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Poll
Question: Support?
No - 13 (14.1%)
Banner - 12 (13%)
Soft blackout (can still click through anti-SOPA page) + Global - 30 (32.6%)
Soft + US only - 5 (5.4%)
Full blackout (unreachable bitcoin.org replaced with anti-SOPA page) + Global - 26 (28.3%)
Full + US only - 6 (6.5%)
Total Voters: 91

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Author Topic: Support bitcoin.org SOPA blackout on 18 Jan  (Read 2626 times)
genjix
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January 17, 2012, 01:05:25 AM
 #1

Nothing will happen unless you make some noise. Are you behind a blackout? SOPA/PIPA has ramifications to hurt bitcoin in a huge way. I myself am from the UK and US law affects me.

Below is the conversation so far on the bitcoin development mailing list.

---------------

Amir Taaki:
How is this not the most important world issue right now?

EVERYTHING is under threat. Go nuclear to show our nerd-rage.

Everybody blank your personal sites too. Americans, take to the streets. World, go scream at the US embassy.

------------------

Jeff Garzik
On Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 5:09 PM, Amir Taaki <> wrote:
> How is this not the most important world issue right now?
>
> EVERYTHING is under threat. Go nuclear to show our nerd-rage.
>
> Everybody blank your personal sites too. Americans, take to the streets. World, go scream at the US embassy.


There are always issues that raise ire and moral outrage.  I would
rather that bitcoin.org stay apolitical -- our users will appreciate
this in the long run.

---------------------

Luke-Jr
On Sunday, January 15, 2012 5:37:05 PM Jeff Garzik wrote:
> There are always issues that raise ire and moral outrage.  I would
> rather that bitcoin.org stay apolitical -- our users will appreciate
> this in the long run.

I agree (with the conclusion). There are much more important and urgent
problems than SOPA/PIPA that we'd need to constantly 'blackout' if we did it
over every single problem.

---------------------

Wladimir
Internet censorship *is* a threat to bitcoin, if we don't stand up for our rights now we deserve anything that is coming. There will be no "long run".

----------------------

Gregory Maxwell
On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 2:35 AM, Wladimir <> wrote:
> Internet censorship *is* a threat to bitcoin, if we don't stand up for our
> rights now we deserve anything that is coming. There will be no "long run".

Very few people actually care if they can load that particular URL ...
if you were talking about the forums it might matter more.  It also
might make sense to run some informative popup, except people are
going to be seeing them all over the internet on higher traffic sites.

E.g.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wikipedia_SOPA_Blackout_Design_%28derivative_A%29.png

---------------------

Wladimir
On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 9:12 AM, Gregory Maxwell <> wrote:

    On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 2:35 AM, Wladimir <> wrote:
    > Internet censorship *is* a threat to bitcoin, if we don't stand up for our
    > rights now we deserve anything that is coming. There will be no "long run".

    Very few people actually care if they can load that particular URL ...
    if you were talking about the forums it might matter more.   It also
    might make sense to run some informative popup, except people are
    going to be seeing them all over the internet on higher traffic sites.


Agreed, a notice would be enough. No need to make the entire site inaccessible either.

Wladimir

---------------------

Amir Taaki

From: Jeff Garzik <>
> There are always issues that raise ire and moral outrage.  I would
> rather that bitcoin.org stay apolitical -- our users will appreciate
> this in the long run.

Bunk argument. This is an issue that affects bitcoin directly.

Wikipedia has far more need to remain neutral and apolitical than bitcoin ever does- you've read Satoshi's politically charged whitepaper or seen the genesis block quote.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Action

The Wikipedia community decided on a full and global blackout. Bitcoin should do the same in unison with the rest of the web- sites like Reddit, 4chan and Wikipedia.

It's funny / almost comical how you consign this to being just another issue or case of moral alarm. Sad.
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SgtSpike
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January 17, 2012, 01:25:32 AM
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I say no.   I'm sure 99% of the people here already support the anti-SOPA movement and know what it is about.

It's the non-geek websites that need to go blackout.  Google, Facebook, and the like.  That will inform the uninformed.  Blacking out a page like bitcointalk does nothing, since we all already know about it.
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January 17, 2012, 01:29:10 AM
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I say no.   I'm sure 99% of the people here already support the anti-SOPA movement and know what it is about.

It's the non-geek websites that need to go blackout.  Google, Facebook, and the like.  That will inform the uninformed.  Blacking out a page like bitcointalk does nothing, since we all already know about it.

did you mis-read the OP? bitcoin.org != bitcointalk

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January 17, 2012, 01:30:42 AM
 #4

I say no.   I'm sure 99% of the people here already support the anti-SOPA movement and know what it is about.

