SOPA and PIPA matter for everyone

January 18, 2012

If you are visiting WanderingThoughts on January 18 2012 with JavaScript turned on, you're being annoyed about the US's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills. Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know something about what these are. If not, see here, here, here, here, here, here, or, really, anywhere. Try Wikipedia.

It may seem quixotic to black out my little techblog corner of the web over this, but, well, I feel like it. Yes, even though I and this blog are in Canada; see Michael Geist's Why Canadians Should Participate in the SOPA/PIPA Protest (whenever you can read it again, since he's going black over this as well).

(I will note in passing that any university puts a very large amount of 'user generated' content on the web, especially in the form of undergraduate, graduate, staff, and professorial home pages. It is essentially impossible for the institution to guarantee that there are no pockets of bad stuff across all associated web pages, where bad stuff includes malware as well as links and content that someone, somewhere, doesn't approve of.)

Normal service will resume on January 19th, or you can install NoScript (or the equivalent for your browser) and enjoy it immediately.

PS: if you want to understand some of the problems with SOPA/PIPA in real life, as things actually get used on today's Internet, see Techdirt's Monster Cable claims Costco (and others) are 'rogue sites'.

Written on 18 January 2012.
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Last modified: Wed Jan 18 01:49:56 2012
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