Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA, A Cautionary Tale

Dear Citizens of the 21st Century,

If you are reading this, it means that Thought Police have not yet discovered this letter. Read quickly and don't think about what you read here until you are somewhere safe. My only hope of reaching you is by sending this digitally back in time to my early blog posts when the Internet was still free and perhaps by some miracle, this cautionary tale might spread and form the seeds of resistance, but I fear I might not be able to reach back far enough with this crude technology.

It all started with those damnable laws passed by Congress in 2012. Perhaps you don't know that history or maybe it is still in your future. If you see a bill called SOPA reach the House or PIPA reach the Senate, oppose them with all the political might you can muster. Despite being opposed by great companies like Google and Facebook, along with most technologists, it wasn't enough. The bastards of the MPAA and RIAA and their cronies had their day of celebration when the bills passed.

These were the start of the end on what you would call the Internet. How naive we must have been back then to not see what was coming. This was the point where the greedy and selfish finally tipped the scales in the great balancing act of the Free Enterprise Republic experiment. For hundreds of years it had remained balanced, the desires of businesses kept in check by the desire of the people for freedom and ability to police through representation. This ended all that. The Internet would be oppressed with the needs to protect "Intellectual Property" from possible theft. Simply put, businesses who didn't know how to make money with digital goods purchased for themselves legislation to keep their old business intact. The burden of "what might happen" overshadowed the truths of what was valued in our democracy and the money finally out spoke the citizens.

The bills never did work, the digital thieves they were intended to thwart just worked around them. Normal citizens and ethical businesses though wouldn't fair so well as the enforcement of the laws became more oppressive and desperate. The original bills created the precedent for new ones and the scales of power were forever unbalanced. Companies folded, innovation shriveled, and free speech on the Internet collapsed under constant litigation and the new regulations that required no due process. Foreign countries responded to the US laws with their own and the once open Internet became closed and segregated geographically and only large media companies thrived. It created a kind of cyclone of information, money, and politics that would culminate in the power being controlled by the very few elite and then one day, they simply decided that democracy wasn't needed. It has become what you would call an Orwellian nightmare.

Am I some crackpot just spewing crazy onto a long outlawed blog? I don't blame you if you don't think that any legislation can really be that dangerous. You assume balance will always be restored and you have faith in your government because, despite it's flaws, it has always worked in the end. Maybe you are right, but think about this: the representative democracy only works if those being governed are being represented by those in power. Who is being represented by Your congressmen? You or the companies sponsoring SOPA and PIPA?

Alas, I fear it is too late to help me I can already hear the Enforcers smashing through my outer door. Don't let my sacrifice be in vain. Write your representatives, pound down their own doors, and demand they oppose these laws. Truth and justice might yet prevail and I will become nothing but a writer from an alternative timeline that never happened. This letter being the only relic that I ever

[Editor's note: The letter simply stopped there, but I'll sign it off.]

The Bipoliticalist Letter Writer from the Future

1 comment:

  1. I stole this without credit and posted it here;
    The Internet.