Join top sites in protesting censorship on the web

by on January 16, 2012


Recently many large sites on the web, like Reddit and Wikipedia have announced plans to black out their sites in opposition to the bills that have been proposed in the US House and Senate in the name of “stopping piracy”. The problem with these bills is that they would give the government the power to censor content on the web while breaking the underlying infrastructure of the internet. Corporate supporters of HR3261 (SOPA) and S968 (PIPA) demand the ability to take down any web site that affects their profits, without due process or judicial oversight. Hoping you wouldn’t notice or care, the majority of our elected representatives want to give them that right.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP (PIPA) act are just another instance of the government meddling in things they don’t understand while giving themselves more power.

While progress is being made at stopping these bills, it is important that we continue to raise awareness of what’s going on. There have already been illegal seizures by Homeland Security’s ICE that highlight the danger of allowing the government to block sites at will.

This weekend at Torbit, we built a JavaScript widget that makes it easy for any site to join the protest against SOPA, PIPA and other censorship on the web. Just paste a snippet of JavaScript into your website to add an interstitial to your site with information about SOPA and how to contact your local representatives. By default it will only be displayed on January 18th from 8am–8pm EST (1300–0100 UTC). It’s available as a WordPress plugin, Blogger widget, Typepad widget, as well as a simple javascript snippet. Check out the screenshot below to see what it looks like or click here to try it out.

What are you doing with your talent and energy?

by Josh Fraser on November 6, 2011


Bill Gates to members of the Harvard community: I hope you will reflect on what you’ve done with your talent and energy. I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you work to address the ...

Google Reader export to bookmarks.htm

by Josh Fraser on November 3, 2011


I was one of the small group of Google Reader users who actively used the sharing functionality before Google killed it with their latest upgrade. While the number of people I shared with was small, the quality was incredibly high. I don't blame Google ...

Mentorship

by Josh Fraser on September 28, 2011


One of the things I have greatly benefited from is being surrounded by good mentors. I was once advised to surround myself with people who are smarter than me (it's not a high bar, I know). Getting mentors involved in my life and company is one of ...

O’Reilly interview about Torbit

by Josh Fraser on July 18, 2011


I recently attended and spoke at the Velocity Conference. While I was there, Mac Slocum grabbed me and we spent a few minutes talking about mobile performance. Mac is the Online Managing Editor for O'Reilly and it was fun to get to share some of the ...

Live every minute that you have

by Josh Fraser on July 17, 2011


I've been thinking again recently about what I want to accomplish with my life. I have a few specific goals. I want to see the world from outer space. I want to build a school in a third world country. I want to build a product that touches 1% or ...

Goodbye Boulder. Hello Mountain View.

by Josh Fraser on June 23, 2011


Just over 4 years ago, I moved from South Carolina to Boulder, Colorado. I instantly fell in love with this town. Boulder is a perfect playground for adults. Boulder has 300 days of sunshine with amazing skiing in the winter and great mountain ...

Speaking at Velocity Conference

by Josh Fraser on June 3, 2011


In a couple weeks I'll be speaking at O'Reilly's 2011 Velocity Conference. Velocity is an annual gathering of people who care a lot about web performance. The tagline this year is “Automated, Optimized, Ubiquitous”. Of course, “Automated” describes ...

Update on Rolling Curl

by Josh Fraser on May 21, 2011


Back in 2009 I blogged about using curl_multi() in PHP without blocking. The goal was to provide a better way to process multiple HTTP requests in parallel. The code was well received and I ended up turning my original snippet of code into a full blown ...

3 types of winning

by Josh Fraser on May 17, 2011


Each month I pay Comcast for internet access at my house and their service sucks. I have the option to switch to Qwest but I’ve heard they are just as bad. As a customer, I’m not very happy but dropping my internet isn’t exactly an option. In ...