I can’t remember where I heard it, but once upon I time I heard the idea that the only people who censorship helped were those who had something to hide.
I don’t really think that is true, but I do believe that it hurts people who have something to say.
I can’t pretend to know the ins and outs of PIPA and SOPA, so I can’t really argue for or against them without studying them much more thoroughly, I only know what the media, Google, Wikipedia, and others are blasting about right now. And they are all about censorship.
Personally, I believe that the right to free speech is the greatest right we have. The ability to talk about what we are not happy with and to try to convince others to change it. Is that what PIPA and SOPA are about? Probably not.
They, I have been led to believe, are about internet piracy. I have also been led to believe that they will violate our freedom of speech. Which is it?
My guess is both. I have, kind of, tried to figure them out. I was mostly unsuccessful. Even lawyers cannot speak legalese, and I believe we need a law to write all laws in straightforward language, not loop-hole ridden gobbledygook that can be (mis)interpreted by anyone who wants to argue it.
Yeah, I know, that would put a lot of lawyers out of business, but wouldn’t it be nice if the courts settled differences of opinions instead of differences of interpretations?
Anyway, my point is this. If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. It is true. If you censor the everyday person in order to silence the trouble makers, then only the trouble makers will end up being heard. If you shut down trade to stop the black market, only the black market will exist.
You cannot stop the illegal activities by shutting down/restricting the legal ones, that only makes more inroads for the illegal ones.