They tried one tactic with SOPA to fool people in thinking it was delayed until next year: http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/nfrru/sopa_has_n...
There had been many anti-Internet attempts implemented and proposed: SOPA, DMCA, PROTECT-IP, COICA, CEST, OPENA, ACTA and more.
PLEASE. Demand Internet Freedom bills in place of such bills. Protect not only current and future Internet businesses, but also the future of children's access to knowledge and ability to share (Some people think the anti-SOPA are just Internet companies).
For example, making it illegal for government or corporations to shut down domains without due process. There's more potential in the SOPA by simply re-wording it to be pro-Internet Freedom.
Bonus: It'll make such Internet Freedom bills a template for pushing Internet Freedom on other countries! Especially UK and Australia.
If they won't stop outlawing/controlling parts of the Internet, then we need to fight back in outlawing anti-Internet attempts.
The war against the Internet will continue after SOPA.
Edit: I sent a message to reddit admins again (several attempts already in past). If you know any of the reddit admins, please pass on this Internet Freedom message quickly!
2nd Edit: hueypriest acknowledges the message: "We are well aware that the fight will continue long after SOPA/PIPA, and that this is just the first battle."
I think that going down the path of having the legislative branch pass laws to protect rights that are already clearly protected by the constitution is a really bad idea. For example, having congress protect the right of peaceful assembly seems preposterous. Doing so would imply that encroaching on the right of peaceful assembly is even an option, which, in a civilized democratic society, it isn't. The internet should be no different.
As much as technies like to complain about our representatives, the reality is that they do a reasonably good job representing the overwhelming majority of the population. Most people who have families to take care of don't know or care for SOPA, and would probably support curbing piracy, hate sites, and child pornography via DNS blackouts (if they knew what DNS meant). Like it or not, they are the majority of the electorate.
The proper way to ensure that the internet remains free and open is to educate the populace. Failing that, we need to put pressure on congress on bill-by-bill basis. Failing that, it's the Supreme Court's job to declare any encroachment on our rights as unconstitutional.
We don't need to pass laws to protect rights that are already protected because it legitimizes encroachment on our rights in general and blurs the lines between different branches of government in ways they weren't meant to blurred. It's a slippery slope and a really bad road to go on.
To some extent, this is on us: the Internet, at its core, is just a bunch of computers that are all physically connected, with protocols for sending messages to each other. We should have, from the outset, made sure that as long as computers have a physical connection, sending data between them in a standardized way was solid and unbreakable, even with malicious actors. We should have been considering how to design this system so that even if a government that controls a large (say up to 50%) subset of the nodes tries, communications between certain nodes could never be blocked without degrading communications between all blocks and losing the entire functionality. Then we'd be justified in saying that bills like this would destroy the Internet, and nobody would ever even try to pass them.
Unfortunately, as thing stand, DNS is a too-easy weak-point in the infrastructure, so unsurprisingly, repressive governments target it as a way of imposing their will on the Internet. With a single point of failure, are we really surprised that governments will pick it out and exploit it? We had many other architectural options, did we perhaps choose one that was just too trusting when put up against the shitty world that we live in?
Maybe I'm just naive, perhaps I don't understand the details and subtleties and just assume that a technical solution would be easier to come up with than it really is; I'm not a crypto or networks expert, so maybe the current situation is the only viable one. I'm sure any better solution would not be simple, and I'm sure it would require a lot of research. But in any case, it doesn't exist, so we're pretty much screwed for the moment.
Issues like this make me think that dark-net plans are extremely useful, but happening far too late to matter in the real world, where everyone already follows protocols that allow for network-destroying interventions...
Yes, I could.
I'm not saying that a technological approach to this problem is best. (I prefer a political response.)
But I believe that current knowledge of computer security is sufficiently advanced that a more secure internet could be invented.
Of course, we can educate the populace. That's why I'm trying to educate the population that there are anti-Internet attempts that affect their Internet usage. That they should demand protection from anti-Internet attempts. :D
As for constitutional, the EFF and anti-SOPA groups say it violates 1st amendment. But the anti-Internet supporters counter in it's perfectly legal . I don't know about you, but I'm not going to let it pass and wait around for the supreme courts to interpret it as unconstitutional.
Until the populace understands the importance of Internet (beyond thinking it's just Facebook, etc), Internet Freedom bills will go a long way in stopping anti-Internet attempts by not only researching and discussing Internet Freedom but also preventing anti-Internet attempts.
For the anti-Internet attempts like bills, there's a lot of Door In Face  that's allowing compromises leading to more Internet control. Look at the history of the anti-Internet attempts. They are relentless, demanding a mile, and getting an inch every time as 'compromise'.
