It's War In The Cyber World Essay

1887 words - 8 pages

The new internet legislation acts, SOPA and PIPA, are creating serious disputes between internet corporations and national authorities. Those acts seem to be hindering global freedom of expression, which goes against the bases of the concept of the cyber-world. The internet has proved to be one of the most revolutionary concept and tool of the century taking communication and sharing of information to a whole new level. From education to arts and politics, people have access to knowledge with little or no limits. The dependance on the internet has become of great importance in today's world, and so imposing regulations and limits to it creates a controversial polemic worldwide. Since the Digital Copyright Millennium Act, internet became more restricted. However, this wasn't so much of a problem because, firstly the internet usage wasn't as common as nowadays, and secondly because the new internet regulations are far more restrictive if not totally limiting to the freedom of the internet. SOPA and PIPA are copyright legislations that fight against online piracy by blocking access to websites judged as insecure, and seek court orders against websites "enabling or facilitating piracy" (BBC, 2012:1). It is war between individuals fighting for global freedom and authorities striving for global security against crimes of copyright infringement. Nonetheless, it is far more than an argument about freedom of expression, "it is the battle of old versus new" as says activist Adam Green(Condon, 2012:1).

SOPA is claimed to be "break[ing] the internet" by a video posted on WordPress's homepage, asking users to add their names to a petition in order to have the bill canceled by the U.S. Congress (Kelion, 2012:1). Many other websites have protested and spoke out against SOPA and PIPA, such as wikipedia and WordPress that had had a blackout on the 18th of January, as well as twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, Mozilla, google, and other internet corporations. Petitions and blackouts are not however the only way these acts are being fought: Internet users and organizations are already finding tricks to "evade" those acts even before they have been passed by the congress (Savitz, 2012:1). The borderless world that internet has constituted for many years is under the threat to disappear and become under the control of government laws that decrease its freedom and undermine its functions of innovation and global communication. These protests mark the two opponents of this war: individuals along with small and new industries, against copyright owners from lawyers to corporations and authorities.

French philosopher Michel Foucault has argued that there is a direct relationship linking knowledge and power. Power, he explains, allows one to access and spread a certain kind of knowledge, but also to restrict it. And vice-versa, one who holds knowledge, holds the keys to power (Foucault, 1984:1). The example of education should be drawn in this situation: in most...

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