Not CS related, but what would it mean to the internet if the SOPA and PIPA are implemented?
Simply put it would mean that the government could shut down any site that it deemed was in violation of those acts without giving the site the benefit of due process.
Is it relevant to site-owners outside of the US (i.e. the Piratebay folks)?
Well from my understanding, and what the politician say these are to target the piracy website that reside over seas, however, as I also understand it, the legislation is not as specific as what they say it is for. Therefore, if they deem that a site is promoting piracy they can pull its plug without warning regardless of where in the world that site is based.
its a act is going on with the goverment is trying to senser the web
https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/ go to this
Take OpenStudy for example. There are thousands of users (hundreds of thousand probably) and hundreds of groups. Now OS does it's best to moderate all those groups, but there is only so much time in the day. So potentially somebody could start a group here that posts piracy information or website and it could be up for days before it was discovered. If it was brought to the attention of the authorities they could, and without so much as a court order or warrant, shut down OS. All of OS not just the group.
This will apply to any website that allows user interactivity. Facebook, Wikipedia, Google, Computer Hope, all of the online forums, etc, etc.
And actually this question is somewhat related to CS. I think it's appropriate.
By that logic, Google would be shut down pretty quick; they link to trillions of sites, and if just one of those links is to something piracy related (raises the question of how the govt would distinguish piracy from non-piracy) the SOPA and PIPA will give the govt. that kind of power.
Now I'm not sure about search engines that link to piracy sites, I mean it would require a full overhaul of the search algorithms and spiderbots, I don't necessarily think that they would shut down a search engine because the owners of the search engine do not have direct control over what a person searches for. However, for content that resides on Google Sites, Google Docs, Google +, etc. where Google does have control over the content posted, they will be affected by this legislation. The bottom line is, how the legislation is written and the undue power it gives authorities is 1984-esque. If it passes it can set a precedence for other legislation that censors media and materials that the government chooses for us that is harmful.
Too much political involvement in an area that the unintended consequences may just be too great. I don't think it's a goer in practical terms and it will be someone on say a group like this that becomes the "example" to all others. And yes, CS will be involved, possibly to a great extent - someone or something has to watch the watchers, and what better way than an IT solution.
Join our real-time social learning platform and learn together with your friends!