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Internet Blackout: SOPA and PIPA

Joining the ranks of such Internet giants as Google and Reddit, Wikipedia announced that it, too, is strongly opposed to the highly-contested SOPA and PIPA acts that recently went before the House of Representatives. Along with other high profile organizations, Wikipedia showed its opposition by blacking out its English site on January 18, providing information on the two bills on its main page instead.

While SOPA and PIPA may be well intentioned, they would do more harm to honest users than those who infringe on copyrights, and effectively put control of the Internet into the hands of corporations. Handing over control to corporations inevitably means the content we see would be heavily filtered, turning the idea of free speech into a myth much like the age of dinosaurs – we know it used to exist, but all traces have been erased.

As things are heating up on the Internet front, educated information technology specialists are leading the way toward new technologies and concepts to combat the increasing number of challenges online businesses face today.

Information technology is the first line of defense against piracy and other unwanted intrusions, and with these hot button issues filling up the headlines, now is an excellent time to pursue an online information technology degree.

This country does not need more government regulations, especially those that serve the special interests of corporations whose sole purpose is padding the bottom line. It may be that one possible solution is to provide an Internet that is self-policing, without the intervention of a federal regulatory system.

The trouble with a self-policing Internet is deciding what to police. Copyright laws are intended to protect intellectual property, but a large number of users who watch movies or listen to music are probably not overly concerned with whose profit margins are being served, which means policing copyright infringement is going to be a difficult task, if not impossible.

While there is not a clear solution to the problem of Internet piracy, perhaps advances in technology, both online and offline, will one day give us the key to protecting copyrights and most importantly, human rights.

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