It should be the opposite for Internet Freedom bill attempts, otherwise we're continuing to slip down the anti-Internet road.
Edit: I want to also mention that for whatever reason, USA government seems to be cracking down on Internet Freedom in the world (Ref: Spain). Internet Freedom advocates in government should counter this subterfuge.
I think it is important to fight back using the same weapons as your aggressor, so anti-SOPA legislation seems like a good tactic. In a perfect world it would not be necessary, but this is an imperfect world. If someone is repeatadly beating you with a stick, ignoring your protests, after a while you have to consider picking up a stick and hitting them back.
* with the hiding of comment votes, how is one able to publically express the support of an opinion? I guess this is a special case where if someone is telling another to quieten down, it is ok to chime in...
edit: the stick analogy and toning it down
Analogy: It's like bombing a town because one house is harbouring terrorists.
Domain analogy: It's like taking down youtube.com because one channel is harbouring terrorist videos.
Govt: Even MORE reason for us to like it! Thanks alot!
I want to see open-internet bills in Congress. I want to know how to implement such a bill so that it can coexist with something like the Patriot Act.
If we are to ever progress beyond 20th century retoric, "the internet" needs to grab the narrative, rewire culture, and make laws to its own advantage. If it is really such a powerful social force (as I believe it is) this should be possible.
My god.. the productive output of Silicon Valley is going to triple on the 18th!
When Reddit goes down there are going to be news stories about it and these will raise awareness about the issue to people who aren't Reddit users. If HN or any other sites join in then they will most likely be mentioned in these articles and to the casual reader this will only make the message stronger even if they aren't familiar with the actual sites. In addition, HN has a huge audience of people who are in a position to blackout their own sites. If HN were to join in then I think that this could be influential in making these people consider more seriously whether they should follow suit which will only further the reach of these actions. At the very least, HN being down could serve as a good reminder that opposing SOPA isn't enough by itself and that if we really care about this then we should be contacting representatives or doing something else that could have even a small impact.
For these reasons, I would also be in favor of HN joining in support.
The point of the blackouts should be to make people uncomfortable and inconvenienced enough that it sticks. It's not just to educate, it's to motivate.
Personally I'll be blacking out my productivity as a show of solidarity.
All joking aside, I actually think it would be difficult to maintain the rhythm, if you know what I mean, without my favorite social news site on one monitor. On the other hand, it might give the browser's refresh button a much needed break...
That being said, anything helps, and this is the sort of issue where action trumps inaction.
I started typing up a post similar to yours until I stopped to think about it. I think that there is more to this than just awareness. Reddit going down for a day, not only makes those few aware who were not already, but it stands to motivate those that were aware and had not yet taken action. Another big point for me is that Reddit taking the first step may motivate other web companies to follow suit. In that respect, I definitely support HN participating.
I don't think this is true. Reddit now reaches a very large and wide non techie audience. I have no data, but I'd guess more than half of redditors haven't heard of SOPA.
Besides /r/sopa, there have been top-voted posts in:
/r/technology (625k subs)
/r/politics (>1M subs)
/r/funny (>1M subs)
/r/android (100k subs)
/r/games (50k subs)
/r/gaming (>1M subs)
/r/pics (1.25M subs)
/r/wtf (900k subs)
/r/trees (170k subs)
I'd be very surprised to find many redditors who haven't heard of it by this point.
Nobody clicks every link, there are plenty of things I see on the front page of sub-reddits, or HN, that I read the title and don't click. So, how many users have seen SOPA stories and thought "that doesn't interest me"? My guess is quite a lot.
I would be fully in favor of an HN blackout and call to action. The tech industry is finally starting to have enough de-facto power to have short-notice, mass-action grassroots political sway, and ought to begin practicing the art as soon as possible - the damage and danger to industries in the old economy is growing exponentially, in hand with startups' user bases
They're starting in earnest to fight for their survival. Are you planning to fight back?
In many ways blacking out HN is preaching to the choir. On the one hand it's a symbolic gesture which won't do much to raise awareness among HN visitors; on the other hand, such a move adds one more name to the list of protesting sites and has value in that respect.
It has the double benefit of wide front-page exposure along with not requiring a complete break from Google's traditional UX.
I know, for instance, that my mom would be seriously flipping out if Facebook were blacked out for her. If they asked her to make a call to get through, she would call immediately and yell at the people for making Facebook not work. This would happen millions upon millions of times over, which is why people want major sites like Facebook to participate.
