January 18, 2012


“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”

(Photo: Mr. Enjoy)





 (“Who will watch the watchers?”)

~ Juevenal






I am a writer; I don’t want people using my words without my permission.

I have one brother who is an indie musician and visual artist, and one who is working on making his first film. I would hate to see their work stolen or misused.

So you’d think I’d be all for SOPA and PIPA, right? Wrong.

If you don’t take time to read both bills (they are worth a read and you can do so here thanks to WSJ.) this is the most important thing for you to know:

“There are other parts of the law that say that if there are sites overseas that the Attorney General doesn’t like, the Attorney General without any other adversarial proceeding can get an order asking American internet companies to cut off that site. In essence, this law takes a page out of the playbooks of China and Iran for internet regulation.”

~ Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Internet Law; Harvard Law School.


It doesn’t have to be pirated material, or porn, or anything illegal. The Attorney General can–for any reason and without needing anyone’s approval–shut down any site. Does this frighten you? It scares the sh*t out of me. Where does it end? Who will watch the watchers? Do we think ourselves so weak, so ineffectual, so unable to determine what content we wish to read or view that we hand over the reins to the government to decide for us?

As world citizens desiring a mindful life it is our responsibility to speak out against unjust legislation. All the yoga videos, pictures of Adam Levine, advice on meditation and relationships don’t matter if we don’t walk our talk.

Whether you are reading this in Boulder, or Boston, or Bratislava–stand up with us against censorship.

Skip companies that would support this type of legislation, support the ones that share your concerns, and keep supporting indie media.

“It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and expose lies.”

~ Noam Chomsky

Sitting this out is not an option.


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Kate Bartolotta  |  Contribution: 87,680