I haven’t posted a blog in ages, and as I talked with my mom today, I re-realized I had a blog. The reason I don’t post often is due to that I would rather spend time talking to real live people and/or spending time with my family.
Lauren and Hendrix are sleeping now and I had this topic on my brain, so I decided to do a short post.
The first thing I would like to say about the topic is that honestly, not in a fake re-post, re-tweet, sort of way, my heart goes out to the families who are bawling their eyes out tonight. I feel you. I truly do.
But I will move onto the purpose of me writing tonight.
After watching the horrific videos from the Boston marathon today, I was reminded of the last time I watched something horribly tragic on television which was 9/11. I was far too young to understand what was happening, and in all reality, I still don’t understand what happened. In the same way, I do not know what happened today. What I do know is how this may be used and utilized by those in power positions in the US and around the globe.
Major terrifying events have been used, and will be used, by political figures to take away the freedom of the people. Why? To add power to themselves or the system.
I could write a nice long essay about how the events of 9/11 are related to the laws passed shortly after which take away freedom and privacy in exchange for temporary “safety”, but I do not have the time to dive into that. What I do want to emphasize is that people should be aware.
Read. Watch. Understand. Listen to what is happening around you and try and put it in context politically, culturally, and personally. I foreshadow movements and laws which allow “tightening down” and “investigating more thoroughly” all different aspects of personal life stripping away privacy of the average man. I’m not asking the readers to deny every law, or blame the government, or fear change, but I am asking you to think.
The bombing today is not a new concept. Killing innocent people for god-knows-what-reason has been happening for thousands of years. The medium has changed, but the concept remains constant. Similarly, governments for thousands of years have laid down laws post-tragedy to strip away freedom from the people using fear as the catalyst.
We will watch the events unfold for the next few months, but as political ideology develops (which will be progressed by the mainstream media), I urge you to think about the context of the situation, as well as the larger context of time and the world as a whole.
Benjamin Franklin said “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
Check out the actual act (And if you live in Colorado, VOTE!)
The U.S. government could order the blocking of sites using methods similar to those employed by China. Among other things, search engines could be forced to delete entire websites from their search results. That’s why 41 human rights organizations and 110 prominent law professors have expressed grave concerns about the bills.
Law-abiding U.S. internet companies would have to monitor everything users link to or upload or face the risk of time-consuming litigation. That’s why AOL, EBay, Facebook, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga wrote a letter to Congress saying these bills “pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation.” It’s also why 55 of America’s most successful venture capitalists expressed concern that PIPA “would stifle investment in Internet services, throttle innovation, and hurt American competitiveness”. More than 204 entrepreneurs told Congress that PIPA and SOPA would “hurt economic growth and chill innovation”.
To make matters worse, SOPA and PIPA won’t even work. The censorship regulations written into these bills won’t shut down pirate sites. These sites will just change their addresses and continue their criminal activities, while law-abiding companies will suffer high penalties for breaches they can’t possibly control.
There are effective ways to combat foreign “rogue” websites dedicated to copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting, while preserving the innovation and dynamism that have made the Internet such an important driver of American economic growth and job creation. Congress should consider alternatives like the OPEN Act, which takes targeted and focused steps to cut off the money supply from foreign pirate sites without making US companies censor the Web.