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Azurelink Supports the Opposition of Questionable Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA)

Stop SOPAAzurelink stands with other US and international internet and technology companies and organizations like Free Software Foundation (FSF), Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), Mozilla, Google, Wikipedia, Open Source Initiative, WordPress, and Human Rights organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, in expressing our concern regarding these US Congress and Senate bills:

• Information on H.R.3261 - Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
 http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/show

• Information on S.968 PROTECT IP Act (PIPA)
 http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-s968/show

A US Congressional vote is slated on these bills for this month [now delayed until February], and many feel that it will inevitably become a mandate for formalized Internet censorship, with an impact that goes far beyond the borders of any single country.

PIPA introduces a deeply concerning degree of legal uncertainty into the internet economy, particularly for users and businesses internationally. And while SOPA is also a US bill, it has several provisions that would have serious implications for international civil and human rights which raise concerns about how the United States is approaching global Internet governance. SOPA claims to protect against unlawful copyright infringement by shutting down sites that post copyrighted material. But its vague wording means that search engines could end up blocking access to entire websites for containing just the smallest portion of infringing content. If we let that happen, that would mean they'd be barring access to content that is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution. And who knows how far the censorship would go after that. We can't let that stand.

While we here at Azurelink respect legitimate Intellectual Property rights of others, we are concerned about the consequences of such far reaching laws, both for citizens of the US, and the global community.

Today, the 18th of January 2012, many organizations will show solidarity by participating in a massive website blackout, and other forms of protest. As an Internet service provider and a Web site technology company, Azurelink supports an open Internet for all, and expresses its concern over these US Congress and Senate bills.

We also support efforts to bring true accountability to the Internet but which guard against the abuse of power, and support efforts toward that.

Sources and links:

https://www.accessnow.org/policy-activism/press-blog/human-rights-community-speaks-out-on-protect-ip-act

https://www.accessnow.org/sopa-letter (PDF)

http://americancensorship.org/infographic.html

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