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Register to Vote for the Internet and Help Stop the Next SOPA

September 25, 2012 - by Donny Shaw

Earlier this year we were proud to be part of a coalition that shocked the corporate political world by organizing unprecedented online protests against internet censorship. Chris Dodd, former senator and the current MPAA Chair, compared the protests to the Arab Spring and said that in his four decades in Washington he had never seen such an effective campaign against a bill.

We defeated the censorship bills (SOPA and PIPA) because Congress feared that the internet — the most powerful social technology mankind has ever seen — was becoming a new political constituency. Now we need to show them that they were correct to be afraid by demonstrating that the internet votes, and that we will vote them out of office if they try to violate our rights. If members of Congress believe that the millions of people who participated the anti-censorship coalition by calling or emailing their representatives are not going to show up at the polls this November, they will not listen to us the next time we have to step up and defend the internet (and you know there will be a next time). Registering the internet to vote and getting the internet to the polls is the most important thing we can do right now to solidify the political power we stirred up during the fight over the censorship bills.

Today is National Voter Registration Day, and our friends at Fight for the Future have built a new voter registration tool that makes getting registered super simple. If you are not registered, don’t know if you’re registered, or want to update your location, use this tool now — today is the last day to register in many states:

This registration process is just the beginning. Over the next couple months, Fight for the Future will be rolling out fresh get-out-the-vote tools that will show you which of your friends have been slacking at voting and help you encourage/pressure them to step it up this November. More on the strategy details here.

There is no doubt that the corporate interests behind SOPA and PIPA, and the allies they’ve purchased in D.C., will be trying again in the next session of Congress to get their internet censorship regime passed into law. These bills are a key part of the content industry’s business plans and they have invested millions of dollars to manipulate the political process so that their lobbying will drown out the public. Our best chance at fighting this corruption is to vote in November. Believe it or not, votes still matter more to members of Congress than money, so register up and let’s show Congress that they will be held accountable for violating the internet.

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