Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why all Christians should support SOPA

SOPA is the new anti-piracy bill currently being debated by congress. Liberal groups are up in arms over the bill, doing their best to oppose it. Despite extensive protest from internet service providers, pornographers and advocated of "alliterative" moral structures divorced from Biblical standards, the bill marches on. Many people ask "Why?" The answer is simple, because SOPA is good for America. Here's a quick summary of why:

SOPA returns the Internet to US control.

Originally created for use by the US military, the Internet has become a free-for all, where anyone who can rent server space anywhere in the world can host political propaganda, child pornography, videos advocating genocide and Islamic Jihad. SOPA reasserts US control over a fair hunk of the Internet. If your web site's URL is registered with a US organization or the IP address is provided by ARIN, SOPA reclaims US authority over piracy using your site and domain. In practice this means the USA can save all .COM, .NET and .ORG domains from the current wild west mentality of "anything goes" It also means all servers hosted in the USA, Canada and most Caribbean nations can be bought under US control.

SOPA cuts off the money stream for pirates.

For web site operators the main motive for pirating software, music and movies is advertising revenue. SOPA lets the US government cut off that revenue, removing the finical motive for the people profiting from piracy.

SOPA makes theft a crime again.

Under current US law, stealing movies, music and software is a civil problem. It's not considered "theft" even though that's exactly what it is. SOPA applies criminal penalties to the criminal act of stealing. In so doing it closes a MASSIVE loophole in US law.

SOPA will make web sites do more to police users.

Under current US law, web sites are protected from prosecution over comments or content posted by users. In practice this means Facebook is immune when people use it to swap stolen music. Thousands of Internet forums dedicated exclusively to trading pirated material are immune so long as all the piracy is coming from the users. SOPA will close this loophole, requiring web sites to actually moderate the content they host and delete illegal material. This will have the added bonus of moving more policing to the private sector, requiring fewer government and law enforcement resources to monitor the Internet.

SOPA lets the US finally censor the Internet.

If you don't play by US rules, your web site will be blocked. Most of the Internet's major data trunks go through the USA. People visiting a European web site from South America will be relying on cables and servers in the USA for part of the communication. SOPA will let the USA block not just the traffic TO US users, but traffic going THROUGH the USA to other countries. Offending sites will be blocked not just in the USA, but in South America. This means South American web sites can be blocked from being seen by the rest of the world, even if they're not using a .COM, .NET or .ORG domain name. 

For the moment this censorship is limited to piracy, but SOPA leaves the door open for FCC style administration of the Internet. It creates a central reporting agency with broad latitude in blocking offensive and illegal traffic. Pornography sites will be among the first to go, as most of them rely heavily upon at least some pirated content. Taking them down will be the thin edge of the wedge that will eventually let the USA have near complete control over what is and is not allowed on the Internet.

Venezuela will cease to exist outside of South America.

SOPA will let the USA effectively cut Venezuela off, restricting it's Internet connectivity to other South American nations. Because of the heavy use of the Internet in passing voice traffic this means Venezuela will be unable to communicate with any nation outside of South America by any means beyond physical mail. Not even cell phones would provide a loophole, as that traffic all goes through telecommunications organizations in the USA. How long will the Communist regime in Venezuela survive with it's ability to communicate with, and thus do business with, nations outside of South America severed?

In summary, SOPA takes the immoral morass of the Internet, and places a large hunk of it under the control of a Christian nation founded on Biblical principals. A good deal of the deviant influences attacking the USA today are based on foreign sources, and blocking them will further aid in rebuilding the moral foundation of the United States of america.

SOPA is good for business and good for the people. It's a win-win bill, unless of course, you're a criminal.


Anonymous said...

Actually, you're wrong. I'm a Christian too but just about all of your reasoning is wrong. SOPA will kill innovation, which is the lifeblood of this country. The type of people that are responsible for all the amazing technology that we have today would either be too scared to risk infringement or have to spend most of their resources on lawyers instead of spending energy creatively thinking.

Furthermore, censorship of the internet is not a "biblical" way to act. Are Christians also supposed to oppose the First Amendment? Not censoring something is not the same thing as condoning bad behavior. We are not the judges of society, God is (see Matthew 7:5 and for a whole host of other passages).

I understand the desire to support things you think will help make society "better", but this a totally the wrong way to go about it and has very dire future implications. I would not be in favor of anything giving the government so much control over our lives. Once government has the power, do you think it will only use it in the way YOU think is best? Do you think it will ever want to give up that power?

