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Relevance of Declaration of Independence
In America’s revolution history, the Declaration of Independence wrote by Thomas Jefferson is one of the most iconic document. For most Americans, the Declaration of Independence describes the ideal government, one that works for its people and for their liberty, equality and happiness. Although our found father wrote the Declaration of Independence hundreds of years ago, this document is still relevant today because it gives us a blueprint to protect our “Internet’s right.”
Internet is the most important invention in 20th century. There is not a better place for information and knowledge to be shared than on the World Wide Web. Internet is like supermarket of information and knowledge as it provided for everyone a fast access to practically limitless amount of data. Some people view it as a multimedia haven, some gush at the opportunities it will afford them to complete homework assignments, and for young adolescent boys it serves as a makeshift girlfriend. The Internet, and social networks by extension, is helping to spur an idea that seemed impossible a mere twenty years ago. Language barriers once prevented the average person from talking with someone in Asia or Europe, but now we have tools to communicate with someone in an entirely different language. A good example of this is Busuu.com, a site much like Facebook, where you can practice learning a language with people from different countries. The more humanity integrates over the web, the more social borders dissolve. You might remember a time when the Internet did not exist, but the younger and upcoming generations will never know what it was like to live without web service. The internet service is a must have in nowadays society. Living in this age of technology without access to Internet is like living in a house with no electric.
The most fundamental idea of the Internet is the freedom to share information. However, in recent years, the government proposes the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Internet Protocol Act) bills to further regulate the internet. The goal of these acts is to stop illegal downloading and protecting intellectual property rights, but they will do more than that. The entertainment industry wants to have the power to shut down an unauthorized site or person to protect its property. The SOPA and PIPA will introduce a vast potential for censorship and abuse on making the web less safe and frigid. Websites like Youtube and Facebook will be in the scope of these bills because these websites have huge base of users that express themselves, make arts and produce videos that have lots of copyrighted video clip and music mix in. The video of your baby that you post online will be taken down just because you have music playing in the background. Our politicians tamper with the basic idea of internet, the freedom to share information, just to make the entertainment industry happy.
Government involvement in the net is comparable to talking on the phone to your girlfriend while your parents listen in. You can say a few of the things you want, but a lot of the content will be restrained. The notion of censorship is the elimination of the individual liberties of free speech as guaranteed by the American Constitution, prohibiting the right to individual interests and denying personal accountability. The Internet has become the next main target of government regulation and statism. If humanity allows the best symbol of freedom to be interposed upon the results could be catastrophic to the future of our race. The rules and regulations of Internet censorship are oddly close on the side of oppression. Government regulation of the net is comparable to placing D.U.I. checkpoints at every corner to make sure you remember to follow the laws and never consider deviation. While any regulation law introduced to society is always proclaimed to be done for the greater good, the greater good in this scenario may actually lead to the demise of the Internet as we know it.
The government mandating Internet censorship will be the fall of democracy. We, as Americans, value freedom, especially speech, above most everything else. Our founding fathers set up our country to ensure that our right to freedom would forever be protected. Soldiers fight constantly to protect our ability to maintain freedom and not allow us to fall under the control of invading governments. Freedom of speech allows us to create our social identities. Communicating our ideas and beliefs, no matter how strong they may be, makes us unique. The Internet is one of the biggest platforms for freedom of speech and banning it as a place of free speech would cause great uproar. If the government had passed this bill it would serve as the tipping point for allowing censorship of speech in our society. While there are those who abuse the privileges of free speech on the Internet this can only lead to a dreary finish. Who is to say that the Internet is the only place where speech should be regulated? The government would then examine different places where they can implement restrictions and soon we may lose basic rights.
Internet censorship is also contributing to creativity suppression. This creativity could potentially help the human race in the form of innovative new ideas. The Internet forms parallels to the enlightenment era of the 18th century. A big advancement back then was the new coffee shops where a person could pay a penny for a cup of coffee and sit down with other fine gentlemen. This was an interesting time because now a person could be around those of higher intelligence and imbibe the discussions concerning things like the natural sciences and philosophy. This era managed to reform society using reason rather than tradition, faith, and revelation, which lead to an explosion of learning and inquiry. It is almost like these were the prototype for today’s Internet, but instead of coffeehouses of we now have sites like Khan Academy, Facebook, and YouTube to share ideas and these sites reach an audience of millions all from the comfort of their own homes. With every social and technological innovation the ease and speed of human interaction increases paving the way to greater strides in innovation and thought. If we censored the things said in these cafes who knows what kind of marvelous inventions we would be without today. I could be carving this paper into a rock right now like Fred Flintstone. Nevertheless, pro censorship lobbyist are more concerned with stopping pirating and not worried about the collateral damage all this meddling will have with the people who are actually contributing useful material. The Internet, like a blossoming flower, can truly something beautiful if we allow it to be.
In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.” This statement is still true in today society. Since the government proposes the SOPA and PIPA bills, people were angry and frustrated. The online community bands together, and organizes the largest protest in Internet history to stopped the SOPA and PIPA bills. Numerous websites began discussion, educated its users about these bills and encouraged them to contact their representatives to stop these acts. Some websites even proposed a “internet blackout” to protest against these bills. On January 18, 2012, there are more than 100,000 websites participated in the protest. Websites participated in the black out included Reddit, Craiglist, Twitter, Tumblr, and many more. These websites blackout its websites for 24 hours, and provided links for the users about the SOPA and PIPA bills. Google also participates in the protest as well. Google placed a censor bar over their Goodle doodle, and connected its users to page with information about SOPA and PIPA, and at the end of the day they got 4.5 millions of signatures on their petition. The protest was the huge success, the blackout lead to at least 18 senators withdrawing support of the bills. On January 24, which is the initial date the Congress would vote on these bills, the vote was postponed and the SOPA and PIPA bills are being stopped when people spoken loud and clear.
This protest proved that Jefferson’s statement is still relevant to this day. Internet is the wonderful tool that we used it in everyday life, sometimes we even take it for granted. The government proposes SOPA and PIPA bills to censor the Internet, these bills are the biggest threat to the Internet freedom as we know it that’s ever existed. The online community came together and successfully stopped the bills.