The biggest threat to U.S. employment and to the internet as we know it will be discussed in a bill starting Nov. 16th. The bill is know as SOPA (or the Stop Internet Piracy Act). It is being rushed through and is expected to pass.
Mozilla Firefox, Google, and many other major online businesses are desperately working hard to make sure this bill doesn’t pass. The bill promotes online censorship, similar to China’s current policies. It will also lead to a decrease in job creation.
While the name (SOPA- Stop Internet Piracy Act) sounds like it could be a positive idea, on further research you can see the bill is primarily being backed by major corporations to create an unfair barrier to entry and make smaller online businesses have to bend over backwards to comply with their rules.
And even if these small businesses go by the book, this bill would allow any accusation of wrongdoing to result in the small business’s website being removed for investigation before even being found guilty. This could cost these businesses thousands of dollars a day in lost profits. These small businesses currently employ a large percentage of U.S. workers.
(For a larger version of the graphic: http://i.imgur.com/binsz.jpg)
While the recession has been hitting almost every major sector in the United States hard, the technology sector has been one of the lone bright spots:
More than 3 million jobs have been created thanks to the internet and online business
Over 15% of our economic growth in the last 5 years has been from the internet and online business
Venture Capitalists have invested over $43 billion in online business in 2010
These Venture Capitalists are responsible for over 11% of current employment in the United States
If this bill is passed, there will be a severe decrease in the above numbers. It completely discourages economic growth in the sector, which is something we desperately need during a time of recession.
I encourage you to check out the link below and see what Mozilla Firefox has to say about the issue and take some steps to let congressmen know that this bill will kill jobs, is not helpful to economic growth, and should not be passed.