Speak Up For Your Internet

Do you like BCC? Do you like the sidebar, the news we bring you, our book reviews and our discussion of what’s happening in Mormonism? The U.S. Senate, in dizzying heights of internet ignorance, is in the process of considering legislation that very well could shutter our sidebar and censor our speech, closing the Bloggernacle. The legislation is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and could have severe legal consequences for us if we linked to a site anywhere online that had any possible links to copyright infringement.

Suffice it to say, this would devastate much of the internet. PIPA’s stupid sister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), is no better. It’s time for you to visit AmericanCensorship.org and contact your Senator, who very probably doesn’t even use email. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more information on this as well.

You have already probably heard a lot about this issue from Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia and a host of other sites that have gone dark today. We’re keeping our content up out of dedication to you, our community, but this is really important. Please take a minute and speak up today.


  1. Here are the phone numbers for your senators:

    AK, Lisa Murkowski, 907-456-0233
    AL, Jefferson Sessions, 334-244-7017
    AL, Richard Shelby, 205-759-5047
    AR, John Boozman, 479-725-0400
    AR, Mark Pryor, 501-324-6336
    AZ, Jon Kyl, 602-840-1891
    AZ, John McCain, 602-952-2410
    CA, Barbara Boxer, 510-286-8537
    CA, Dianne Feinstein, 415-393-0707
    CO, Michael Bennet, 303-455-7600
    CT, Richard Blumenthal, 860-258-6940
    CT, Joseph Lieberman, 860-549-8463
    DE, Thomas Carper, 302-573-6291
    DE, Chris Coons, 302-573-6345
    FL, Bill Nelson, 407-872-7161
    FL, Marco Rubio, 305-418-8553
    GA, C. Saxby Chambliss, 770-763-9090
    GA, John Isakson, 770-661-0999
    HI, Daniel Akaka, 808-522-8970
    HI, Daniel Inouye, 808-541-2542
    IA, Charles Grassley, 515-288-1145
    IA, Thomas Harkin, 515-284-4574
    ID, Michael Crapo, 208-334-1776
    ID, James Risch, 208-342-7985
    IL, Richard Durbin, 312-353-4952
    IL, Mark Kirk, 312-886-3506
    IN, Daniel Coats, 317-554-0750
    IN, Richard Lugar, 317-226-5555
    KS, Pat Roberts, 913-451-9343
    KY, Mitch McConnell, 502-582-6304
    KY, Rob Portman, 361-576-1231
    LA, Mary Landrieu, 225-389-0395
    LA, David Vitter, 337-262-6898
    MA, Scott Brown, 617-565-3170
    MA, John Kerry, 617-565-8519
    MD, Barbara Mikulski, 410-962-4510
    ME, Susan Collins, 207-945-0417
    ME, Olympia Snowe, 207-874-0883
    MI, Carl Levin, 313-226-6020
    MI, Debbie Stabenow, 517-203-1760
    MN, Al Franken, 651-221-1016
    MN, Amy Klobuchar, 612-727-5220
    MO, Roy Blunt, 816-471-7141
    MO, Claire McCaskill, 816-421-1639
    MS, Thad Cochran, 601-965-4459
    MS, Roger Wicker, 601-965-4644
    MT, Max Baucus, 406-657-6790
    MT, Jon Tester, 406-449-5401
    NC, Richard Burr, 910-251-1058
    NC, Kay Hagan, 336-333-5311
    ND, Kent Conrad, 701-258-4648
    ND, John Hoeven, 701-250-4618
    NE, Mike Johanns, 308-632-6032
    NE, E. Benjamin Nelson, 402-441-4600
    NH, Kelly Ayotte, 603-622-7979
    NH, Jeanne Shaheen, 603-647-7500
    NJ, Frank Lautenberg, 973-639-8700
    NJ, Robert Menendez, 973-645-3030
    NM, Jeff Bingaman, 505-346-6601
    NM, Tom Udall, 505-346-6791
    NV, Dean Heller, 775-686-5770
    NV, Harry Reid, 702-388-5020
    NY, Kirsten Gillibrand, 212-688-6262
    NY, Charles Schumer, 212-486-4430
    OH, Sherrod Brown, 216-522-7272
    OK, James Inhofe, 918-748-5111
    OK, Tom Coburn, 918-581-7651
    OR, Jeffery Merkley, 503-326-3386
    PA, Robert Casey, 570-941-0930
    PA, Pat Toomey, 610-434-1444
    RI, John Reed, 401-943-3100
    RI, Sheldon Whitehouse, 401-453-5294
    SC, Jim DeMint, 864-233-5366
    SC, Lindsey Graham, 864-250-1417
    SD, Tim Johnson, 414-276-7282
    SD, John Thune, 605-334-9596
    TN, Lamar Alexander, 615-736-5129
    TN, Bob Corker, 423-756-2757
    TX, John Cornyn, 512-469-6034
    TX, Kay Hutchison, 214-361-3500
    UT, Orrin Hatch, 801-524-4380
    UT, Mike Lee, 801-524-5933
    VA, Mark Warner, 804-775-2314
    VA, James Webb, 804-771-2221
    VT, Patrick Leahy, 802-863-2525
    VT, Bernard Sanders, 802-862-0697
    WA, Patty Murray, 206-553-5545
    WI, Ron Johnson, 605-332-8896
    WI, Herbert Kohl, 414-297-4451
    WV, Joe Manchin, 304-342-5855
    WV, John Rockefeller, 304-347-5372
    WY, John Barrasso, 307-261-6413
    WY, Michael Enzi, 307-682-6268

