Awesome and funny and meaningful!
Wikipedia and other popular online services are opposing and protesting against SOPA and PIPA, therefore these services might go dark (i.e., turning off their services) today. In case you can’t use these online services today, you should think about using Google’s Public DNS or OpenDNS since these third party DNS services might have route their DNS through servers that locate outside of the United States of America, consequently allowing you to access these online services just fine even though you live within the United States of America. For your information, I’m able to access Wikipedia’s English website just now, and this means my using of popular third party DNS services such as Google Public DNS and OpenDNS has allowed me to access these popular services just fine.
The blackout of these popular online services has exposed the useless effort of trying to block websites at DNS level. As you can see, by using third party DNS servers, people can access the blackout websites just fine. It’s rather pointless, and it might encourage people who have no idea of DNS to use the wrong third party DNS servers that may get them in situations where they can be infected with computer viruses, malware, and so on. Don’t think so? What if those third party DNS servers are intending to redirect targeted victims to the phishing websites where people will enter their confidential information such as banking credentials? I think you know where I’m heading, and so I hope you know how important it’s for us to make sure the integrity of DNS structure within the United States of America stays innocent and harmless (i.e., does not discriminate against specific types of web traffics), otherwise people might find themselves to be victimized by computer viruses, identity theft, and more just because they try to use unknown, unpopular third party DNS services’ servers.
Even worse, I don’t think Google Public DNS and Open DNS services will be fine and dandy when SOPA and PIPA become law! Why? If you read Yahoo article’s Why SOPA is Dangerous, it explains that any service enables/allows people to access copyright infringed materials would be subjected to SOPA and PIPA regulations. This means Google Public DNS and Open DNS services might have to be shut down since these popular third party DNS servers are clearly within the United States’ jurisdiction and allowing people to access all contents (i.e., even copyright infringed contents). Since well known third party DNS servers such as the ones that belong to Google Public DNS do not have the ability to screen every web traffic (i.e., simply not cost effective), third party DNS servers simply cannot function under SOPA and PIPA. Without having access to popular third party DNS servers, people might just have to rely on malicious third party DNS servers that locate outside of the United States. I’m going in a loop in explaining to you over and over again on purpose, because I think SOPA and PIPA are just downright dangerous!
Some of you might argue that since the founders of SOPA and PIPA had taken out the specific bits that allow to block web traffics at DNS level, therefore we might not need to worry about SOPA and PIPA anymore. I think you’re wrong! Why? Other bits within SOPA and PIPA are still gunning for shutting down websites and online services that are just simply enabling users to access infringed copyright contents. Knowing these bits are still within SOPA and PIPA, it’s simply making sense that DNS servers that are being targeted or will be targeted by Attorney General (i.e., as how it is explained by Yahoo’s article Why SOPA is Dangerous) will have to be shut down still. So, how can we be sure that Google Public DNS and OpenDNS will be in service in our near future? I think we simply just don’t know! So, the idea that DNS structure as a whole isn’t going to be regulated by SOPA and PIPA is an irony. When SOPA and PIPA become law, the Attorney General might still have the power to shut down specific DNS servers within the United States, because the languages within SOPA and PIPA are just too broad.
When I say DNS servers get shutdown, it might mean certain affected websites might not be accessible within the United States. It’s all depending on how the Attorney General wants to make things happen under the contexts of SOPA and PIPA. For all we know, the Attorney General can just shut down the DNS servers that allow Internet users within the United States to access certain copyright infringed websites. When DNS servers get shutdown, not only infringed copyright websites but all websites that are relying on the same out of service DNS servers will be unreachable. To put this in another way, it doesn’t matter which website, because all websites and online services accept all web traffics, and Internet users who rely on out of service DNS servers might have to rely on malicious third party DNS servers. In the case where specific websites are being blocked by DNS servers and not the DNS servers are being shutdown, Internet users can still access such websites with relying on malicious third party DNS servers. Of course, not all third party DNS servers are malicious, but I think the probability of having people who don’t know much about DNS using malicious third party DNS servers is high! End rant!
Protect IP (PIPA) and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) might have gain more attentions recently since the White House had declared a subtle stance against the two acts, but most likely the majority people who use the Internet everyday might still have not yet heard of PIPA and SOPA. In addition to the statement above, many people argue the White House actually did not really declare a real stance against PIPA and SOPA, but the White House has rather warned the lawmakers to watch out by not write PIPA and SOPA in ways that can hurt businesses and innovations that are really depending on the vibrance of the Internet. Since PIPA and SOPA are so dangerous in regarding to having the potentials to destroy the Internet as we know it, I think people need to have a clear understanding of why PIPA and SOPA need to be stopped at all cost. Luckily, I’ve found a very good video on YouTube which explains why the Internet doesn’t need PIPA and SOPA to be awesome! If you haven’t yet heard or know of PIPA and SOPA, please check out the video right after the break!
WordPress is a gigantic free blog service which allows roughly around 60 millions of people to blog freely. According to TheNextWeb.com, WordPress has announced that it is against SOPA and PIPA. WordPress even encourages its members to take actions against SOPA. Perhaps, by that WordPress means its members should contact local representatives and state senators? I don’t know much about PIPA, but I’d written extensively on how I’m against SOPA in previous blog posts of mine. Anyhow, WordPress is truly huge, and with WordPress encourages its users to make a stance against SOPA, we can somewhat feel the movement against SOPA keeps on growing stronger.
Reddit is another popular web service which declares that they will shut down their web service for 12 hours just to protest against SOPA. The Reddit website will go dark on January 18 from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. For your information, Reddit allows people to collectively and socially discuss, submit, and vote on headlines that they feel most important to them.
