The effects the Stop Online Piracy Act (“SOPA”) and the Protect IP Act (“PIPA”) would have on digital freedom are quite scary, but what’s even scarier is that a bunch of companies techies know and love actually support this legislation.
About two weeks ago Andy Baird and I created a Chrome extension that alerts you when you visit a site that has been publicly documented as supporting SOPA. Tonight that extension is being updated to include a list of PIPA supporters.
We hear about SOPA and PIPA when we browse tech news sites, and then we go back to our lives. I hope that by bringing visibility to who the SOPA and PIPA supporters are during casual browsing, attention is brought to the issue. Further, web users can decide what they want to do with that information on the own — boycott, sending a letter of disappointment, whatever — awareness is key.
The code for the extension is open source, and we welcome contributions of code and verifiable domain names of supporters on GitHub.
I hope that by bringing visibility to who the SOPA and PIPA supporters are, the public can make informed decisions about whether or not they want to do business with those companies. For some people, that means an instant boycott. For others, maybe it’s sending a letter.