From Twitter outbursts to major websites shutting down, SOPA has become public enemy #1 for Internet users.
SOPA, otherwise known as the Stop Online Piracy Act, has created headlines all across the United States. We have seen protests from New York City to Silicon Valley. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg weighed in with a status against SOPA.
“Sharing and talking about content and art are valuable to our everyday lives,” said Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of Fight for the Future.
Critics are comparing the bill to the Great Firewall of China, which controls and censors the Chinese Internet.
Jordan Hahn, CEO of IT firm Silent Movement Inc., told euronews that “Both bills contain broad language which could be used to censor web content and search engines in ways similar to China’s Great Firewall. The bills themselves are so far-reaching, it is impossible to predict their potential effects upon the internet as a whole. The question I have for the American government is simply this: Is it a good idea to put restrictions upon the last bastion of American innovation?”
What would happen to technology and the Internet if SOPA is passed by Congress? Thousands of Internet sites could be vulnerable to legal restrictions and possible shutdown.
Even though SOPA would target domain names outside the United States, many American companies have domain names registered abroad. Businesses all across the U.S. would need to monitor Internet content and user access.
Network security personalities Dan Kaminsky and Paul Vixie sent a letter to Congress opposing SOPA stating the bill could ‘seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure.’
The key fact to take away is SOPA will affect everyone, from major corporations to small start-up businesses.
Social media in particular could be potentially devastated by the passing of SOPA. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube would need to find a way to screen messages to filter links and pictures of pirated domains.
Technology and IT sites depend on social media to promote content and advertise online. How would companies promote and engage their online community without it?
Social media has become the focal point for where businesses, groups, and people could interact with each other. If it’s taken away, technology and the American economy would take a significant hit.
Michael Tidmarsh is the assistant community editor at ITKnowledgeExchange.com.