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Protect Internet Freedom: Open Letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein
by Raging Grannies Action League ( info [at] raginggrannies.com )
Wednesday Jan 11th, 2012 11:41 PM
The internet is in serious danger if the Protect IP Act passes in the US Senate. Senator Feinstein is a co-sponsor of the bill.

Dear Senator Feinstein:
Our beloved internet is in serious danger…and so is freedom of speech.

The Raging Grannies are closely following the “PROTECT IP Act” (PIPA) and House version, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA). We understand that you are a co-sponsor of PIPA.

The primary purpose of PIPA (along with the SOPA) is to help Hollywood keep rolling in the profits. Passage would mean that so-called “rogue” websites could be censored when they infringe on copyright law.

However, the language in both of these bills is written with a very broad paintbrush. Their passage would have a huge impact on the work of human rights advocates who speak out against injustice on sites that could easily be labelled “rogue” websites. It’s a slippery slope when censorship reigns.

Open publishing websites such as the indymedia network would be subject to censorship, defeating the very purpose of their existence. Similar platforms created to provide anonymity to whistleblowers could become major casualties of these bills.

All to save Hollywood’s bottom line?

It’s not often that Raging Grannies align with the likes of internet giants like Facebook and Google. But, as we are sure you know, they TOO have come out AGAINST these Hollywood generated bills.

Most of the Raging Grannies of the SF Bay Area reside on the peninsula with some in the South Bay, and are represented by Congresswomen Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren. Both of them are soundly NO on SOPA. Rep. Lofgren said that SOPA "would mean the end of the Internet as we know it". PIPA is only a slightly watered down version of SOPA. We don't want to head in that direction.

Senator Feinstein, you have disappointed us before. You may have heard some of us, protesting outside your San Francisco office, standing with many other seniors calling out to save Social Security. We were hoping you'd stand strong for "no cuts" to Social Security benefits. Please don't disappoint us again. The future of free speech is at stake.

Our friends at the Electric Frontier Foundation and Save the Internet have written extensively about the threat of PIPA and SOPA. We proudly stand together with them against censorship, and FOR internet freedom. We hope you will too.