On January 18th we along with many other websites like Wikipedia, WordPress (yes, we are a WordPress site) and Google went black.  Mike and I decided to join in the blackout to show our support against two bills that have had a lot of support in the Senate and Congress and could be passed:  SOPA-the Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA-Personal Information Protection Act.

SOPA and PIPA are purported to provide protection against piracy but they also allow for court ordered censorship of the internet.  We think that while the concerns about piracy are valid these bills are not the solution.

Here’s a video that lays out the issues:

Molly: As opinionated as I am with friends, family and the guy in line at the grocery store I don’t share specifics of my political beliefs on this blog.  I think it comes across that Mike and I are liberal.  Really if I had a magic wand I’d turn our great country into a social democracy, but that stems from my belief that (and quoting my friend’s mother who is a conservative living in a social democracy) as a country I believe it is our responsibility to take care of our elderly, infirmed and mentally ill. I recognize I don’t live in Australia but a girl can dream!  Rather we live in a country where we are allowed to have and express and practice many different beliefs and live side by side without fear of being attacked for our way of life.  OK, we are still working on that one.

Mike:  I believe these bills go to far.  I’m not saying piracy doesn’t hurt some businesses and isn’t a very nice thing to do but protecting business interests at the expense of free speech just is not going to fly.

The “internet strike”  appears to be drawing attention to this issue but there is one more step we all need to take- contact our representatives and make sure these bills don’t pass.  Let’s dust off our democracy and be heard.

Here’s the SOPA bill and here’s a link to the PIPA bill.

If you want to read more here are some suggested links:

WordPress  Help Stop SOPA and PIPA

Google’s opinion

NPR’s, ‘House Committee to Vote on Online Piracy Act’, Dec. 15, 2011

NPR’s The Two Way blog

NPR’s, ‘GoDaddy’s Support for Bill Draws Customers’ Ire’, Dec. 29, 2011

Associated Press (through the NPR website) article, ‘White House Concerned Over Online Piracy Bills’, Jan. 14, 2012

The White House response to SOPA and PIPA

Here’s a petition that Google has set up that you can sign.

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