Free Exchange of Ideas…No More?

Like many of you, I spend a lot of time on the internet. Yes, I know it can be the ultimate time-waster but I also know that nothing like it exists in terms of access to an entire world of information at my fingertips. Like any other place from which I can gather data I always consider the source. I don’t take everything printed online as gospel because I know a lot of batshit crazy people with an agenda post online but I like knowing information is available for me to sift through when it is needed.

The beauty of the internet is the depth and breadth of this resource, and both the speed and ease at which information can be obtained. If things continue along the course they’ve taken recently in the Senate, in the not so distant future we’ll look back and realise we should have said ‘Enjoy it while you can‘!

Last year, Congress voted on and passed the ‘Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act’. This act is part of the Stop Online Piracy Act which is supported by groups as powerful as the Motion Picture Association that are concerned about the losses they suffer due to poaching of intellectual property. Losing control over the product of ones own labour is a legitimate concern for artists and other creative professionals. Passage of this Act seems reasonable until you scratch beneath the surface which you should always do when big business, a bunch of corporate-owned politicians, and their lobbyists are involved and see that the remedy to cure piracy is looking far worse than the disease.

Congress sped through the passage of this bill faster than Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich go through women, which isn’t surprising given how many millions of dollars have been spent by people corporations lobbyists who skew the political process in support of it. Why are they so anxious to have this Act pass? Because some corporations want to squash the internet as it is in its current state. If the Act passes in the Senate, corporations will have the ability to use the law to ensure that government wipes websites out of existence — simply by complaining that those sites contain copyrighted information. The world wide web would no longer be a place to freely exchange ideas and information.

When the Senate votes on this bill, the outcome could be the end of the internet as we have come to know it. From my vantage point, the last thing I want is for corporations to have even more control over the information to which we have access. Think about it; it’s bad enough there are organisations such as Fake FOX News *shudder* that lie like hell manipulate  information.  Giving more organisations the ability to control what we see, hear and read sets a very dangerous precedent. Make your voice heard; let your elected officials know that you don’t want corporations controlling more than they already do like many of our elected officials.

For another point of view: