By now you have probably noticed that the Internet is abuzz with a protest against SOPA. I’ve read some of the news coverage and it does a shockingly poor job of explaining the objection.

SOPA stands for “Stop Online Piracy Act.” It has a related piece of legislation, PIPA, the “Protect Intellectual Property Act,” that does essentially the same thing.

The titles of the bills don’t describe what they would do. They describe the pretext for what the bills will really do:

  1. grant sweeping new powers to the U.S. government to censor the Internet
  2. grant Big Media the power to automatically shut down Web sites they don’t like, without having to present firm evidence to a court

Simply put, these laws have no place in a society that values freedom of speech.

For more information, I would encourage you to visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They have a one-page summary that is worth your time to read.