My Mind Just Went Black

Today is the ‘massive’ black-out of sites showing their support against SOPA, the law that might be pushed passed congress to allow companies, without a court order, to take sites offline in case of piracy.

“Censorship!”, “The End Of Internet As We Know It!”

Nah. I am absolutely against SOPA, but more of other reasons. Let’s be fair, the Internet might use some censorship. Having worked also in the engine-rooms of the internet, I know what is all going on online in the dark places, and believe me, you don’t want to know. It would be good if there would be something like some sort of law governing the internet. And I am not talking about illegal downloads of the latest Lady Ga-Ga song, but real crimes and illegal going on on the Internet.

But, SOPA would not stop that, because crime always finds a way. What would SOPA do?

Well, it would cause more problems than it would solve. Worst of all, it will cut the entertainment industry, who first pushed for this law, painfully in the hands. Why? Well, the Internet would become like Craigslist. Where you can simply ‘flag’ sites and with enough flags it will be taken offline. There are too many sites around to really monitor everything, so it will not be handled with care. It will be someone’s day-job who gets bored by it, overlooks things, or forgets to do some research on the matter and will simply flip a switch, and a site goes offline.

Who says I won’t do that with my competition? Or with the blog of someone I simply don’t like?

Would they have the balls to turn off Facebook or Google? Or do they get some priority treatment? Well, you can take a guess.

Anyway, I think everything from cyber crime (from minor to major) to piracy all call for a whole different action; regulation.

Ay! I know, it is like cursing in a church. But people in any kind of society do need some sort of leadership and law-enforcement. But it needs to be handled with extreme care. And it needs to be defined by an international group of experts on different categories. Not only IT geeks or law-enforcement, but also sociologists, politicians, journalists, entertainment industry. And it will take years and years to even get a good draft.

It also should become an addition to normal law in any country, instead of being something completely different. I mean, online laws could never go against local laws.  If racism is prohibited in one country, it cannot be allowed in that country online either.

And it would need to be set up in three layers:

– The creation and posting of the material.

– The hosting and storage of the material.

– The accessibility and usage of the material (surfing and downloading).

Tackling a thing like piracy and cyber crime is a tremendous and difficult task. Not something one country, no matter how large, can simply do by accepting a law. That is the easy way out. And worse, it is something that should not be decided by politicians who have no inside knowledge that goes deep enough into the subject matter.

This is why SOPA should be stopped. Even if you are pro censorship and want to stop online piracy… SOPA will hurt the internet more than it should, will stop progress and will not solve the issue at stake.

Show your support. Also surf to http://www.wordpress.com today (Wednesday 1/18/2012)  and sign the petition paper on the homepage.

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