Wikipedia showed all of us the monumental power of using the Internet to illustrate a philosophical (and political) position in the face of tremendous pressure from big government.
By going dark for 24 hours, it sucked a vortex of users and media commentators into the implications of what SOPA actually means to Internet freedom.
While everyone does agree that online piracy is a serious issue and needs to be dealt with, the anti-piracy bill that was due to pass on Jan 24 with bipartisan support has too many loop holes to be effective.
The fact that the Government and large corporations wanted to mess with the innards of the domain registry to force sites like Google to shut down offenders offers the highest chance of abuse no matter how noble the goal.
It’s also interesting to see the massive cohesion of young Internet users and even the older generation in standing together on this point.
In a decade, where most citizens display apathy towards the political process and big government in general, the SOPA-resistance illustrates that not all hope is lost.
The New York Times reported that more than 162 million people saw the site’s protest on Wednesday. Further, over 12,000 commented on blogs announcing the blackout.
By all accounts, this was a “breathtaking majority” said Wikipedia. The Internet is undoubtedly one of the United State’s pioneering technical achievements. While not perfect, it is a field of innovation that is a powerhouse for small business growth.
This battleground echoes a real war taking place offline as the upcoming Presidential contest looms. Many consider it to be the most important election in American history signaling a tipping point between those who favor more government regulation versus those who do not.
This goes beyond party lines. Both parties display support and opposition in determining the final outcome and what happens with SOPA next.
The postponed bill had bipartisan support but its supporters now appear fragmented and indecisive. So Wikipedia is right, this is just one battle won; NOT the war. Long live the resistance!