Citizen Journalism and online writing has become an ever growing activity. Whether it is by way of social networking sites, online writing websites , blogging or a personal news site many people around the world have been taking part.
Recently though some governments have begun to fear the power of the Internet. People share experiences and add their personal view of current affairs. The West was happy for people in the Middle East to utilise the Internet to rise up against their country's leaders but feared it happening in the West. Countries such as the US berate China for its tight Internet controls but appernetly want to follow suit.
The Internet has offered a freedom speech to more people than the real world often can but this could be set to change. An email from such a website alerted TEKJournalism to possible changes. Read on to assess the possible impact the changes could have on you and how you can do your bit to keep the status quo.
_The email I received said:
Contact your congressman
"A rather pressing matter has inspired us to break from our typically apolitical stance. Protect IP, as well as SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act (two bills currently in the United States Senate and House, respectively), threaten the world of online writing as we know it.
While this legislation was first created in an effort to target offshore sites selling illegal goods to US consumers by operating outside the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice, these bills have evolved to hold websites accountable for any content that enables or promotes copyright infringement.
According to these bills, ****** could be shut down if just one article infringes on someone’s copyright, links to an illegal site, or even promotes visiting one. We are an open publishing platform and cannot review each and every article that gets published, hence Protect IP and SOPA leave us particularly vulnerable.
We ask for your support in bringing an end to this legislation. If you enjoy writing online (and any other online publishing platform for that matter) and want to continue to be able to publish online, please call, email, or otherwise contact your Senators and your Representative and ask that Protect IP and SOPA be stopped.
If you would like to take action, the Electronic Frontier Foundation offers a form letter that enables you to support an end to these bills in a couple of clicks. If you would like to contact your congressman via a phone call or letter, you can find your local senators’ and representatives’ numbers and addresses on Congress Merge.
Fight for the Future created a short, simple video explaining Protect IP if you’re curious to learn more, and you can read in detail why SOPA threatens open publishing platforms, as well as free speech, online security, and the Internet industry in a report by NetCoalition".
Note: The origin of the email has been kept private. However if you enjoy writing or reading free articles online perhaps now is the time to act. TEK reported recently on the case of a UK individual who the US is trying to extradite for a related incident. His site has been closed down even though he is a UK citizen operating out of the UK. His crime was posting a link to another site in much the same way as many sites do.
Twitter and Facebook see these US government plans as a way to shut the people up, basically. A way to censor the Internet. The reality of such Bills, if they become law, is they will not affect the offshore bandits one iota. Instead they will hit all of us.