It's the non-geek websites that need to go blackout.  Google, Facebook, and the like.  That will inform the uninformed.  Blacking out a page like bitcointalk does nothing, since we all already know about it.

did you mis-read the OP? bitcoin.org != bitcointalk
I did indeed misread.  Tongue

Still, I stand by my position.  MOST of the people visiting bitcoin.org will be either well-informed internet users who already know about SOPA, or people looking for information on Bitcoin.  Do we really want to turn people away from information about Bitcoin?  SOPA is important, but the big-name sites blacking out is what is going to make a difference, not places like bitcoin.org.
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January 17, 2012, 01:41:26 AM
 #5

I say no.   I'm sure 99% of the people here already support the anti-SOPA movement and know what it is about.

It's the non-geek websites that need to go blackout.  Google, Facebook, and the like.  That will inform the uninformed.  Blacking out a page like bitcointalk does nothing, since we all already know about it.

did you mis-read the OP? bitcoin.org != bitcointalk
I did indeed misread.  Tongue

Still, I stand by my position.  MOST of the people visiting bitcoin.org will be either well-informed internet users who already know about SOPA, or people looking for information on Bitcoin.  Do we really want to turn people away from information about Bitcoin?  SOPA is important, but the big-name sites blacking out is what is going to make a difference, not places like bitcoin.org.

I would have to agree. It would appear the USA is taking a page out of China's playbook for controlling the internet. I wouldn't be surprised if our government up north in Canada has already done this seeing as they are so regressive.
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January 17, 2012, 02:08:47 AM
 #6

Regardless of the actual importance of the law, taking drastic action makes the project seem unstable and unprofessional.

I guess defeating SOPA is good, but I find it annoying that people are putting so much effort into this one law when there are thousands of terrible laws already in existence and this style of government will inevitably continue to create more terrible laws.

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January 17, 2012, 02:36:24 AM
 #7

Regardless of the actual importance of the law, taking drastic action makes the project seem unstable and unprofessional.

I guess defeating SOPA is good, but I find it annoying that people are putting so much effort into this one law when there are thousands of terrible laws already in existence and this style of government will inevitably continue to create more terrible laws.

+1

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January 17, 2012, 02:42:58 AM
 #8

I don't know how many people watched that last episode of "the good wife".

But IF those viewers (typical people, no knowledge of BTC or SOPA) decide to visit this site by googling Bitcoin, it could benefit the anti-SOPA movement.

I think it's only one day - otherwise, it would be preaching to the choir.
MacRohard
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January 17, 2012, 03:06:05 AM
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Seems like a pointless gesture that will only annoy people with the same or less ability to do anything about it.
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January 17, 2012, 03:15:02 AM
 #10

The issue with SOPA is that even though it is a UnitedR  States domestic law it has a huge impact outside the United States. While US citizens can and should contact their members of Congress, those that are not US citizens on the surface have no say. The reality is that those that are not US citizens can have a major impact by targeting those corporations and labour organisations that support SOPA. The list is here: http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rogue%20Websites/List%20of%20SOPA%20Supporters.pdf.

How many are prepared to boycott the Superbowl over the National Football League's support of SOPA or make the point of crossing a Teamsters' picket line over the International Brotherhood of Teamsters' support of SOPA for example? The recent Go Daddy boycott has already shown that targeting supporters can and does have an impact.

As for bitcoin.org I would say no. There is nothing wrong with keeping the "official" site politically neutral. The discussion of this issue in the forum can accomplish a lot more. SOPA by the way may actually benefit Bitcoin.

Concerned that blockchain bloat will lead to centralization? Storing less than 4 GB of data once required the budget of a superpower and a warehouse full of punched cards. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/IBM_card_storage.NARA.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punched_card
genjix
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January 17, 2012, 08:01:34 PM
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Well more than 90% of people support a banner or more.
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January 18, 2012, 12:46:12 AM
 #12

If readers of this forum were not aware of this, who else would? I vote to not cripple our communication. It's like a monastery deciding to protest for more Christianity - inside their walls.

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January 18, 2012, 02:09:58 AM
 #13

Regardless of the actual importance of the law, taking drastic action makes the project seem unstable and unprofessional.

I guess defeating SOPA is good, but I find it annoying that people are putting so much effort into this one law when there are thousands of terrible laws already in existence and this style of government will inevitably continue to create more terrible laws.