Some people suggest that to make SOPA truly dead, Google and Facebook must too support Reddit by going dark and placing links on members’ profiles to encourage members to contact their local representatives and state senators to protest against SOPA. I think these people are making sense, because Google and Facebook are so popular that the protests from these two companies might create a real backlash against SOPA, putting a stop to SOPA effectively. Obviously, Google and Facebook might lose a lot of money by just shutting down their websites for 12 hours.
I hope more people will speak up against SOPA! WordPress users who support to put a stop to SOPA should write blogs to inform their blog readers why SOPA is downright ugly for the Internet. You might not know, but EssayBoard is using WordPress, and now is even more proud of WordPress since WordPress has made a stance against SOPA. WordPress is awesome! For your information, besides providing free blog service, WordPress also provides free blogging software which you can download and install onto your web servers freely.
I’ve a feeling that when SOPA becomes law, it encourages not only the United States but many other countries to eventually form each own national Intranet. Consequently, the Internet that we know so well at this point in time will cease to exist. Say what?
Wait, let me backtrack a bit to clarify something so you can see where I’m going with this. So, how come SOPA will encourage the United States and other countries to form each own national Intranet? SOPA is a bill which disrespects the vibrance of the Internet. It encourages the breaking up of the Internet since it implies the United States would easily overlook mistakes on shutting down websites of the world by doing it fast and effective at the DNS level. Nonetheless, we know that even though United Sates can shut down websites of the world through DNS under SOPA, the websites that are being targeted by SOPA can still easily adopt DNS servers outside of the United States and effectively avoid SOPA effect altogether. Instead of solving problems of piracy, SOPA encourages nations of the world to form their own SOPA. By forming their own SOPA, each nation of the world will be able to disrupt foreign websites that are doing business within their nation. As SOPA leads the way to disrespect the vibrance of the Internet, I think more rules and regulations might follow and lead to a point where each nation of the world will have their own national Intranet.
The day the Internet ceases to exist is when more countries begin to form their own national Intranets. When the Internet ceases to exist, each nation with their own Intranet can be more effective in regulating, tracking, filtering, firewall-ing, and managing the networks within a nation. What Intranet does is to prevent people from being able to surf for information, knowledge, educational materials, shopping online, and communicating with others from foreign countries other than the nation itself. E-commerce of today would cease to be the same. Intranet would only encourage the exchanges of businesses and consumers within a nation only (i.e., preventing the exchanges of businesses and consumers outside the Intranet), because it will not be effective in firewall-ing people if it cannot prevent people from surfing for whatever that are beyond the scope of the Intranet. I think it’s critical for SOPA to be stopped at all cost, or else the vibrance of the Internet would wither away starting with SOPA passes as law.
What worse is that only the innocent computer users might be affected by a national Intranet. Technological savvy users might be able to use alternative technology or hack the national Intranet so they can circumvent the restrictions of a national Intranet. This might prove the point that an Intranet is anti-business, anti-consumer, anti-innovation, and anti-knowledge-exchange (i.e., educational materials to be limitedly shared only within a nation, consequently preventing the people of the world to exchange educational materials with each other.) I do feel the openness of the Internet must be protected at all cost, or else the vibrance of the Internet would cease to exist and might be too hard to be revived by then!
HowStuffWorks pointed out that the Internet became a reality was due to space race. It was the Russians who launched Sputnik into space which prompted the Americans to form Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1958. ARPA was then formed ARPANET. HowStuffWorks claimed without ARPANET, the Internet wouldn’t look and behave as how it’s today. If the facts are true as how HowStuffWorks described in its article How did the Internet start? — we can somewhat come to a conclusion that the Internet was intentionally wired the way it had been wired. This knowledge gives rise to some of us today that we could have also wired the Internet differently if we wanted to, right? Perhaps, we might never know if the wiring of the Internet was different would be a bad thing, or it might be something even better than what we have now (i.e., today Internet).
Recently, SOPA creates worries for geeks and technical folks out there. They fear the current Internet might become something much worse if SOPA gets pass soon. SOPA was a reason why I’d mentioned in my other SOPA articles that smart and technical knowhow folks might create their own Internets if they so wish to not be affected by a post SOPA Internet era. Today, I stumbled onto the article Hackers Said to be Planning to Launch Own Satellites to Combat Censorship, and I wasn’t surprised to see somebody else was already had a plan for the idea of creating a new Internet. Since we know Internet was started by a satellite, therefore these hackers might be on the right track. Perhaps, these hackers might even come up with new ways to create newer version of Internets without requiring of satellites. You never know! It does feel like once a hornet nest is poked, there isn’t a going back.
I sure hope the folks who support SOPA by now know that besides the integrity of the Internet structures, there is also the belief in the spirit of the Internet. The spirit of the Internet is embodied by countless Internet users, and the majority of them believe the Internet should not be a draconian reality (relatively speaking a reality of a digital world of course). Of course, it’s understandable stealing is bad. So, I’m not arguing that downloading contents without permissions is bad, but I’m arguing that the approach to stomp out piracy should not be draconic and vague. When a blanket approach such as SOPA is to be passed as a way to stop online piracy, it isn’t requiring a rocket scientist to figure out that any party with more money, influences, and power might be able to force another party to go out of business even though such a party might not violate the rules and regulations that govern by SOPA.
I think if the governments of the world are naively rolling out more vague/blanket rules and regulations to regulate the current Internet, they might find themselves not only have to regulate one Internet but many more Internets. Also, they might have to find new rules and regulations to explain to their dear citizens why they have to even create new rules and regulations to regulate the particular Internets. Will they come out a law that ban people from forming their own Internets? I wonder how people will react to such a law. I’m also curious, if there are more than one Internets, would it be a bad thing or a good thing for e-commerce?