Re: Where were you the day they closed the internet?
SOPA got indefinitely postponed. In reality though I'm not sure this means dropped, the cynical part of me is much more inclined to think "let's try bringing it back at a later date quietly when all this fuss is over." PIPA and ACTA, just as bad, are still in force.
Personally I think it's a somewhat disgusting portrayal of society that the laws have even got this far - it reinforces the view that you can bankroll near anything through government if you have sufficient capital and commercial weight. Let's face it - if this wasn't the case laws with such huge flaws that set to radically change the internet as we know it would've got laughed out at the earliest stages otherwise.
It's akin to someone standing outside your house checking everything that comes in and out, tapping your phone lines and stalking you... Funny how we always here these metaphors about file sharing is stealing and the (far more correct) ones about how SOPA is stalking are just brushed aside.
Of course, people could use networks like Tor on top of permenant encryption (which a lot of people likely will if this law comes into play!) But then I'm betting the film companies will start pushing for a ban on encryption... then we're basically the same as the situation in China.
In principal I'm against widespread illegal file sharing, especially of films (I can perhaps understand why £15 for a CD that the artist makes basically no money off of anyway is considered not worth it, but £3 for a decent full length film is pretty good value IMO.) And there are ways to sensibly tackle that, technical ways that don't involve taking a glimpse inside of every packet. But those laws are in place already, and many people do get caught each year under them. The problem is this takes a bit of effort on the RIAA's behalf and instead of streamlining the technicalities behind these sorts of operations, they don't want to have to bother. They want to be able to press a button and take a site / person offline. And under SOPA, that's exactly what they'll get.
Save the whales, feed the hungry, free the mallocs.