The largest online protest in the history of the Internet may have derailed SOPA and PIPA earlier this year – but major entertainment corporations like the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America are still coming after you. With the help of Internet Service Providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T – tabs are being kept right now on people who are sharing copyrighted material online.
And on July 12th, Internet providers will begin putting in a place a new anti-piracy plan – warning internet users that they could face penalties of up to $150,000 if they continue to file-share. Providers will begin cutting down – or eliminating altogether – bandwidth for so-called offenders – until said offender agree to take an education course on piracy. Providers may also restrict access to only major websites like Google and Facebook. And most disturbingly – providers may share your information with other Internet providers to effectively create a blacklist of people who won’t be allowed to sign online.
This is the corporate lock-down of the Internet that we’ve feared – and it’s the reason why Libertarians and Free Marketeers are wrong. Without the government protecting us from industry – be it Wall Street, dangers in the workplace, or the Internet – corporate power always creeps in to strangle consumers.