Five years ago, we won an unprecedented victory: spurred on by blackouts of more than 50,000 sites, more than 8 million Americans called Congress to object to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a brutal internet censorship bill that would have been a stake through the heart of the open net. SOPA, which had been tipped to sail through Congress without any fuss, died an unprecedented death. It set a precedent.
Five years later, the net is still under assault from surveillance rules, from copyright overreach, from censorship of all kind. The activist lessons of SOPA have spawned new groups and new kinds of protest. We're still learning.
A coalition of public interest groups and internet companies have come together today to publish a long, thoughtful piece on what happened five years ago, what's happened since, and what we must do next, with a special emphasis on the role of Aaron Swartz, the young activist who led much of the critical work to stop SOPA.
As power changes hands in Washington this month, many questions remain unanswered about the future of the Internet as a space for innovation, creativity, and expression. Donald Trump’s administration includes two new appointments to the FCC who have previously spoken out against Net Neutrality and may try to roll back existing FCC rules as soon as this year. That’s why activists who fought against SOPA/PIPA and stayed vigilant over the last five years aren’t waiting for Congress to introduce new bills to encourage the public to activate. They’re urging action now, while appointments are happening that signal the fights ahead.
If the 2012 victory against SOPA/PIPA taught us anything, it’s that whether or not the Internet will remain a place that everyone can access reliably and affordably to share, connect, and create freely depends on us.
The Day The Internet Stood Still
[Keep Watch, Stay Free]
The late, lamented Scottish writer Iain Banks (previously) was several kinds of writer, but one of his main claims to fame is his role in developing the idea of fully automated luxury communism, in his beloved Culture novels, a series of wildly original space operas about a post-singularity, post-scarcity cooperative galactic civilization devoted to games, […]
Connecting voting machines to the internet is a terrible idea: the machines are already notoriously insecure, and once they're online, anyone, anywhere in the world becomes a potential attacker.
Yasukuni Notomi ("a writer who has covered the world of stationery for many years") provides an introduction to the creative explosion in Japanese scissor-design, beginning with the "Pencut," a scissor that fits in a normal pencil-case, with retractable elastic loops for your fingers and full-length blades so you don't sacrifice power for portability.
Python is one of the most popular and versatile programming languages used by developers today, making it an ideal first choice for those looking to kickstart a career in programming. While you could go back to school or sign up for a pricey coding bootcamp, you can learn the essentials of coding with Python at […]
Going back to school isn’t necessarily an option for everyone. Between the time commitments and steep tuition rates, there are obstacles aplenty as far as furthering education is concerned. However, that’s not to say it’s impossible to learn new skills. Excel with Business lets users access thousands of hours of online learning in Microsoft, business, technology, […]
More often than not, you won’t see an accident coming, which means it pays to be proactive and ensure you have the right tools on-hand before you need them. Whether you find yourself in the middle of a power outage or having car trouble at night, you can make sure you’re still capable of navigating […]