My Thoughts Exactly Rick Mercer!
This stuff really needs to stop! Governments are being lobbied to try to find ways to spy on citizens over the internet. While the big push is because of 'child pornography' and such, the real story is that corporations whose bottom lines are effected by what people do, or don't do online are pushing for this bill in order to try to catch people ripping them off, either legally or illegally.
Downloading music, or movies? well, that does tend to take a good chunk of money out of entertainment industry pockets, but it really is nothing when you compare that to the drug industry. Big pharma is one of the biggest supporters of online piracy laws, and the reasons being, are because they loose 75 billion dollars a year thru 'generic' drug sales. Now Generic drugs have been around for ages, and they are not in effect illegal. In fact, most pharmacies unless otherwise requested, will dish out generic pills to fill prescriptions. But its the international generic and 'clone' drug sales which really piss of big pharma. Some of those 'clone' drugs are similar copies to drugs which are still patented. This is effectively similar to stealing music or downloading movies.
In the United States, there is a bill which has passed the senate, and will be heading towards the presidents desk and the HOR soon enough, which will effectively make it illegal for any generic drug to be sold in the US by any pharmacy. It will also outlaw internet drug companies, unless they go thru the trouble of having a face to face consultation with the patient before they dish out the drugs (which defeats the purpose of having an online store). SOPA was a bill which wasn't only about music and movies and file sharing... Big pharma was a huge proponent of SOPA for this reason.
Anyhow, sorry for going off on a tangent, I seem to be good at that sometimes. But yeah, we all need to protect our online freedoms... I know the internet isn't a right, nor is it a human need. But this generation grew up with it. By crippling the internet like this, you really limit human thought and interaction online. But maybe that is what they want. They want to be able to quell uprisings like those in Egypt, before they happen. How? well if you are watching what people write on facebook, its easy to pick out the people who are carrying the rally flag.
The government and big corporations are scared of this new found freedom on the internet. It allows people to organize in ways no one every imagined. The power of social media is astonishing, and can cause revolutions. In the past, governments have gone to the lengths of making it illegal for more then 2 people to meet in private, to try to cut down on plots against the government. Well this my friends is the governments way of dealing with a similar threat today.
But there are ways around this. And as they push and push, we can and should push back.