Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA and PIPA - The Next Great Wall

As some of you may know, I have a daughter who lives and teaches in China.  According to her, the food is great, the cost of living is low and China has two great walls.  One is the original built by, umm, which emperor built the Great Wall?  Same guy who did the terra cotta warriors.  I forget his name, but I'll just look it up quickly on Wikipedia.  Oh, wait, I can't.  Not today, maybe not ever.

The other wall is the Great Firewall.  So my daughter can't read my blog, or yours or yours, can't read anyone's blog.  A few other things she can't do - can't google anything, or use Wikipedia or read certain publications, can;t watch YouTube either.  Sometimes, if the wrong word is said in a conversation between us, our SKYPE conversation is abruptly ended.  She can't keep up with her friends and family on Facebook, can't Tweet them either.

Now, Congress wants to build a Great Firewall around US.  SOPA is designed to stop online piracy and PIPA to protect intellectual property.  Want to find out more about these bills and how they will effect your life, read this from the WSJ  The Motion Picture Association of America is a big supporter of these bills because of people watching pirated movies.  Irony of ironies, pirated movies are the one thing that they can download in China.  And that will be true here, too.

If you want to live behind a Great Firewall, then do nothing.  If you don't, think about letting your Senators and Representatives in Congress know how you feel. There is bipartisan opposition to these bills, so don't think politics, so

Make your voice heard, consider signing this petition here

I should add that I am not China bashing.  My daughter has lived there for 1 1/2 years and loves it, loves the people, loves the food, just not crazy about the firewall.  It is hard to get used to.


  1. Thanks, Alex! I had no idea (and I thought I did) about internet access in China. Your post helped inform mine today, so I linked to it.

  2. Thank you for this, it helps me understand so much better what could happen. I've signed the petition

  3. I signed as well. I should probably call my congresscritters too.

  4. This time it might not pass through, but the entertainment industry is spending millions of dollars for our Congress to "listen".

    They'll pass this bill in some form before the end of the year (probably call it "The Internet Freedom Act" or something hypocritical as usual) with absolutely no consequences because the idiot American voters will give them their jobs back the next election.

  5. Very well stated. The personal experience speaks volumes. I wish I had found this earlier; I would have pointed some people to it. Probably still will.

  6. I have lived and visited in China, and I think your description is very apt!