Protecting Internet Access and Freedom of Speech


I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there’s some pretty significant legislation being considered in both the Senate and the House of Representatives that has the potential to severely impact internet freedom.  The goals of the bills are to protect intellectual property, prevent copyright infringement, and add enforcement measures against rogue websites.  The legislation, however, is getting a lot of opposition from prominent web-based services, including Google, Facebook, eBay, Mozilla, Yahoo!, Zynga, LinkedIn, and Twitter, who are concerned about how the government and corporations may be able to limit consumer access to the sites they want (and pay) to use.

I know you may not be politically active, but I think this is a really important cause to know about. Even if you don’t agree with my stance, I hope you’ll take some time to read about them and consider how much they may impact the work you do, your personal interests, and the future of internet access. If you feel strongly, please reach out to your representatives to let them know how you feel – it’s quick and easy to email them, and they DO read them. (If you don’t know who your U.S. representatives are, you can find them  at: http://whoismyrepresentative.com)

The bill in the Senate is Bill S.968: “PROTECT IP Act, or (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011.” You can read the actual text here or read the Wikipedia summaryhere.

The bill in the House of Representatives is H.R. 3261: “Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).” You can read the actual text here or read the Wikipedia summary here.

I recently wrote to both of my U.S. Senators and my U.S. Representative urging them to oppose the bills in their respective areas.  I used the text below (blue for the Senate and red for the House of Representatives):

I am writing to you as a voter in your district. I urge you to oppose  S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act. The PROTECT IP Act is dangerous, ineffective, and short-sighted. 

I do *not* want the government to have the power to block websites. Further, the bill will open the sites I love to crushing lawsuits, and kill jobs in the tech sector.  
Over coming days you’ll be hearing from the many businesses, advocacy organizations, and ordinary Americans who oppose this legislation because of the myriad ways in which it will stifle free speech and innovation. I hope you’ll take my concerns to heart and oppose this legislation.

I am writing to you as a voter in your district. I urge you to oppose H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. SOPA is dangerous, ineffective, and short-sighted. 

I do *not* want the government to have the power to block websites. Further, the bill will open the sites I love to crushing lawsuits, and kill jobs in the tech sector.  

Over coming days you’ll be hearing from the many businesses, advocacy organizations, and ordinary Americans who oppose this legislation because of the myriad ways in which it will stifle free speech and innovation. I hope you’ll take my concerns to heart and oppose this legislation.


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