Subscribe  Subscribe to Comments  Follow me on Twitter  Circle me on Google Plus  Friend me on Facebook  Follow me on StumbleUpon

≡ Menu
    To my delight, surprise, and slowly dispelled confusion I am a recipient of Fight for the Future’s “Nyan Cat Medal of Internet Awesomeness.” Me? Huh?

The Nyan Cat Medallion

Start: I have been honored.

Holmes Wilson, Tiffiniy Cheng, and the fighters of the Good Fight at Fight for the Future have seen fit to induct me into the “Order of Defenders of the Internet,” and have presented to me — via the United States Postal Service — the “Nyan Cat Medal of Internet Awesomeness,” pictured above.

Me? What did I do?

Enclosed was the letter explaining exactly what it is that I did:

After careful review, the committee for the Defenders of the Internet identified you as one of the top internet defenders in the world. You went above and beyond the status quo and staked out against SOPA, PIPA, and censorship on the internet. Your efforts have been noted because they required an exceptional combination of wit, tenacity, vision, and a belief in the transformative good the internet give to society. You helped lead us to a gigantic victory against internet censorship – it was an important fight for the public good and our free society. The web continues to be great because of you.

On behalf of the Internet, Fight for the Future bestows upon you the Nyan Cat Medal of Internet Awesomeness – the highest honor known to Internet Defenders.

Me? Really?

I later discovered that two other fellow recipients of this honor were none other than Marvin Ammori, a First Amendment scholar and de facto activist that helped lead the charge in the battle against SOPA/Protect-IP, and Mike Masnick, business and technology expert and the driving force behind the eye on technology, politics, the internet, and where they all collide known as TechDirt.

(Marvin Ammori wrote a simply delightful post about receiving his medal — a post I could not even dream of upstaging: “Medal Ceremony in Real Life: for Internet Awesomeness.”)

And then there’s … uh … me.

[click to continue…]

    My picture of American politics before and after I became aware of SOPA is as different as day and night — and my “after” is far darker.

Imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.

Start: December, 2010: the middle eastern nation of Tunisia erupted in protests against a corrupt and oppressive government, arguably the first bloom of the “Arab Spring.” As the rest of the world watched, mesmerized, the drama unfolded, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was thrown out, and the subsequent interim government went through several upheavals.

I remember, shortly after Tunisia’s Ben Ali was ousted, I had an errant thought: could this happen here?

I dismissed the thought with a mental shrug — it didn’t seem like conditions in the United States were bad enough for something like this to happen, and that Americans were too complacent to make this kind of stand anyway.

It Can’t Happen Here … or it Won’t?

It is clear one of the facilitators of the Tunisian revolution, the Iranian election protests of 2009 and 2010, and the later revolutions in Egypt and Libya, was the internet, and social media.

When I look at the seemingly unending reams of internet legislation (written to destroy what little privacy is left to users of the internet and enforce the ownership of intellectual property rights light years beyond any reasonable measure) that are quietly being rammed with unconscionable haste through the United States Congress, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch of the imagination to suggest I was not alone in wondering if the same kind of revolution could happen here.

And I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch of the imagination to suggest the drive to throttle the internet from both the government and corporate sectors is that The Powers That Be are striving to ensure that it won’t.

[click to continue…]