My students are working with a substitute teacher today and tomorrow as I attend the 2012 Illinois PBIS Winter Leadership Conference in O’Fallon, Illinois. I’ll be writing up a post tomorrow to share what I have been doing and why I have been doing it.
Today, though, I want to add my voice to the millions who are protesting two bills before Congress that can potentially cripple the Internet as we know and allow for gross violations of free speech in the form of censorship. The bills are known as PIPA and SOPA and both purport to put an end to online privacy.
Except that neither will.
Much has already been written about these laws. A vast array of websites, notably webcomics, blogs, Wikipedia, Reddit, and StumbleUpon, have all blacked out their sites in protest. Because I am short on time, I am going to refer you to three sites for more information:
- Dante Shepherd’s photowebcomic, Surviving the World
- Google’s Take Action petition
- StumbleUpon’s Stop SOPA blog post
As an educator, a blogger, and a former business owner, I understand the need for copyright protection, as well as the fight to stop copyright violations. But I also recognise the need for the freedom to freely exchange ideas and share content via the Internet. In an effort to do the former, Congress is set to stop the latter instead. Please, take the time to call or email your representatives or, at the very least, sign the petition on Google’s site.
Update: Here’s some information about the results of the SOPA/PIPA Blackout.