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Un-SQL Friday: Stop SOPA!

This will be an unusually political Un-SQL Friday – and it’s two days early, to boot – but I’m making an exception to my no-politics-in-SQL rule – because it’s about internet freedoms.

I hereby declare this WEDNESDAY Un-SQL Friday. While T-SQL Tuesday is “…the SQL Server blogosphere’s first recurring, revolving blog party….on the chosen [SQL-related] topic,” UN-SQL Friday is a completely intermittant blog party about something SQL-adjacent.

This week’s Un-SQL Friday roundup is about SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Please take a couple minutes and read up…if this is meaningful to you, then blog and do what you can to spread the word on Wednesday, November 16 – American Censorship Day. Get involved however you feel you can best make a difference.

The internet is a wonderful, free place, and I believe that measures to combat piracy should be better targeted than SOPA.

Be sure to mention in your blog that you’re writing for Un-SQL Friday, and link to this post. Have it up ASAP…before midnight on Wednesday, November 16 is best. But we always take late submissions.

Reading

Here are a few highlights and articles to get you started.

PCWorld article: House hearing on Stop Online Piracy Act scheduled

BoingBoing: Stop SOPA Save the internet

  • The worst bill in Internet history is about to become law. …this law would give government and corporations the power to block sites like BoingBoing over infringing links on at least one webpage posted by their users.
  • …[government gets] unbelievable power to take down sites, threaten payment processors into stopping payment to sites on a blacklist, and throw people in jail for posting ordinary content …
  • Internet and democracy groups are planning an Internet-wide day of protest called American Censorship Day on Wednesday, November 16th for the day Congress holds a hearing on these bills to create the first American Internet censorship system. Every single person with a website can join and needs to.

Digital Digest: Internet Security And Innovation Under Threat From SOPA

  • The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) could have a drastic effect on software development, and Internet security, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warned.
    SOPA would allow the government to blacklist websites and services via the Domain Name System (DNS).
  • The EFF also warns that many Internet security tools, such as firewalls or the widely used SSH tool, come with proxy and VPN functions, and under SOPA, any of these tools could be made illegal.

More from Digital Digest: US House of Reps Introduce New Controversial Copyright Bill

  • …the new legislation gives the government broad powers to intervene in what is traditionally a civil matter, to allow domestic websites to be seized, and injunctions filed against foreign websites, at the behest of Hollywood and the music industry, the two major industries supporting the bill

ZDNet: New house of representatives bill may strangle the internet or nerf the first amendment

  • SOPA wants to give, well, pretty much anyone with a law degree the right to shut down Web sites and domains. SOPA has some nasty teeth. First, according to the EFF, it allows individual companies to force payment processors (think PayPal or VISA) to stop paying any site that might be considered to be engaging in, enabling, or facilitating any form of copyright infringement.Let’s first look at how this might impact you. What cloud-based services do you use? Gmail? Dropbox? Amazon’s music sharing service? What about eBay? What about Facebook? Or perhaps you simply host your corporate email at an Exchange hosting provider, like I do.Let’s use that last one, as an example. My hosting provider, like most, offers a free SharePoint account along with their email hosting. Let’s say one of their other customers uploads something they shouldn’t. This new legislation would allow any other private company (including my hosting provider’s competitors) to demand that payment agencies cut off payments, effectively strangling cash flow and shutting the company down.

CNet: SOPA Hollywoods latest effort to turn back time

Major thanks to BoingBoing, without whom I probably wouldn’t have seen this in time.

-Jen

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Comments

Posted by rick adkins on 21 November 2011

i wish you'd kept to your no-politics-in-SQL rule.  no matter how much I agree, I ask that you put this kind of stuff in a blog where it belongs, and leave this blog to the SQL stuff here.  

Posted by krowley on 21 November 2011

Rick,

 I disagree. Sometimes an issue is so important that it justifies putting a political statement on a non-political blog. I think this issue is one of those times.

 Hopefully the courts will repeal this on a first amendment basis even if it passes.

Posted by Jen McCown on 21 November 2011

Rick, Krowley,

Thanks for your comments!  

Rick, I understand that it can be annoying to be inundated with off-topic material in an industry-specific blog, which is why I try very hard to keep to the advertised topic of the blog. That being said, this issue has the potential to directly impact my ability to provide such content in the first place, and I stand by my decision.  (The good news is that I won't actually be knocking on your door/ringing your phone to take up your time; it's just a blog.)

Krowley, thanks for weighing in.

-Jen

Posted by Hakim Ali on 21 November 2011

I am glad you posted this, because the issue is important enough.

@rick adkins: this is not really a "political" post, because it is not as if the author is advocating for a certain political viewpoint. Rather, it is about Internet freedom, which is crucially important to all technology professionals. For instance, if SOPA goes into effect, this very website on which we exchange thoughts and get to learn so much, could be shut down if somebody accused it of re-posting copyrighted material.

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