Amanda Peyton blogged about her first experience in calling a U.S. Senator; in this case the despicable Chucky Schumer’s office.
The object was PIPA, which along with SOPA, is intended to shut down dissent on the internet..
A single, unverified, complaint of “copyright violation” would force your Internet Service Provider to disconnect your website. A private blog or a commercial website would be treated exactly the same way. If Joe Doaks says your comment about fur farming in the 1780′s was taken from his latest unpublished meller drammer because both contain the word “fur,” you are shut down. Without trial, without conviction, and almost certainly without recourse.
You can bet those who sponsor both PIPA and SOPA primarily intend to shut down political dissent. We bloggers don’t much like Chucky Schumer and his political ilk. So Chucky and Co. are doing something about it, with the full cooperation of the entertainment industry. Which is concerned about kooks who record a first run movie and then put it up for download on one of the “torrents.”
Given the “quality” of modern movies – which regularly pack the houses of theaters running 1930′s and 1940′s films – the decline in boxoffice revenues is understandable. But the industry blames the torrents – and PIPA and SOPA are their way to protect their dwindling revenues.
Schumer and his cohorts are using that as an excuse to get what they want. Silence on the right. But Ms. Peyton’s experience is revealing. I hope she will not object to my lifting a few of her words from her excellent post linked above:
My other objective was to find out the position held by the average constituent who supports PIPA. It was my impression that PIPA was mostly written by well-funded lobbyists and that there aren’t that many Joe Six-Packs who truly support it. But surely they must be out there! So I asked him this specifically. He said: “I haven’t spoken to any consituents who support it.” He clarified that he couldn’t articulate what the average constituent supporter thinks because he hasn’t spoken with any.
I am thinking it is not this guy’s first day on the job, and when I asked how many people had called to oppose he said “a whole lot.”
To summarize: the Senator’s office has received a bunch of calls from taxpayers who oppose the bill, but anecdotally from this dude, zero calls from those who support it.
So here we have a Senator, a representative of the people, who refuses to alter his position on an important public policy matter.
I know exactly how Ms. Peyton feels. In forty three years of opposition to counterproductive gun laws, I have run into the same attitude many times. The real solution is at the ballot box but for the time being, your call to your Congressperson and both your Senators opposing internet censorship specifically and PIPA/SOPA specifically will help keep free speech free.
You do have your Congress Critters on speed dial?
ADDENDUM Writing at Pajamas Media, Bill Reader parses both PIPA and SOPA. It is a must read before you make that call to your Congress Critter’s office in the morning.
You are going to call, aren’t you? Your freedom of speech, first on the ‘net and then elsewhere, is on the line. If you value your freedoms make the call.