I have yet to meet a librarian who supports the Stop Online Piracy Act for its ideology. We spend our days encouraging the free flow of information and knowledge sharing, both between our institutions and users as well as between users. Uncensored user-generated content is what makes the Internet sing, and the last decade has seen a communications phenomenon flourish and support revolutions, disaster response and relief, and the arts. What if one user links to a site with pirated content and the entire website was shut down?
What we are losing is not only freedom of information & speech, but businesses and therefore jobs. Librarians are growing in the tech industry, finding their ways in social media, web design and startups. The destruction of an entire industry is as disastrous for its workers as it is for its consumers. Part of We Are Librarians’ mission is to promote information professionals in this industry, for its innovation, increased opportunities and not to mention, income. This post is not about money, however; it’s about our futures. Let’s act now, friends.
Here’s what you can do:
Sign the petition currently hosted on whitehouse.gov’s We the People platform. The President has been quiet on this issue so far.
Continue to call and email Congress, censor your website and use the #censorshipeverywhere tool — all available from americancensorship.org.
Intellectual freedom is the one of the core values of librarianship. It was fundamental in the days of printed books and manuscripts and it is absolutely crucial in today’s world of blogs, ipads, Google, and an open and free Internet. The battle against censorship has never deserved more dedication and energy than in our fight to Save the Internet. Everyday, the Internet as we know it is under threat by companies and service providers who want to control the way we communicate and the content we access.
Currently, the Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality regulations protect our right to comment, post, read, listen, watch, write, upload, embed, stream, download, and link to the content we want — when we want it.
Last week on November 9th, Net Neutrality was once again under attack and a debate took place at the U.S. Senate where Senators John Kerry, Al Franken, and Maria Cantwell supported Internet freedom and Net Neutrality.
Fortunately, the voices of the American people were heard. The Senate voted to uphold Net Neutrality. However, we need to continue to take action in order to preserve the everyday freedom that we know and love today. Without Net Neutrality, we will be stifling the imagination and innovation that fuels the Internet and our culture as a whole.