I have lived here in Maryland all my life, and its just getting worse and worse. I still have no clue why "cyberbullying" is any different than any other bullying. Everywhere we turn these days everyone wants to shelter the children from things that may make them feel bad. NEWS FLASH - LIFE IS CRUEL! When you set a child loose on the world that hasnt been allowed to experience failure or loss, you get adults that cant cope with pressure and give up after the first sign of failure. Those are the same adults that think its ok for the government to take away the rights of others just to make them feel "safe". The only people that will abide by the flurry of new laws being doled out are the same people that were already following the old ones. Criminals by definition dont care what gets written on a piece of paper that makes some touchy-feely whiner feel better, they do what they want to do.
I have been wondering the same thing as of late. I just wonder how hard it would be for someone with NO political or law background to break into the government scene. I have been doing a little research, but I am not sure yet how to proceed.
I agree with part of point #1. The fact that there was no due process (at least that I heard of) seems to be a travesty. BUT... there was no violation of the right to free speech. No ones voice was forced into silence while trying to voice an opinion.
I also agree with part of point #2 neither the company nor its principals are subject to American laws - BUT by choosing to do business in the United States (renting server space in northern Virginia), they opened themselves up to those laws.
You also fail to acknowledge the fact that it wasn't US law enforcement going to NZ to execute the detainment of these people, it was in fact NZ law enforcement cooperating with the USDOJ / FBI in this matter.
I feel that all the work that was being done yesterday to avoid the possibility of passing poorly written and one sided legislation may have been undone in a matter of short hours by a group of anonymous people not willing to stand up under their real names (which most of the people that protested yesterday did by the way) and take responsibility for what they have done and said.
Beware the nerds... We run most of the world from our data centers and design studios. You may not see us in your day to day dealings with businesses, but who do you think keeps the networks running behind credit card transactions and stock trades? Congress should get their heads outta their asses and get a better grip on reality.
I do believe that Congress is made up of ELECTED officials, meaning that as the social view of the laws on the books changes so too should the views of the people writing those laws. As it stands now, the people that hold office are more concerned with upholding the status quo than listening to the majority of the people they claim to represent. Currently the majority of people find the idea of child porn appalling, hence there is no public outcry about the government heavy handedly enforcing child protection laws. Conversely you have SOPA (and PIPA) that proposes equally heavy handed measures to prevent online piracy (lets give them the benefit of the doubt and say that is the only purpose of the bill), but due to the social view on whats right and wrong there is major public outcry AGAINST these bills that is being largely ignored by congress.
Your statement about Congress not taking us seriously just reflects a dire need for sweeping changes in American leadership that will take into account the greater common view over their own short sighted, and more often than not, self serving point of view.
I would have to say that this is one of the better analogies for this proposal that I have read.
Taking due process out of the equation can be a scary thing. I could only imagine that, as another AC said, the designers of PIPA/SOPA want to believe that we live in a "Utopian dream sequence" wherein at no time would a content creator (or anyone else for that matter) allow personal emotion to interfere with good judgement pull the trigger on some site merely because they don't like them.
I think this is the reason so many find this to be such a problem. I don't think anyone here truly thinks it is OK to "Pirate" someone else's "work-product".
Now as for the issue of morality, what is your definition of morally acceptable? I guarantee it differs from the next persons definition. As a matter of fact, what society deems to be moral changes very quickly. At one time it was wrong for any woman to show their legs above the knee while wearing a skirt, fast forward 50 years (O.K. a lot less, but lets use today as an example) and now if a woman doesn't show all her goods in public, we think she is a prude. This example is just one of any number of issues that at one time defined social moral standards that seem outdated and old-school to society today. There also arise moral differences between religious, ideological, and regional groups. The problem with asking about a groups "moral duty" is that mas idea of moral will not cater to everyone, so a sense of moral duty means nothing in a purely logical debate.