Quite some time ago, when my hubby was stationed in Iraq, I quit watching the news. It made me too nervous to hear about the deaths of soldiers, and different attacks that we were under. When he arrived back to the States, I never got back into the habit of watching the news. I think I realized how much negative stuff was reported, as well as the scare tactics that the media uses (think swine flu, West Nile virus, etc), and I decided I didn't want that to be a part of my life.
Anyhow, the downside to not watching the news is that unless it is big enough news to get the attention of the morning DJ or my friends on facebook, I usually have no idea what is going on. I wish I were more informed, but don't know how to be, while still avoiding the negative and extreme reporting. So, while on my morning commute, I heard the DJ talking about 2 bills before Congress right now: SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). From my understanding, these bills were meant to stop online piracy. However, due to the wording of the bill, if passed, the government would have the right to shut down any website it wants to.
I think what frustrates me the most about this, is that I feel the wording that was chosen was intentional. The government doesn't put anything out without having their lawyers look over it, and they know exactly what they are doing. They are saying this bill is to stop piracy, but in reality, it is just another way for the government to censor what they want us to see and hear. And while I don't expect there to be an immediate shutting down of websites, I feel that this is just the governments preparation for whatever future events they think they feel the need to control.
My hope is that enough people have heard about these bills and have in turn let their congressmen know that they are against them, that they will not be passed. Google has a direct link to sign a petition today. Wikipedia has shut down their site today in protest. Many other websites are also participating in this silent protest in other ways. If you haven't already, get online, and sign your name on a petition!