|SOPA Protester Nadine Wolf in NYC|
NYT Photo by Michael Appleton
For background, see my post (below, Fighting for the Future of the Internet), which in a slimmer version The Tennessean used as an op-ed.
One thing we can say: The people en masse and the smart people who know and use the Internet totally throttled Congress corruption in the form of tech-clueless senators and representatives and their greedy, screw-everybody-but-me corporate sponsors. The movie industry, which had a fit years ago that the VHS recorder was going to ravage their business, and the recording industry were the big-money players behind these bills.
New media 1, old media 0.
For delicious details about the blackout and the power of the Internet and its users, including 4.5 million who signed a petition at Google, check out the links below. Then, sober up with my interjection at the end of the links.
POLITICIANS WITHER AFTER WEB POWER PLAY:http://www.savetheinternet.com/blog/12/01/19/web-blacks-out-senators-defect-update
HOUSE AND SENATE LEADERS WITHDRAW THEIR BILLS:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71720.html
"ANONYMOUS" CALLS FOR STREET PROTESTS AND SHUTDOWN OF GOVERNMENT:http://www.truth-out.org/blackout-strike-anonymous-calls-street-protests/1326918870
SOPA PROTEST RATTLES CONGRESS:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71618.html
THE DAY THE INTERNET WENT DARK:http://gigaom.com/2012/01/18/sopa-pipa-protest-gallery/
4.5 MILLION SIGNED GOOGLE PETITION AGAINST SOPA, PIPA:http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2012/01/google-anti-sopa-petition.html
SOBERING NOTE TO END ON: While this blackout and orchestrated play by the Web movers and shakers was a resounding triumph, a slam dunk in your face, this was but a temporary win in a series of battles for control of the Internet.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, for instance, is another corporate puppet who will dance to any tune her campaign contributors sing. She has sponsored bills to wrest oversight of the Internet from the Federal Communications Commission, whose role is watchdog for the greater public interest, and hand over the Internet---lock, stock and barrel and free of charge--to the giant Internet Service Providers (and her donors) ATT, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon. The ISP cartel will carve up the Internet to maximize their profits, and the public be damned.
Let's not forget where the Internet came from: It was developed by the U.S. government and thus paid for by U.S. taxpayers. We are not giving it up.