Giving Thanks for the Internet As Is

I heart the internet. I heart technology a whole bunch. I am really grateful for the world wide web and everything that I can find with a few strokes of the keyboard. Like this:

This is why I am broke

or this:

"Do a barrel roll" (and you should go do this, it's just pure internet silliness).

 and things like imgur-ers at reddit:

What I learned

The interwebs can be utterly random and entertaining. Not a day goes by that I don't access the web for something. Whether I am doing academic research, manuscript research, work, or idling away hours in self entertainment.

So, I really hope future me can say the same thing next year. Which segues me into talking about SOPA (link to a very informative FAQ)--yes, that beastly legislation which is lurking around Washington. Last night my son was terribly disappointed to learn that Microsoft had been supporting the Protect IP Act. Not so much that he loves Microsoft, but because he is a gamer who is very much of the Xbox generation-- which is a Microsoft product FYI. And today surprise of surprise it turns out Microsoft is not so keen on the SOPA legislation. Over at CNET Declan McCullagh talks about the quiet opposition of this huge internet presence. And now The Washington Post has caught on to the viral spread of this news. Here is a quote from the Post article:

Opposition to the bill is growing from the technology world. On Tuesday, the Business Software Alliance, which represents Microsoft, Intel, Adobe and Apple, pulled its support of the legislation, saying that it “needs work” and that some “valid and important questions” have been raised.

That group joined the criticisms previously expressed by Yahoo, which quit the Chamber of Commerce over the matter, and Google, which has threatened to do the same, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their business relationships.

And over at the Brookings Institute, Allan A. Friedman, Fellow, Governance Studies, has written an informative piece about Cybersecurity in the Balance: Weighing the Risks of the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act. As a parent of teens and young adults who access the web for everything this concerns me a great deal, that DNS (Domain Name Server) infrastructure would be tinkered with by agencies who have no business tinkering with such things. How safe will online banking be under new legislation? What about making purchases online? Even 'https' will no longer be secure enough.

If the internet as we know it is to continue we need to educate ourselves and get involved. It looks as though this legislation is up for some more action in Washington next month. If you are concerned about your civil liberties and human rights you need to get informed. It is not lost on most of us that this legislation will not stop piracy-- not at all. Consider what is at stake by not getting involved.

Hollywood spends a great deal of money lobbying on Capitol Hill. This breakdown at Politico shows how much more they spend lobbying than dot.coms. I dunno, maybe if they spent less money lobbying they'd save some money that apparently they need according to SOPA? Read the entire Politico article here.

Again I link to Fight For the Future who have an easy way to get invovled.

Thankfully this blog is brought to you by the freedom available to me as an American protected under the Constitution who has the right to say whatever I want without having my words censored. I am not sure I will have the same freedom if this legislation passes. And some may think I am over stating, but I've learned that freedom comes with a great deal of responsibility to protect it.