We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

— John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

Stop Online Piracy Act (2012)

I remember SOPA vividly! I was in high school, and I swear, this bill ignited millennials, such as myself, since it threatened to censor the internet!

…expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to combat online copyright infringement and online trafficking in counterfeit goods. Provisions included the requesting of court orders to bar advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with infringing websites, and web search engines from linking to the websites, and court orders requiring Internet service providers to block access to the websites.

— Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Wikipedia

User-Generated Content & Other Similarities

SOPA had the potential of affecting online freedom of speech, websites, and Internet communities. Protesters also argued that there were insufficient safeguards in place to protect sites based upon user-generated content.

Gee! Sounds a bit similar to FOSTA, right?

#SOPAblackout 

I’ll never forgot the online protests that Google, Wikipedia, Erowid, Craigslist, etc. orchestrated to display the insidious nature of SOPA.

All images courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation.

On January 18, 2012, These companies either went completely dark or censored their websites to inform the public to speak out against SOPA becoming law.

Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA)

A major supported of the bill was the MPAA, yet they called for the protests to end because people relied on these sites for information.

So, if we rely on these websites for information, then why are you (MPAA) supporting a bill that could potentiality shut them down without warning?

Think about it, MPAA.

Congress Censors the Internet

Six years later on March 21, 2018, the Senate passed Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) with a 97-2 vote.

Today was a dark day for the Internet.

— Elliot Harmon, How Congress Censored the Internet
 Pro-FOSTA group, World Without Exploitation, advocating support of FOSTA.    False Allure of Sex Work

Pro-FOSTA group, World Without Exploitation, advocating support of FOSTA. False Allure of Sex Work

Freedom of speech & internet communities dedicated to helping sex workers were now under attack.

FOSTA CENSORSHIP

Early spring 2018, FOSTA quickly created a domino effect for online sex workers. CityVibe was the first to go, followed by Backpage, ECCIE, USA Sex Guide, etc.

In December 2018, the wrath of FOSTA continues as social media sites are now planning to ban any porn or sexual content from their platforms.


Alternate Universe, Not Controlled Universe

Remember that the internet is young, so all these digital laws that are trying to pass are just control. Authorities want to control an entity that thrives on expression & innovation.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

— John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

The internet progresses via creativity & ideas. Not through legality & limitations!

The Future of the Internet

FOSTA scares me, and it should scare the fuck out of you too.

Look at things now! Craigslist shut down its ‘personals’, social media sites are banning porn/adult content, Reddit censored Dark Net Markets and a few Escort and Sugar Daddy/Baby related subreddits, Google Voice is suspending accounts linked to adult professions, etc. and rumors of Google’s algorithm affecting escort sites.

 “Any tool or service can be misused.” — Craigslist, speaking against FOSTA

“Any tool or service can be misused.” — Craigslist, speaking against FOSTA

After Porn, What Next?

FOSTA’s enactment has generated censorship of porn and other adult/sexual content.

So, once all of that is eradicated, what’s next?

Read More