It’s no surprise that Google, who lists “you can make money without doing evil” on their official company philosophy page, has spoken up against the recent SOPA online privacy act, which gives the US government the ability to “hijack DNS and censor search results” at their own whim. It’s a controversial bill that has people on every side of media production and publishing speaking up about the proliferation of free and pirated content on the web.
Recently, Sergey Brin, one of the two co-founders of Google, has taken it so far that he’s posted a rant on Google Plus, explaining the importance of eliminating internet censorship and promoting free speech.
For more information on just how SOPA works, check out this awesome infographic. Essentially, it would give the government ability to shut down a site at their own whim. The tough question is what criteria the government would use to shut down web sites, and why. If a user posts a comment criticizing the government or making a threat of terror, will the government be apt enough to know to chase the commenter or shut the website? In the past, we’ve seen this kind of confusion before, and these decisions would affect the livelihood of Internet companies.
A copy of the letter is below, and you can click here to head over to Sergey’s page to take a closer look.