Freedom on the Internet is a farfetched idea. The latest Asian country to prove this is Taiwan. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has recently proposed an amendment to its Copyright Act, a proposal that is similar to the United States Bill, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The IPO is proposing a legal justification of IP and DNS blocking at the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) level through a black list system (News Source: Global Voices, referred at Tech In Asia).
The government is claiming that the amendment is to stop the illegal sharing of copyright movies and music. Furthermore the government has clarified that Internet service providers would be blocking portals which are “specifically designed for copyright infringement activities” or websites which have “obviously violated copyrights.” Sites like Megaupload and peer to peer file sharing or torrent sites like Bit Torrent, etc. will be targeted by the service providers in Taiwan.
But, the new amendment has not gone down well with the believers of open society in Taiwan. It is being feared that with the amendment of the IPO, the Island will be creating a great firewall mechanism that would be blocking free speech in the name of “illegal websites.”
To raise voices against the IPO, the concerned citizens of Taiwan have started a social media initiative on Facebook by organizing a Facebook event. The event that is called #freeandopen has seen more than 15K people signing up from a total of more than 93K being invited to be part of the movement. The activity on the Facebook event page has been aggressive and the believers of free speech are hoping to create a mass movement and stop the amendment like it was done for SOPA last year in the US, as it threatened online freedom of expression and information flow.
Image Courtesy: contrib.andrew.cmu.edu