SOPA/PIPA

I recently sent emails to my House and Senate representatives regarding these horrible pieces of legislation. I thought I would post the contents here for posterity.

Subject: Please oppose the PROTECT IP Act and SOPA

I urge you to reject the Internet Blacklist Bills (S.968 and H.R.3261). I am deeply concerned by the danger these bills pose to a free and open Internet and to the rights provided for by the Bill of Rights (1st & 5th Amendments specifically). Government blacklists are the tools of authoritarian regimes, not countries that pride themselves on personal freedom and due process of law.

While I do not support infringement on others’ intellectual property, those who do infringe still deserve the due process of law which these bills would deny them. These bills serve only the interests of large media companies that already abuse the rights granted to them by the DMCA. Passage of these bills will only lead to further abuses
and will not slow digital piracy in any meaningful way. The Internet and its citizens always route around these types of roadblocks.

Free speech and due process should not be subject to the whims of a few large corporations. These bills are dangerous and short-sighted, and, if passed, will be ineffective. I urge you to join Senator Wyden and other members of Congress, such as Representatives Lofgren, Eshoo and Issa, in opposing them.

Mutual Respect

A comment from Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s office during the recent flap over a Twitter post by a high school student has me rankled. According to Brownback spokesperson, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, it takes mutual respect to have a constructive dialog. While that is all well and good, the thing with respect is it is earned not just given. Governor Brownback has done nothing to earn my respect and much to lose any default level of respect I may have had. Maybe if he quit pandering to the Christian right and attempting to take away people’s rights, I could gain respect for him. Until those very unlikely events occur, my disrespect of him will continue unabated.