Anonymous said...

And by the way, copyright infringement is NOT theft. This tiresome argument is void of any logic. Theft implies the loss of an object. If you make a copy of something, but the original owner still has that something, it cannot be considered theft. And since copyright law can be considered ambiguous at best there is no way that you can equate the two (theft and copyright infringement). I'm not saying that pirating movies is OK, and there could certainly be some financial harm done in the process, but we don't need to muddy the waters by trying to redefine things in ways that simply don't make logical sense. The reality is that copyright issues touch things far outside of basic piracy and is not always very easy to determine. The reality is also that, even under our current system, civil penalties for copyright infringement often are far worse than the criminal penalties for actual theft. So there is absolutely no need to make things even more complicated in ways that will undoubtedly lead to criminal penalties for people who had no intention whatsoever of doing any wrong at all.

Please use restraint and try not to get carried away with what could easily be construed as a modern day witch hunt.

Anonymous said...

So you support having fewer rights and want to limit free speech? Not very American of you.

Anonymous said...

I am a conservative Christian as well.

Is this a joke blog?

WOW! This is Christian entirely! If you support censorship of the Internet by the government, and the government is becoming more Atheistic, then how do you expect Christian media will fare on the net?

Also, the Internet was not created for the military, that was ARPAnet. While the internet spawned from it, the military essentially has its own networks. That logic is flawed.

Who are you to say what other countries can view? How do you have any right as a Christian or an American to force the folks in Europe view or not view certain content.

Theft is already a crime, have you not seen the fines people have payed for pirating music? Seems like it is still a crime to me.

If we cut off Venezuela, what happens if there is a revolution there? We won't be able to support it because we won't know it's occurring because you would have us cut off communications to the country. I hope you noticed that the revolutions in Iran, the rest of Arabia and other places had more support because they used the freedom of the Internet to their advantage.

As for the moral foundation of America, its opinions like yours that drive folks from Christianity. Why would anyone want to be Christian that sees this attitude of censorship and narrow-mindedness. Pornography is very wrong, but that doesn't mean the rest of the net should suffer because you have a personal crusade against porn. You have to educate people that it is wrong, not censor the Internet. That is enlivenment to saying that we must censor the entire radio because some stations play suggestive music. That is a burden to all the good stations, including the Christian ones, as well. That will get you nowhere. Waste of time and resources that will not "re-build the moral foundation of America."

Who's to say I can't post my own content on YouTube or the like? With SOPA, I can't post my own creations, my own songs that I made, my own art. Why? Because SOPA considers this pirate activity.

I am a conservative and am against SOPA legislation.

I would be honored to see your response in future comments.


Leif Coleman said...

This won't help stop piracy. Do you remember that point in time called the "Prohibition Era"? It was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol. Ironically, the Prohibition only made things worse. WORSE!

If this passes, I bet the same thing will happen, except the internet will just be a lot less fun (and by fun I mean less to no videos to be enjoyed by others on YouTube, no fan-comics, no fan-art or movies/shows/pop culture, et cetera).

So while all the good things will be gone, piracy will still exist.

Also, why do you hate freedom? I thought us conservatives were towards freedom and less government restrictions?

Anonymous said...

Why is this titled "Why all Christians should support SOPA". Do you think that Muslims should not support it? Should Mormons indeed encourage their members to partake of bittorrent downloads?

You do of course realise that if the government could and would shut down sites that were deemed offensive this would be next on the list after everything owned by Paul Little that remains online.

Cornswalled Is A Moron said...

"the Internet has become a free-for all, where anyone who can rent server space anywhere in the world can host political propaganda"

I'll be sending you a bill as you just broke my irony meter.

Cornswalled Is A Moron said...

In summary, SOPA takes the immoral morass of the Internet, and places a large hunk of it under the control of a Christian nation founded on Biblical principals.

Which nation? Surely you don't mean the US, Alexander.

This is so laughable it's becoming less and less funny. You truly are a stupid man with no concept of reality, aren't you?


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I am not brainwashed. This is the true word of Santa. Fair warning. Join the cult of Santa today!!!

Anonymous said...

This seems reminiscent your rants against Firefox and support of Internet Explorer.

How's that working out for you by the way.

Anonymous said...

Blocking piracy is not censorship, any more than stopping people from selling stolen goods is censorship. Copyright encourages innovation - go and make your own. I'm sick of hearing little pirates repeat the same old boring stuff.

