PLEASE READ THIS VERY CAREFULLY.
I decided when I started this blog that it would be devoted to science, not politics. But politics has interfered in the future of the blogosphere in a very nasty way. And no other paleo-bloggers seem to be speaking out on this.
The good-for-nothing U.S. congress with its self-serving members and their 80% public DISapproval ratings is trying to ram through two bills into law which would decimate the freedom of the internet under the deceptive auspices of stopping piracy. ANY site or blog which links to other sites that contain copyrighted material could be falsely banned or shut down under the draconian provisions of the PIPA and SOPA acts, and bloggers like myself and many of us in the Paleo-blogosphere may be forced to shut down because of over-reaching government meddling in private rights of citizens. ANY activity relating to links to another site or posting material from other websites for mere educational non-profit purposes could be construed as a "copyright infringement" even if properly attributed to its authors, and may result in lawsuits, harassment, and even indefinite arrest under false charges of "piracy" without access to any legal representation.
In addition, many internet programmers and companies will be crippled by all the convoluted clauses of these bills which allow government to interfere at any point in the delivery of online content to consumers. It will damage the economy even further than foolish wars and corrupt bank bailouts, to the point that most businesses that advertise or sell online will end up having to spend even more money on lawyers to cover their backsides and fight arbitrary censorship, this time against unscrupulous FCC cronies and their Wall Street paymasters. That’s why AOL, EBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga wrote a letter to Congress protesting the bills, saying these bills “pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation.” And small businesses, which make up the bulk of the private sector, will be forced to close their doors or suspend their websites altogether due to prohibitively high legal costs of warding off frivolous government accusations of "piracy", laying off millions more employees in the long run. More than 200 entrepreneurs have slammed these bills as dangerous to the economy and destructive to innovation and job growth. And the brain-dead pork barrel congressmen and women (who seem to keep getting re-elected despite their dismal track records) want to tell us that THIS is the freedom that we need to export to the rest of the world on the back of tanks and Apache helicopters? I didn't vote for this Orwellian crap. Nobody was given a choice.
And the worst part is that these bills were written by ignorant lazy media conglomerate shills who don't even have a clue how the internet works. You can tell just based on the vague language of the things how these politicians are totally behind the times and are trying to police the web based on intrusive stone-age protocols. Half of them don't even know what twitter is and are trying to convince the country that dinosaurs and humans lived together in Eden. And they're trying to claim they know better than you and me what needs to be done with technology. What's more, their sad excuses for anti-piracy legislation are USELESS at stopping online piracy.
For those of you outside of America, don't think that this problem doesn't involve you. Whatever the United States government can get away with in domestic economic policy, the rest of the world will likely follow suit, if not do even worse. The problem of government censorship of the internet could very well spread to your shores if it is not stopped while it's still just here.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION on Google's website to tell Congress that you are not just going to sit there and swallow their coercion like a fool. Censorship does not belong on the internet. And neither does the act of collectively punishing the entire web for the acts of a few software pirates. If you do nothing... then welcome to Oceania.
P.S. this post is meant to criticize the draconian broad-brush punishment favored by your congressmen/women, not to defend the crime. I am not advocating piracy of any sort. However the PIPA and SOPA bills are not a solution to the pirate problem, and they are actually creating far worse hardships for the economy and threatening liberty itself.
P.P.S. to all those deluded teabagger neocons out there who think this is 100% Obama's fault - it's congress that wrote these bills, and none of your wall street-funded candidates has done anything to stop them so far either, despite all their empty promises to "shrink government" and "reduce intrusive regulations on business".
(BTW I'm not referring to Ron Paul here, he's the furthest thing from a neocon or corporate lackey.)