December 12, 2011 | By rainey Reitman

Stand Up and Fight: A Week of Action Against Censorship

When the government claims the right to shut down websites by breaking the Domain Name System and forcing search engines to dump user requests to reach a site, there’s only one word for it: censorship. And when big media groups like the RIAA can essentially cut off the financial services to a website based on accusation alone, it’s censorship at the hands of corporations.

We’re not talking about China or Iran. We’re talking about blacklist legislation being debated by the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

EFF and a coalition of organizations, tech companies, innovators, and users are joining forces to fight back against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill that would give the government and big content unprecedented authority to censor the web in the name of so-called copyright enforcement. This week, we need to pull out all the stops because the House Judiciary Committee is slated to hold a critical hearing on Thursday. 

SOPA's supporters are desperate to rush this bill through quickly by convincing Congress there's no real opposition to it. We know better, but we need to make our voices heard. That’s why we’re calling on you to join us in a dedicated week of action against the SOPA blacklist bill.

We’re kicking off our Week of Action Against Censorship with a toolkit for anti-SOPA activism, and urging you to call your Representatives in Congress. With the hearing imminent, there’s no time to waste. Pick up the phone and tell your Representative to oppose this bill today. Then tell your friends and follow up with a note to Congress. 

This legislation, if passed, will wreak havoc on our Internet community, jeopardizing the innovative and creative ecosystem that has created hundreds of thousands of jobs, helped countless people access information, and spurred a new generation of artists and creators. But big media groups are willing to sacrifice all of that in a ham-fisted attempt to control how you consume online content. And in the process, they'll undoing long-standing legal protections for websites and endangering the basic infrastructure of the Net.

We can’t let that happen. So join us in standing up and speaking out. Show Congress that we’re willing to fight for an uncensored web, and deep-pocketed lobbyists will never drown out the voices of the Internet community. 

A Week of Action Against Censorship

We’ll be adding to this list daily.  Check back to see what you can do to join the fight!

Day One:
Toolkit for Anti-SOPA Activism
Action Alert! Call Congress Now
What's Wrong with SOPA (One-page PDF handout)

Day Two:
Setting the Record Straight on SOPA
SOPA Manager's Amendment: It's Still a Blacklist and It's Still a Disaster

Day Three:
How SOPA Affects Students, Educators, and Libraries
The Internet Blacklist vs. The Constitution
The OPEN Act: The Good, the Bad, and a Practice in Participatory Government

Day Four:
SOPA Undermines the U.S. in Its Negotiations for a Free, Open Internet
An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the U.S. Congress
Free Speech's Weak Links Under Internet Blacklist Bills
Live-Tweeting the SOPA Markup


Partners in the Fight Against SOPA

EFF is working with a coalition of advocacy organizations, tech companies, entrepreneurs, and creators in our Week of Action Against Censorship. Check out some of the creative ways the Internet is pushing back against this misguided bill.  Know of actions that aren’t on our list? Email them to Rainey@eff.org

American Censorship is activating the Internet community to call Congress to protest SOPA. They've also created a cool #CensorshipEverywhere tool that let's you "censor" text which you can then post on a websites or social networking site.  Friends who want to see what you wrote will need to call or email Congress to reveal what was redacted.

Avaaz launched their Save the Internet petition against SOPA and Protect-IP. They've already gotten over one million signatures!

The Cato Institute is rallying opposition to SOPA by explaining how it endangers privacy and runs contrary to the Constitution. Check out their great video.

The Center for Democracy and Technology is running a Stop SOPA campaign to rally support against this bill and provide an easy way for users to call their Representatives. Also check out their awesome Chorus of Opposition page, which showcases how many diverse organizations and companies are fighting this legislation.

Demand Progress has created Stop Censorship which lets you email Congress to protest SOPA and Protect-IP.

Free Press launched Internet Censorship: Not Today, Not Tomorrow, a petition to the U.S. House of Representatives to vote no on SOPA.

Free Software Foundation is officially opposing SOPA (they even had a street rally in protest!), and is urging members to sign petitions against the bill.

Public Knowledge launched a great tool to fight SOPA on their website that connects you to legislators. You can sign up to get mobile action alerts that will alert you via text message when there is a breaking issue and connect you to your legislator immediately.

The Wikimedia Foundation is considering blacking out their U.S. site in protest of SOPA. Their general counsel also posted a thoughtful and reasoned explanation of how SOPA would hurt the free web and the Wikipedia.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Libraries and HTTPS go together like 323.445 Freedom of information and 005.8 Data security. https://eff.org/r.s2d1

May 6 @ 1:17pm

How John Deere and a bunch of major car manufacturers use DRM laws to undermine the idea of ownership https://eff.org/r.m1pq #DayAgainstDRM

May 6 @ 12:59pm

In December, a NY judge ruled that pointing out DRM-breaking software isn't copyright infringement https://eff.org/r.axrt #DayAgainstDRM

May 6 @ 11:47am
JavaScript license information