  2. Well done, Steve. This law is truly scary. Censorship always should be met with extreme prejudice by a free people.

  3. Mostly you’re still a enemy to all righteousness, but thanks for this Steve. Hugely, hugely important.

  4. It’s a series of tubes!

  5. What would be the actual impact on this site? It’s not obvious for a bystander to sort out the reality from the raging persecution complex.

  6. it's a series of tubes says:

    The tubes will be empty. PIPA / SOPA are wrongheaded and counterproductive.

  7. John, realistically we’d have to close the sidebar and we’d probably not link out to most places.

  8. davedelongDave says:

    You would also have to moderate comments, or disallow them altogether, because site owners become liable for *all* content on their site, regardless of who originated it.

  9. http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

    You can find email, phone numbers, mailing address, all of it here.

  10. Yeah, I wrote to my rep. awhile ago. Whose inane idea were these pieces of legislation anyway? As someone who lives in a highly regulated place, the whole idea makes me sick.

  11. While intellectual property rights are important, these two pieces of legislation are like trying to use a chainsaw to trim your toenails. It’s just plain wrong, and seems to fly in the face of the long established “fair use doctrine.” Already wrote my congressman, and both senators. Do it, people!

  12. Co-sponsors (of the two bills) are starting to drop out. That seems like progress.

  13. I called each person who represents my area. I asked the persons who answered the phone, point blank, how the elected official intended to vote on these two bills.

    The first one didn’t repsond directly, instead asking me if I had a message for the Senator. I told him in no uncertain terms that I am not a one-issue voter and never have been, but that if he supported these bills I would do everything in my power to see him defeated in the next election – since I couldn’t imagine anyone who was knowledgable about our modern world and possessed even half a brain supporting them. The person asked if there was anything else I wanted to say. I told him he really didn’t want to hear what else I might say – and I repeated that I was totally serious about opposing the Senator if he voted for them.

    The second person said the Representative was still trying to decide (such a perfect political answer) and asked why I wanted to know. I repeated my response above, adding that I couldn’t imagine any truly educated, intelligent person supporting them in our modern economy, especially.

    I got the feeling those offices are fielding a lot of similar calls today.

  14. Yes, my Senators’ offices sounded VERY familiar with the issue. One even said the Senator had asked them to gauge opinion on the issue. I think that’s a good sign.

  15. Let’s see, place Steve Evans, and the others who have commented on this anti-American-government blog onto “the List”. Check.

    Now, Let’s see how y’all like the next strip search we do on you rebels the next time you go through an airport!


  16. ben orchard says:

    i have left messages for several of my states senators & representatives. Let me be clear: this is an issue that has an impact on ANYONE who publishes online or maintains a website with any outside links and user-generated content.

  17. @#15: The federal government isn’t that organized….

