Take Action Against SOPA

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While I wish the internet would get as up in arms about other issues like raising the debt ceiling, excessive government spending and other nonsense going on in Washington, I think opposing SOPA is a great way to start getting folks involved in the political conversation. Anywho, sign the petition.

Here's a great post from FreedomWorks with more on SOPA and PIPA in case you haven't heard much about it:

Two pieces of dangerous legislation are currently being debated in Congress that could forever change the Internet: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA). The proponents of these harmful bills claim that it is necessary to stop online piracy, the illegal sale and/or distribution of copyrighted and trademarked products on the Internet. Regardless of how well-intentioned the pieces of legislation may be or one’s perspective on intellectual property laws, SOPA and the Protect IP Act would severely cripple free speech and stifle innovation online.

The Internet is a prime example of what Nobel Prize-winning economist F.A. Hayek called spontaneous order. One single institution does not control the Internet. This is primarily what makes the Internet so great. Billions of individuals all over the world are free to spread unrestricted information on the Internet. I actually became a libertarian largely because I was exposed to ideas that I never heard before on the free Internet. Can you imagine how terrible the Internet would be if it was centrally planned by the government? A centralized institution cannot possibly know or satisfy the unique wants of billions of individuals across the globe.

Despite the lack of centralized control, the Internet exhibits a high degree of order. As the Taoist Chuang-tzu said, "good order results spontaneously when things are let alone". Self-policing has worked to a certain degree to keep harmful content off the Internet. As it currently stands, there are no government mandates requiring search engines to remove information. Many websites already voluntarily remove information deemed inappropriate. For instance, Google routinely screens out child pornography from its search results. Facebook and Twitter encourages users to flag malicious content that violates their terms of service. While self-regulation may not be perfect, it is much preferable to government regulation.

One of the tweets I read today really hit home for me.Β  Uploading a video of a Michael Jackson song could land you 5 years in jail...that's 1 year longer than Conrad Murray's sentence...and as we all know now he was guilty of involuntary manslaughter, which led to the King of Pop's death.