I agree, but I support a "SOPA/PIPA sucks" click through.
I think this could directly affect Bitcoin but so can so many other things.
Personally I'm completely against SOPA but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.


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January 18, 2012, 02:10:40 AM
 #14

SOPA/PIPA certainly is a dangerous piece of legislation with unpredictable and possibly harmful consequences. It is not, however, either certainly devastating nor a unique danger. The act itself is only creating so much news buzz because of the country it is proposed in. Many countries already have this sort of legislation. Did we blackout for those? No. US citizens should not be held to a different level of importance than citizens of another country.

However, I do not suggest we ignore this phenomenon. Internet censorship is immoral and potentially quite dangerous. I certainly think that the Bitcoin community in general is and should be opposed to it, and there is nothing wrong with vocalizing our opposition. Neither is there anything wrong with mentioning SOPA/PIPA. It is, though not inherently more dangerous to Americans than measures in other countries have been to their citizens, probably more impactful to the world at large due to the USA's sizable influence, control of key DNS systems, and the not unlikely possibility that other countries may follow in America's footsteps if the measure does indeed get passed.

My personal opinion, and recommendation, is as such: A "soft" blackout, with a splash page focused more on anti-censorship than SOPA/PIPA, though the latter should certainly be mentioned. Make sure to be clear that the Bitcoin community is opposed to censorship in all forms, and that SOPA/PIPA is not the only nor necessarily the worst danger in regards to Internet censorship. I was surprised to see the results showing that a full blackout was in second place. Our purpose here is to inform people. Not allowing them to access the actual site will not make them read the splash page, and it could certainly be frustrating for people wanting to get into Bitcoin, maybe even due to the large amount of news surrounding Internet censorship, some of which includes references to this and other methods of circumventing/protecting against such measures. We want to let people know what's going on, not frustrate them and potentially dissuade them from joining our community.

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January 18, 2012, 03:08:27 AM
 #15

The act itself is only creating so much news buzz because of the country it is proposed in. Many countries already have this sort of legislation. Did we blackout for those? No. Just because (and I speak as an American) this bill has been proposed in the USA should not make it more important than the similar measures which have been proposed and in many cases enacted elsewhere.

that argument doesn't work, because America still has basic control of the domain name system, other countries do not.

theoretically if the US gov wanted to, it could take down fakerolex.com.ng permanently and globally, but i don't think the nigerian government could take down fakerolex.com globally.
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January 18, 2012, 03:32:25 AM
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that argument doesn't work, because America still has basic control of the domain name system, other countries do not.

theoretically if the US gov wanted to, it could take down fakerolex.com.ng permanently and globally, but i don't think the nigerian government could take down fakerolex.com globally.


I certainly agree it has more global ramifications, but to the residents of America versus the residents of another country enacting a similar measure, the effects are close. I'm just stating that we should not consider the effects on American citizens more important than the effects of people of another nationality. Maybe I didn't make that clear; I'll clarify my post a bit. And, while you are theoretically correct, the "right" to do what you described granted by SOPA/PIPA does not necessarily mean the act of doing so would take place. I doubt Nigeria would take kindly to the US taking down one of its websites, and I doubt the US would do so due to the inevitable foreign relations problems it would cause. Most of the results of SOPA/PIPA legislation being passed would likely affect US citizens only.

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January 18, 2012, 03:38:04 AM
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Most of the results of SOPA/PIPA legislation being passed would likely affect US domain names only.

fixed... millions of people around the world use .coms.
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January 18, 2012, 03:42:38 AM
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fixed... millions of people around the world use .coms.


Please don't misquote me, especially when it is not what I said at all. Citizens != domain names, last time I checked. I think the US is likely not to enact many changes with significant global impact due to the foreign policy issues it would cause, as I stated. Don't get me wrong, I am entirely opposed to SOPA/PIPA, along with Internet censorship in general. I just think that the media is so focused on SOPA that other occurrences of this sort get glazed over.

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payb.tc
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January 18, 2012, 04:08:34 AM
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fixed... millions of people around the world use .coms.


Please don't misquote me, especially when I prefer midget porn.

i think the US likely won't care at all where a site is hosted or the citizenship of it's owner. if they can take down a .com, they will.
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January 18, 2012, 04:22:55 AM
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Please don't misquote me, especially when I prefer midget porn.

i think the US likely won't care at all where a site is hosted or the citizenship of it's owner. if they can take down a .com, they will.


Being rude won't help your argument. I disagree entirely, but who knows. If the measure is passed, we will see who is correct. If not, I'll be glad to never resolve this dispute.

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