News of Note: Google chairman says online piracy bill would ‘criminalize’ the Internet

An online piracy bill in the House [US House of Representatives H.R.3261] would “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself,” according to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. Schmidt said the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would punish Web firms, including search engines, that link to foreign websites dedicated to online piracy. He said implementing the bill as written would effectively break the Internet. “By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet,” Schmidt said, calling it a form of censorship.

I firmly believe that the Internet is mankind’s greatest tool for exposing truth and eliminating corruption. Recent revolutions in other countries like Egypt and Libya and even our own Occupy movement are fueled by the Internet, and in a way not possible for previous generations, and in ways not permitted by foreign repressive regimes. Right now we are facing both SOPA and the similar US Senate proposed bill (Bill S.968), PROTECT IP Act, two bills that will utterly destroy YouTube, Twitter, Wikileaks, and other valuable websites that we need for communication. What do you think is going to happen? Will Americans eventually submit to this loss of freedom or will we reject this sort of treatment by any means necessary?

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