After SOPA: The Rise of the Darknets
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is the newest attempt by Congress and corporations in the United States to regulate the Internet. SOPA's proponents include the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry of America. They view SOPA as a means to counter rampant piracy on the Internet, especially sites such as ThePirateBay.org.
SOPA would allow the Department of Justice to seek a court order to be served on search engines, Internet providers, and other companies, forcing them to make a suspected piratical Web site disappear from the Internet.
SOPA is opposed by a multitude of Internet companies, engineers, and civil liberty groups including: American Express Company, AOL, Discover, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, foursquare, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Mozilla, OpenDNS, PayPal, Twitter, Wikimedia Foundation, Yahoo!, Zynga Game Network, Macr Andreessen - co-founder of Netscape, Sergey Brin - co-founder of Google, Jack Dorsey – co-founder of Twitter and Square, Caterina Fake – co-founder of Flickr and Hunch, David Filo – co-founder of Yahoo!, Reid Hoffman – co-founder of LinkedIn, Arianna Huffington – co-founder of The Huffington Post, Chad Hurley – co-founder of YouTube, Brewster Kahle – co-founder of PayPal, Craig Newmark – co-founder of craigslist, Pierre Omidya – co-founder of eBay, Biz Stone – co-founder of Obvious and Twitter, Jimmy Wales – founder of Wikipedia, Evan Williams – co-founder of Blogger and Twitter, Jerry Yang – co-founder of Yahoo!, ACLU, and many more.
A simple way that many people don't know about - and may never know about if President Obama eventually signs SOPA into law - is that a “darknet” can be used to conceal the location of your IP address. A “darknet” is a network that runs by obscuring the normal detection of the internet and can only be accessed using special client software.
One example of a such a network is Tor. Tor economizes and encrypts your browsing activity. Tor allows your IP address to appear as that of a random node somewhere else on the network. Since that random node will usually be outside of the United States, a Tor user will not get routed away from sites that SOPA aims to prevent users from accessing.
Under SOPA, however, software such as Tor or even sharing information about software like Tor could be deemed illegal. So read this now, before articles like this one is banned from the Internet.