This time, though, we're offering vocal support for something else entirely. Something that affects all of us.
Legislation currently running in the U.S. Congress, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), is set to go to vote in the Senate on January 24th. The act has the intended effect of going after piracy sites. The actual effect, though, is a freedom of speech nightmare: sites can be censored or sued for user-uploaded content, even for minimal infringement (what currently is defined as Fair Use).
What got me thinking about this? Writing The Insurgent's Journal, which involves a totalitarian government. This is what they do. This is what China does. This is what tyrants do: they stifle free exchange of thought and ideas. Although the proponents of PIPA claim that there are safeguards to protect freedom of speech, in my experience there is no safeguard against human nature ... and human nature involves those with power abusing said power within the contexts of the laws they claim to serve, if they profit from it.
I urge you, if you are reading these words, please show your support for efforts to overturn this deadly-to-the-Internet bill.
Two sites are available to sign an online petition going to Congress:
Stop American Censorship, run by Fight for the Future.
End Piracy, Not Liberty, run by Google.
Sign both petitions. Make your voice heard. (I already have!) And support today's Internet Strike.