Don’t Regulate the Internet

The Washington crony plan to regulate the internet is becoming closer to reality. As it stands today, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has significant support in the House of Representatives and could actually pass. Despite the wishes of everyday internet users and technology experts, politicians are succumbing to the wishes of corporate lobbyists to pass this monstrosity

In fact, the entertainment industry has donated over $2.5 million dollars to elected officials that support SOPA so far – and that number will likely get much higher as this battle heats up. The political class claims that this legislation is about saving jobs and stopping piracy but nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, SOPA is simply a scheme for bureaucrats in Washington to regulate the internet.

If Congress passes SOPA, internet traffic will be handled fundamentally different. Users or businesses with no direct link to piracy could be targeted by the government at the wish of the entertainment industry. Even a search engine such as google or a political blog could be deemed unacceptable traffic because it indirectly links to an unapproved website. The only way this blatant censorship can be accomplished is by mandating that Internet Service Providers route web traffic in a manner approved by Congress.

It is the hopes of the political establishment that average internet users won’t understand SOPA or put up a fight. This is a piece of legislation that has bad immediate consequences and potentially worse unintended consequences. The internet is a wonderful piece of technology largely because it has been unregulated. There is a plethora of information on the internet (good and bad) and we don’t need the political class to protect us from innovation.

If none of this seems serious, please consider that MPAA executive Chris Dodd (former US Senator) likes the Chinese model of internet censorship.