I find it both scary and intriguing that a small handful of companies could have such a significant effect on the legislative process merely by presenting something in a negative light to their users, and requiring some action to affirm that viewpoint before allowing the user to access the service.
Taking Facebook down completely seems extremely counter-productive for everyone. Just a button that says "I called, let me through" should be good enough, there would be plenty of people who have an aversion to clicking through that without actually placing the call, and then Facebook (and its dependents, Zynga et al) doesn't lose 12-24 solid hours of ad revenue.
I strongly agree that if Google "blacks out" anything, they should restrict it to search only. Email and other essential services must remain accessible.
Reddit isn't as large as Google, but they also have millions of daily users and depend on their site traffic for their income.
The "fiduciary duty" to shareholders seems pretty far fetched and could be argued the other way as well. Enforcing SOPA will be a heavy financial burden and negatively impact future performance, therefore not using every means necessary to block SOPA is also a breach of "fiduciary duty".
edit: could who ever down voted post a counter argument? Do you have some reason to believe that SOPA proponents would not make that argument?
And anyone who's heard of SOPA already except a industry/congressman is probably against SOPA, and anyone who hasn't heard of SOPA aside from the Google blackout would be unlikely to hear the suspect Google motive news.
Con: People who are already Pro-SOPA have one little complaint to add to their little list
Pro: The entire internet population becomes aware of SOPA and realizes that sh*t is real.
I didn't vote you down, but here's your counter argument.
1. Suggesting that blacking out google would not be effective is naive. It would be very effective.
2. While it would be straightforward for to make an argument that mp3.com, grooveshark, and piratebay.org have suspect motives - I don't think the majority of people think "Piracy" when they think "Google" - they think "Search."
They want it to pass without being noticed because they can't sugar-coat this one for the American public.
Sites should only go completely dark for those users who appear to be geographically inside the district of SOPA-supporting legislators. "Your legislator wants an censorship-without-trial kill-switch for internet sites, so we're on strike against your district today."
The people who get, 'attaboys' for having better local legislators can still be directed to the nearest (or most vulnerable) problem legislators, or fundraising campaigns.
I suspect the 'sting' of being in a bad district could motivate more emotion and action than just a blanket blackout. When people call their friends/relatives in other districts and find who does and doesn't have access, there could be more buzz.
A worldwide blackout just annoys people overseas with silly American parochialism. A nationwide blackout educates, somewhat, but also could be seen as a sort of 'snow day', "ah, well, let's wait it out."
Differential punishment serves to both agitate the relevant voters more – "why are we unable to access reddit when Suzy in Oregon can?" – and focus the emotion against specific actionable targets.
Let's create 'freedom.txt' files in the root of our servers. A simple text-file stating why the owner of the site (YOU!) opposes internet censorship.
It's a simple & geeky way to make a statement. You can do it right now and it should make it a bit easier to exactly count how many people oppose this bullshit.
Here's an example I wrote a week ago but kinda neglected promoting until now: http://fr.anc.is/2012/01/01/freedom.txt/
I don't want to make this, but I'd add it to my sites if it was designed well. :)
If wikipedia was able to raise $20M in donations, an anti-sopa fund raised for lobbying could be quite effective, but then congress members would look utterly corrupt.
You're judging me.
>> is willing to say so out loud.
Now you're passively aggressively insulting me.
Even if you agree with the underlying goal of SOPA (protecting rights holders), the bill is horribly written and grants far too much power to copyright holders without any transparency. So in what sense are you on the fence? You agree with the underlying goal, but not the execution?
Think of this as an opportunity to come up with a contingency plan for your group collaboration :)
Are you a Reddit Enterprise(tm) customer?
The chance that politicians would try something like SOPA/PIPA anytime soon, if all major sites go dark in that day, is much smaller. Showing an interstitial could be a form of protest against anything. Going dark is clearly a form of protest against censorship. And I don't think any politician will want to be associated with that in the future.
That way, the users will still be able to coordinate their actions. If not, you are giving SOPA supporters a big help, by generating chaos between the ones who opposes the bill.
It could be seen as equivalent to strikes in essential service industries like transportation. Such strikes are semi-regulated and governments can and have ordered strikers back on the job to maintain public order. I see this possibility as a potentially major unintended consequence of putting Facebook "on strike".
OpenDNS says they may to move the to the Cayman islands: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act#Negative...
I suppose the whole point in doing the blackout would be to draw attention to people who haven't realized there is problem.
Or what about a military action against Iran -- surely millions death from radiation poising would be bad, even if they aren't US citizens?
Or what about the Iraq war? Reddit was around then.