NOTE: The following article is on a topic that is being highly debated and has resulted in a blackout today from numerous sites, to include two internet giants, Google and Wikipedia. This material is being provided to you, for your own individual use. You are encouraged to take the time to educate yourself on the issue at hand and make a decision for yourself. Everyone needs to understand that this will impact us all if passed. If you feel inclined to let your voice be heard in congress, the link has been provided below. Please undestand that this is for informational purposes only and in no way reflects the views or opinions of Free & Accepted Masonry, The Grand Lodge of Mississippi F&AM, nor Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th.
Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.
Take a minute of your time and let YOUR voice be heard... it's YOUR right... tell Congress: Don’t censor the web! http://www.google.com/takeaction/
Thank you! Can you do one more thing? Will you share the petition with your friends and family? This is an important issue and we need as many Americans as possible to learn about it.
Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM
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1. SOPA and PIPA would censor the WebThe U.S. government could order the blocking of sites using methods similar to those employed by China. Among other things, search engines could be forced to delete entire websites from their search results. That’s why 41 human rights organizations and 110 prominent law professors have expressed grave concerns about the bills.
2. SOPA and PIPA would be job-killers because they would create a new era of uncertainty for American businessLaw-abiding U.S. internet companies would have to monitor everything users link to or upload or face the risk of time-consuming litigation. That’s why AOL, EBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga wrote a letter to Congress saying these bills “pose a serious risk to our industry’s continued track record of innovation and job-creation.” It’s also why 55 of America’s most successful venture capitalists expressed concern that PIPA “would stifle investment in Internet services, throttle innovation, and hurt American competitiveness”. More than 204 entrepreneurs told Congress that PIPA and SOPA would “hurt economic growth and chill innovation”.
3. SOPA and PIPA wouldn’t stop piracyTo make matters worse, SOPA and PIPA won’t even work. The censorship regulations written into these bills won’t shut down pirate sites. These sites will just change their addresses and continue their criminal activities, while law-abiding companies will suffer high penalties for breaches they can’t possibly control.
There are effective ways to combat foreign “rogue” websites dedicated to copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting, while preserving the innovation and dynamism that have made the Internet such an important driver of American economic growth and job creation. Congress should consider alternatives like the OPEN Act, which takes targeted and focused steps to cut off the money supply from foreign pirate sites without making US companies censor the Web.
* text and link excerpts provided by Google!