at to help our cause?

  8. If SOPA actually gave any real help to people being ripped off by overseas companies that sell items on eBay, I’d be in favor of it, but it only makes it easier for eBay to crush competition.

  9. I just called my congressman Robert Dold and basically just got shot down. I guess he has told his secretary to just ignore the calls. Why stop at the internet, why not go even more like china and start controlling our population.

  10. I’m from Maryland.  Just called my Congress peeps.

    First, I identified myself as a constituent, and stated my opposition to SOPA and ProtectIP.  Second, I politely asked what their position on the legislation is.

    – The nice woman who answered Senator Cardin’s phone didn’t know off the top of her head what his position was (I guess there’s a lot of legislation).  After asking someone, she told me he has not taken a position yet.

    – The nice woman who answered Senator Mikulski’s phone told me the Senator supports the bill. 

    – I got an answering machine for my House Representative (Van Hollen) so I left a message and tried one of his Maryland offices.  There I reached a nice but very busy woman who didn’t seem to have heard of the legislation.

    In all cases, I told them that I felt the USA should be setting a positive example, not for censorship, but instead for an open and free internet. 

    Phone numbers are here…

    Have to say that I feel better having made the calls.

  11. Just called Nancy Pelosi and made a statement. Be prepared for an actual person to answer, and simply ask to make a statement about the bill and you’ll be transferred to an inbox.

    The re-tweet is also 18 characters too long, Tiffiniy. Please shorten this in the process if you have time.

    Thanks, everyone!

  12. Did these changes actually address the concerns or is this just more FUD:

    1. You won’t see it broadcast on the Internet, though.  I’m sure the big corporations would try to make a case that they own all references, positive or otherwise, to SOPA.

      1. Yet another fringe benefit of SOPAPIPA. You shut down the means that protesters use to coordinate. 

        can someone tell me when a good time to take the tinfoil off my head? It’s getting itchy.

  13. All the Generation X workers whose employability was destroyed in the dot com bubble were the first really big group of entrepreneurs to establish themselves on the web.   Many of them run legitimate businesses now: businesses that would be employing people if those entrepreneurs could get even a fraction of the pissmoney fucked away over the last 3-4 years.

    And now they will all be destroyed a second time.  Those people will never own homes.  They will never be able to start families (resulting in a catastrophic population imbalance for the next 75 years) and their educations will be completely wasted at a cost of trillions of dollars.  Generation X is mathematically certain to make history:  the first generation in the history of the United States to have a worse standard of living than its parents did.

    The resulting economic void will destroy the country.

    The great dividend of the space age could have been landing on another planet, but we decided to build the Internet instead.   The Internet is the hope of mankind’s future.  

    Now we’re going to destroy it and with it the legacy of our mightiest accomplishments as a nation.   Nothing will remain of our presence in space except a deliberately lost generation.  The dark age to follow will last centuries after America goes bankrupt. 

  14. My representative’s voicemail was full? Hopefully that’s a good sign that people are calling about this, as opposed to him just forgetting to check his voicemail often enough.

  15. As a DC resident, I’m taxed, but not represented in Congress – so I have nobody to call about this legislation.  The Teabaggers made sure the dramatic reading of the constitution was their first order of business when they got control of the House.  However, their first act of legislation was taking away the limited voting rights the DC residents had.  They don’t care about the constitution at all.  

  16. Just had a nice long conversation with someone at Adam Schiff’s office.  It’s early here, but they didn’t seem to be busy.  She asked a lot of questions and seemed to write down everything I said.  So if you’re in L.A.’s 29th district, give them a call.

  17. I hate the American Censorship website. It’s really done a poor job of making it easier to call a congressperson.

    I require the following: Talking points in print, so I have time to look them over before I call my congressman.

    Why is this nowhere on the site? It’s a really basic requirement for this sort of thing.

  18. Sorry, your privacy policy doesn’t go far enough for the data you’re asking for given your method of managing the contact.  You should not retain this information at all.  

    At the very least, were you sincere about protecting my privacy, you would simply provide the text of the talking points and a list of representative phone numbers so that I could manage this call, not have your mechanism require I give you my name, address, phone and email so you could call me back on the phone and robo-prompt me on what to say.  

    I’ll be doing this, but not through you.

    1. Wise choice. Boing Boing handed over subscriber email addresses to Disqus even after they promised not to release any personal information. And then they shrugged off complaints, did not take them seriously, and tried to pretend to themselves and everyone as if an email address (even one given exclusively to a trusted site promising privacy) is not ‘personal information’. I still have never seen them own up to what they did and how wrong it was. Therfore, in my opinion they do not take privacy seriously and will very likely do something similar again. If Boing Boing wants to do something with your info while technically adhering to its privacy policy, they’ll simply redefine the information they feel they need to share with some third party as ‘not private’ — problem solved.

  19. Called my congressman’s office (Ed Markey, D-MA) with regard to the SOPA bill. Person on the phone would not say if Markey supports or does not support the bill, but said something along the lines of “we’re getting a lot of calls about it.” When I asked him if the congressman supports the bill or the key ideas in the bill, I was told he’s still reviewing it. The person on the phone really didn’t seem interested in either giving me an answer to my questions or listening to my talking points. He sounded like he just wanted to be off of the phone. 

  20. According to Thomas, these are the congresscritters who are co-signers of the bill. 

    Rep Amodei, Mark E. [NV-2] – 11/3/2011 Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] – 12/7/2011 Rep Barrow, John [GA-12] – 11/14/2011 Rep Bass, Karen [CA-33] – 11/3/2011 Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] – 10/26/2011 Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] – 10/26/2011 Rep Bono Mack, Mary [CA-45] – 10/26/2011 Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] – 11/3/2011 Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] – 10/26/2011 Rep Chu, Judy [CA-32] – 11/30/2011 Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] – 10/26/2011 Rep Cooper, Jim [TN-5] – 12/12/2011 Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [FL-19] – 10/26/2011 Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] – 10/26/2011 Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6] – 10/26/2011 Rep Griffin, Tim [AR-2] – 10/26/2011 Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] – 11/30/2011 Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] – 11/3/2011 Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] – 11/30/2011 Rep Lujan, Ben Ray [NM-3] – 11/14/2011 Rep Marino, Tom [PA-10] – 11/3/2011 Rep Nunnelee, Alan [MS-1] – 11/3/2011 Rep Owens, William L. [NY-23] – 11/14/2011 Rep Quayle, Benjamin [AZ-3] – 12/13/2011 Rep Ross, Dennis [FL-12] – 10/26/2011 Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] – 11/14/2011 Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] – 10/26/2011 Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] – 12/7/2011 Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] – 10/26/2011 Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] – 11/3/2011 Rep Watt, Melvin L. [NC-12] – 11/3/2011

  21. I called Mike Honda’s office.  His assistant was quite clear that he opposes the bill.  She said they had been getting a number of calls today by concerned citizens.  

    Refreshing to get such a clear answer.  

    Mike knows his district (CA: The Fifteenth Congressional District, central,northeastern and southwestern area of Santa Clara County, including Cupertino, Milpitas, Santa Clara, Campbell, Los Gatos, Gilroy, and one third of the city of San Jose.)

  22. All, make sure you specifically cite the Bill by NUMBER when you call your Congressperson’s office. Do not ask about the SOPA Bill, or the the “Stop Online Piracy Bill,” or the “Protect IP Act.” Congressional staffers can be selectively obtuse unless you specify a bill number when you call.

    House Bill 3261
    Senate Bill S968

Comments are closed.