  18. Aaron the Ogre says:

    @#15. Very funny. Me? a mormon reb. I mean, that’s almost as cool as actually being in Star Wars.

  19. “Please take a minute and speak up today.”

    Done. I think this explanation is helpful.

  20. Rob Portman is from OH. Rand Paul is the other senator from KY, with McConnell.

  21. Rand Paul?

    Sorry, I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around that one. Granted, I really don’t know much about Paul, the Younger, but still . . .

  22. Only one of my elected representatives’ websites even addresses SOPA/PIPA–he opposes it. On his online comment form, I thanked him for his position, and on the other two websites my comment was similar to Ray’s: I’m not a single issue voter, but if they voted for SOPA/PIPA, I would do everything I could to be sure they were not re-elected.

  23. Called several weeks ago. I appreciate BCC’s post on this.

  24. http://static.thepiratebay.org/legal/sopa.txt –> funny press release.


  25. Mock all you want. As a government, we may not be well organized, but at least we’re inefficient as well. We might have to arrest tens of thousands of innocent people, but we’ll eventually get to you as well. There are cages awaiting all of you Internet terrorists at Guantanamo….

    Oh, and make sure and vote to reelect Pres Obama!

  26. This link ought to go in the sidebar: http://projects.propublica.org/sopa/ Its an easy way to see where your congressperson stands.

  27. Sharee Hughes says:

    #26, thanks for posting this link. It was great to see Utah on the “opposed” side.

  28. Glass Ceiling says:

    Big Brother,

    Evidently Romney supports NDAA. McCain helpwrite it. I suppose the support SOPA. Why not?

    Ron Paul has no chance even if he is elected, which he won’t be.

    “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”

  29. I absolutely, positively, detest this bill.

  30. Glass Ceiling,

    Your statements regarding Ron Paul, Mitt or McCain are all subject to your poor typing skills. As a major government oversight agency, we could not decipher portions of your message. We’ve decided it comes down to either poor state level teaching, or you are a terrorist spy attempting to send a hidden message to other rogue groups working together on this blog. Either way, you are now on our radar. Obviously the federal government needs to come to your house and give you several weeks of “intense therapy” to assist you with either of these “disabilities”.

  31. I went to Wikipedia yesterday and was so annoyed at not being able to get the info I wanted quick and dirty, I made an effort to contact my rep and senators to protest SOPA/PIPA. Unfortunately I don’t know how to tweet or use the Google service they provided links to and I am fearful of using facebook for anything. So when they didn’t provide a link which I could merely click and they would automatically send a largely meaningless scathing email to each of them in my name, I lost interest.

    Then I read an opposing view with more detail: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/sopa-pipa-wont-break-the-internet/2012/01/18/gIQA3dAP8P_blog.html.

    Now I am not so sure

  32. Craig, the opposing view actually has less detail, not more. The fact that you don’t know how to tweet, use Google or Facebook says to me that you do not really understand the Internet, like our Congress. That op-ed is just wrong, straight up.

  33. it's a series of tubes says:

    Craig, you might want to consider the assessment of the person who developed the WWW in the first place:

  34. Glass Ceiling says:

    Big Brother,

    My typo was because of a phone. That’s my excuse.
    So, what’s your excuse for being an ass?

  35. Easy Glass Ceiling, take a step back and breathe.

  36. Glass Ceiling, sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings. All of this has been tongue in cheek!

    I’m definitely against SOPA, and I know you are an intelligent person. I was just trying to play the part of the big government, but I guess I took it too far, just as the fed has….

  37. “you might want to consider the assessment of the person who developed the WWW in the first place”

    #33 – This must be a liberal hell-hole if it’s allowing a link to something written by Al Gore.

  38. it's a series of tubes says:

    It’s been a long day; I nearly missed the joke :)

    On an unrelated note, I once had the unique opportunity of spending 90 minutes one-on-one with Vint Cerf, discussing concepts and ideas for IP protection online. I stand in awe of that man.

  39. Glass Ceiling says:


    No worries….

  40. Glass Ceiling says:

    And thanks for letting me know. :

  41. Glass, no worries. Besides, I was getting bored with being the heavy handed socialist Big Brother government type. I’m much more the easy going libertarian “make pizza, not war” type.

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