The following was sent to my Representatives in both the House and Senate. I include it here for the sake of public records.
* * *
The PROTECT-IP and SOPA acts, while possibly concived with the best intentions, are quite possibly the gravest threat to free speech and invintive content I've seen, and it comes from 'the land of freedom.'
Since discussing DNS and other technical details would bore the pants off of any of you let's give a for-instance.
Say you (or your children or friends or whoever) Have been watching a youtube series, or found a blog that has a wealth of research material, and then one day it's gone. Site itself didn't do anything wrong. However due to the current language of the law said site/feed/whatever would get effectively shut down alongside everything else for a particular domain because /somebody/ was covering the Occupy movement and somebody used this new law citing something or other as being in violation.
There is a quote and I may be butchering it. 'Give me six words and I'll give you a traitor.'
It is either extreme naivety or outright willful ignorance to believe this law, in whatever incarnation, will not be misused to take down opposition, censor voices, and in short turn America into a backwater that doesn't have access to the sorts of information former soviet bloc countries like Romania (for example) would have.
We already la behind in terms of connectivity, we cannot lose the ability to access the rest of the world to. It is not just a matter of freedom of speech but of national security and our Future.
Lots of people and or interests use 'for the children' as a boilerplate justification for atrocities that would hurt everyone else in the process since that phrase seems to shut off the reasoning centers in a large segment of the population. However I use it now.
For Our Children do not do this. Do not disallow them from the world's wealth of creativity.
Do not bar them from being able to learn and create and use what's out there in wholly unexpected ways.
Don't tell them that their future business model is dead before it's even started because somebody who contributed campaign funds and threatens to withhold money down the line (or worse, contribute to the opposing party so you're out of office for making a moral stand) decided that rather than try living in the ecosystem the Internet represents they'd rather clear-cut and burn it to the ground for the sake of meager immediate gains.
This bill, and all those like it that have come before and will come after offend me. I was raised that in America we were free of censorship, of the selfish few that would disregard what the population wants for their own sake.
So. I ask that you think carefully and vote against this and all other measures like it.