The Irish government have announced that before the end of January they will bring in legislation similar to SOPA in the US without any scrutiny from the Oireachtas.
If this law is passed, it will give courts the power to grant orders to ISPs and other entities suspected of infringing copyright. Irish websites that are accused of violating copyright could be blocked without there being proof. Even sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook may be blocked in Ireland if one user posts something that music and film businesses think violates a copyright.
SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and sister legislation PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) are the names of similar legislation recently proposed in the US, which caused global public outcry last week.
International website Wikipedia went into ‘blackout’ in protest and more than 7 million Americans contacted their representatives telling them to vote it down. But I and other Irish citizens will not get that chance because the new law in Ireland is not being voted on in the Oireachtas. It will be done at the stroke of a minister’s pen and without any parliamentary debate.
In America, the massive protests stopped the legislation in its tracks, so a similar outcry in Ireland could stop the Government from pushing through the ministerial order.
Considering that Google and Facebook are two of Dublin’s biggest technology employers, the law is also likely to hurt Ireland’s fragile economy and damage Ireland’s reputation as a place to set up tech businesses.
This bill threatens civil rights and free access to the internet. Sign the petition now and tell Sean Sherlock to drop the legislation.
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