God said not to steal. Piracy is theft and lots of people make a lot of money from piracy. The internet is a god-given blessing we can use to spread The Word Of God and we need to drive the money changers from the Temple.

Anonymous said...

While not saying that online piracy is a good thing the consequences of what is known as piracy today outweigh the consequences of not having it.

Consider this. Places where the internet is scarce it's in the street instead. Alan Ellis, prosecuted for copyright infringement (and acquitted) for running a torrent site - 20 something IT consultant.

People selling bootlegged CDs/DVDs on the street - directly tied to and helping to fund highly organised criminal activity.

Shut something down, it only breeds harder and faster underground. Keep it where it's monitored and controllable and though it's not an ideal situation it's far better than the consequence. Didn't the US learn anything from prohibition?

Question: If the internet is god given why did we have to dick around with that crap about papyrus, pony express, fuck it - FAXES, I mean christ, wouldn't it have made better sense for Moses to have come down from Mount Sinai with a USB memory stick or something. What the hells up with all those flaming bushes and visions? Couldn't he have skipped all that crap and gone straight to the AOL CD distribution campaign?

Anonymous said...

Sir, they may mean well, but the reality is that the words of the bill are so ambiguous that anyone could abuse it. People like the Nostalgia Critic, Little Kuriboh, Team Fourstar, and other people who maybe just put the lyrics to a song on youtube could get sued for millions of dollars. Where is the freedom in that?

Anonymous said...

No. Just, no...
You clearly don't understand a thing about SOPA...

Frank said...

Venezuela doesn't require the internet to exist.

PS Since you don't appear to defend anything you say I'm pretty sure that this whole blog is just a front for extreme rightwing ideology.

Alexander Cornswalled you are no more a christian than Hitler was a communist.

Anonymous said...

SOPA isn't even really about stopping piracy - it's actually about eviscerating the first amendment online. The piracy part is just an excuse to try to pretend like this medieval, draconean bill is somehow necessary. When in fact among the strongest supporters of this bill are the very same companies who created this problem in the first place (with sites such as CNet which helped to widely distribute such tools as LimeWire, Kazaa, Morpheus, Grokster, all varieties of BitTorrent clients, etc, and showed people how to use them; all the while CNet being owned by CBS-Viacom)

Meanwhile, Mr. Cornswallowed seems to have an overly inflated idea of just how important the U.S. is with regards to the global internet. Even if the U.S. was to physically cut itself off from the rest of the internet, the rest of the world would easily adapt. It would suck for foreign users who wanted to access U.S. sites, and probably suck even more for U.S. users wanting to access foreign sites. But if Cornswallowed thinks that there is any way that the U.S. could somehow prevent a user in Australia from accessing a website in Sweden (as an example), he is sorely mistaken. (Furthermore SOPA wouldn't even prevent the connection from going through US network infrastructure, as SOPA would work by supposedly preventing someone from finding a site; once you already know its IP address blocking its domain name does nothing to prevent you from accessing it.

But most disturbing is that SOPA would allow someone to blast a site that they didn't like straight off of the internet (or more accurately into the internet hinterlands where it could no longer be easily found) simply by filing a SOPA complaint; no due process whatsoever would be required in order for the site to be made inaccessible.

Of course, Mr. Cornswallowed openly admits his support for using it as a tool for such overt censorship. (presumably because he arrogantly believes that only ideas that he happens to agree with should be allowed to exist).

Mike Francis said...

You know, the law that is used to censor your enemies today can be used to censor your friends tomorrow. You wouldn't hail SOPA if it were used to shut you down.

But thanks for showing that what's best for Christians is not best for Americans.

Anonymous said...

All Christians should support SOPA because it will let the US control the internet?

So, when did Jesus say "America is the most importantest country in the world"?

Anonymous said...

Your entire post made me throw up in my mouth. I can't believe how utterly stupid and ignorant your blog post is.

Anonymous said...

You are aware that a business lets say dstoreted view LTD can claim that your impeding on Mr hensons IP and it will be shut down and you will spend days fixing the false claim. Large companies will be able to stifle innovation just to force the small business in to bankruptcy with lawyer bills. is that a christian act?

Anonymous said...

If not for the internet {world Wide Web), the gospel could not have been preached throughout the whole world.
On that note let me remind you that true prophecy will be fulfilled no matter who it is that thinks, says, or what they do.

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