Five years ago today, millions of people came together to shock Washington into action on behalf of the public. Jan. 18, 2012 was a day of mass protests against legislation that would have undermined the free and open exchange of information online.
This week marks the four year anniversary of the largest online protest in history, when 75,000 websites and 15 million users protested legislation supported by the entertainment industry that threatened freedom of expression online.
All we really need to know is that passing H.R. 1314 essentially puts the omnibus, 29-chapter Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement onto the fast track, where Congress members don't get a chance to deliberate or discuss it on the floor of the House.
Industry-written policy has brought us higher broadband bills, limited choice among providers and efforts to stifle the creativity of entrepreneurs and the broader public.
It's no surprise that Illinois consumers expressed identity theft as their No. 2 complaint, right behind debt, according to the state attorney general's office.
First, find who his or her biggest corporate donors are. Then check his or her record on policies that may impact the bottom lines of those companies. Does she support or oppose financial-sector reform? Has he recently signed a letter or released a statement opposing EPA curbs to coal-plant emissions?
I thought John Sarik was trying to shake my hand when we met last Spring at the Columbia Laboratory for Unconventional Electronics (CLUE). Instead he was trying to hand me a small tan-colored plastic figurine of smuggler and rouge Han Solo, of Star Wars fame, frozen in carbonite.
However important the SOPA victory was in 2012, its lasting significance depends on how well the diverse coalition holds together in these and other fights -- and against business as usual in Washington.