A letter to the Congress of the United States
(I stumbled onto Demand Progress’s campaign page about SOPA/Protect-IP and found myself writing in the little input box. You should too. Anyway, this little rant is what I wrote in the box. It’s a bit whiny, a bit dreamy, a bit silly, but there’s something about it that I like. Perhaps I should write things in little boxes more often.)
I am not your constituent. I am from the Internet, the space was created as a side effect of a military research project that your congress funded. Today, the Internet is the backbone of communications, diplomacy and commerce in the world. It has liberated millions of minds from intellectual starvation and with its help millions of bodies have been liberated from physical serfdom.
What makes the Internet special is its ability to bring information to anybody, anywhere, always, regardless of political opinions and special interests. Information is apolitical, as is the Internet. However, that does not mean that the Internet is used by apolitical people and that the information they share is not meaningful to them.
What we’re facing today is a political threat to the stability of the Internet. It is akin to a declaration of war. Except that the Internet is not a developing nation, it is not a physical place which can be bombed for not complying with specific policy decisions. No. The Internet occupies the same space as you do, it permeates every action that humanity takes now. Destroying the Internet would be destroying mankind’s best ever hope for equality and justice. Destroying the Internet would be destroying the most powerful free market ever seen. It would be destroying the values upon which the United States are founded. Destroying it is suicide.
Don’t commit suicide. Don’t invade the Internet with your silly censorship law. It won’t work, but it will force the denizens of the Internet to militarize more heavily, employ sociociphernetic guerrilla tactics against those who would seek to strip us of our right to communicate. It would force us to fight you, and we don’t want to do that, because the Internet is the brainchild of America. For better or worse, we rather like you guys.
Say no to SOPA and Protect-IP. Then, if you’re up for the challenge, ask us – the Internet – how we would protect the material interests of the creative people in the world. You’ll be surprised.