Archive for January, 2012


Opposing SOPA & PIPA

I didn’t become aware of the issues surrounding the bills known as SOPA and PIPA (aka PROTECT IP) until a couple of days ago, and, like any bill, each of them is complex and difficult to understand, with legalese language and sometimes vague and ambiguous statements. One thing that is clear from reading parts of them is that they don’t seem to have been written by folks who know how the Internet actually operates in 2012.

SOPA (bill H.R. 3261) and PIPA (bill S.968) pose a serious threat to Internet freedom and threaten any site with user-generated content, which means sites like Wikipedia, YouTube, Tumblr, and just about any social media or blog site are in danger of either having to shut down, face federal charges, or take on an overwhelming amount of responsibility in policing their content to avoid liability which would likely be too cumbersome for their existing capacity.

I am not an expert and I still don’t understand all the implications and details, but I have read enough of the bills and commentary on them from trusted sources to know that I don’t want these bills to pass. Today, in protest of these bills, several big-name sites are protesting, many of them shutting down entirely, to spread awareness to their users about the dangers posed by these bills. These sites include Wikipedia, Google, Tumblr, Reddit, and more. (see a full list at Mashable) Even the LOLcats are in, and if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

The end goal of the bills is ostensibly to limit piracy online, which is a completely reasonable thing to attempt. But SOPA and PROTECT IP are not the answer.

Recommended Reading on SOPA and PROTECT IP: 

Today marks the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit the impoverished nation of Haiti on January 12, 2010. Thousands of responders and long-term recovery workers have been toiling to save lives and help rebuild and recover over the past 24 months, but there’s no denying the frustrating notion that two years later there still seems to be so little “real” progress. Here, a brief roundup of triumphs and ongoing trials of the earthquake relief and recovery operations, and the state of the nation 2 years since the disaster:

Bertha Henry, 17, lives in La Piste camp with her family. Photo Credit: Julien GOLDSTEIN/IFRC

News Articles

The Guardian: Two years on, and just half of promised aid has been delivered.

Reuters AlertNet: Haiti to mark two years after catastrophic quake.

PBS Photo Spread: Haiti, two years on.

Huffington Post: Haiti Earthquake Recovery: Where did all the money go? (Infographic)

Agency & Organization Reports

Tulane University Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy Haiti Humanitarian Aid Evaluation Database

American Red Cross: Haiti Earthquake Response, Two-Year Update.

UNICEF Report on victories & challenges for children. Press release and full report.

Plan International Haiti: Two Years After: Successes, Challenges, and Priorities.

UNOCHA Press Release: Two years after the devastating earthquake.

Oxfam Haiti Progress Report: January – December 2011.

Blogs, Videos, Media

IFRC Media Blog: Two Years On, ongoing work of Red Cross Red Crescent.

Dochasnetwork’s Blog: Haiti two-year summary.

American Red Cross video: Haiti, two years on.