Internet restraints stop ‘free knowledge’
Communism has long struck fear in the hearts of people across the world. Most notably China has placed their people under conditions that United States citizens would never allow. For instance, China has placed incredibly strict restrictions on the internet. They have gone as far as blocking all content deemed inappropriate for children for their entire country, including all pornographic material.
These restrictions raised many red flags in the United States and many questioned why something was not done to stop the oppression. Many asked, “What would happen if this happened in the United States?” The question may have been purely rhetorical, but now it is a valid question.
PIPA and SOPA are both acts that threaten to infringe upon our rights. SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. SOPA stands for the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act.” Both acts want to secure US internet by stopping foreign internet sites from being allowed to leak illegal content, such as music downloads and movie downloads.
Both Wikipedia and Google protested the bills on January 18 and are calling them unconstitutional. Wikipedia has blocked access to their links that are written in English with a banner asking users to “Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge.”
A representative from Wikipedia claims that these acts would both greatly affect Wikipedia.
“SOPA and PIPA are a threat to Wikipedia in many ways. For example, in its current form, SOPA would require Wikipedia to actively monitor every site we link to, to ensure it doesn’t host infringing content. Any link to an infringing site could put us in jeopardy of being forced offline,” Wikipedia says on its site.
Both of these pieces of legislature need to be erased and forgotten. We operate under a Republic Democracy that guarantees us undeniable freedoms. Now is the time to collectively raise our voices and tell our government we will not be censored.