Internet has become a necessity that we cannot live without. From the Middle School student to the Chemical Engineer the way the internet help to make their day productive is immense. Since over 2 billion people using the internet every day the online piracy has become unstoppable. Without a doubt it is the duty of the government to take people who violate laws and bring to custody. But that doesn’t mean they have the right to take away the freedom of the internet and make it an online market.
It all began after the House of Representatives introduce the Bill H.R 3261 ‘Stop Online Piracy act ‘. The purpose of this bill was to promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property. I agree with the fact that the internet piracy should be illegalized. But after more research my understanding was that this bill also gives the power to the government to takedown any anti-government website or any website that gives content away for free. It also effectively threatened websites such as Google, Yahoo, Face book, Wikipedia, YouTube, Netflix and Twitter. Because of this matter people from all around the world started protesting against the passing of this SOPA bill. On January 18th, it was hard for anyone to miss what was the largest protest in world’s history as millions of people, and the largest internet companies stood up against the proposes SOPA bill . Many of my friends including me protested wearing black shirts and signing over 25 petitions, companies joined by blacking out their websites for 24 hours; over 10 million people signed petitions and protested on streets in over 100 cities nationwide.
The reason why I joined the protest was that I knew this bill clearly violates the freedom of speech. According to this bill, if the government takes down a website that provides free content, even if they are not illegal, but the owners of the website can’t talk or act against the government. My realization was that the government is trying to kill two birds with one stone. Which is stop piracy and remove free content off the internet making it an online shopping mall, which could have resulted in making thousands of people unemployed and a kick in the back to the failing United States Economy.
This unexpected protesting put an immense pressure on the government causing them to abandon the bill. At the end of the day many congressman who supported the bill were against it. As a college student it was an honor for me to be a part of it and protest against our rights and freedom.
It was a day that should go in the history books as ‘A day that people stood up against the government to show them what is right and what is wrong ‘.