The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are two bills that are being discussed in America and slated for vote next week in the U.S Senate. There are many arguments for and against these bills, both legitimate, but my problem lays within the interpretation of the bill and the fact as a non U.S citizen and non U.S resident, the U.S can come into my home and persecute me as if I was! (read article cited at end)
I know that on my corner of the internet, I’m developing something here that I love and enjoy and do as a hobby, I don’t make any money off it, (yet, lol), but if there was something on my site that the government didn’t like, such as Jail breaking your Apple T.V, they could force PayPal, Visa, MasterCard to stop doing business with me. (if I was using their services) Then on top of that, if someone wants to challenge that decision, “…the owner must first consent to the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts.” Furthermore, “In the eyes of U.S. law, websites with domain names ending in .com, .net and .org are treated as American domestic domain names, regardless of where their owners are based…” I know that many citizens of the U.S.A currently have problems with their government and governing bodies and they are protected with so many rights and civil liberties. When something as simple as protesting is being taken away and those who do so are being persecuted and beaten openly in public, how, as a Canadian, can I fare any better? I can totally see myself (nothing to do with the fact I am brown) in indefinite detention should I step foot on American soil to defend myself. And we all know how aggressively the Canadian government would come to my aid! After being sentenced to the death penalty and three weeks after my execution they may express ‘extreme regret’ at the incident and write a strongly written letter to the U.S consulate in Canada to save my life and then claim that it was the Post Office’s fault for the letter arriving so late, and then after an investigation that costs taxpayers 10 million dollars discover it was an Email that was sent. Oh, this is not Iran you say? Give it a few more bills like this and we will eventually get there!
So, I will ask all how read this to educate and inform yourselves about SOPA and PIPA. (and oppose it) If these bills are passed I will change my domain from .com to anything that will protect me from the totalitarian government of the United States of America. For when it comes to punishment that does not fit the crime, in America I trust.