New Tool Tells You When You're Browsing a Website That Supports "Big Brother" SOPA Bill
Are you concerned about SOPA, the bill that critics say could lead to widespread internet censorship and change the internet as we know it? Well, you aren't alone. Web giants like Facebook, Google, and Amazon are fighting the bill, threatening to enact an "internet outage" in protest.
But plenty of other companies support the potentially dangerous legislation, and now you have an easy way to find out who they are. The new "No SOPA" add-on for Google's Chrome browser tells you when you're browsing a SOPA-supporting website.
No SOPA, an extension program for Google’s Chrome browser, warns users every time they visit a site owned by a company that supports SOPA, throwing up a red bar at the top of the browser that reads “SOPA Supporter! This company is a known supporter of the dangerous ‘Stop Online Piracy Act.’”
The plug-in doesn’t block those SOPA-supporting sites. But the tool’s creators, two Minneapolis programmers named Andy Baird and Tony Webster, have some suggestions about how users ought to proceed. “Boycott? Nasty letter time?” they write in the tool’s description. “You decide.”
No SOPA takes its blacklist from media sources, and Baird and Webster say they’ll continually update it with suggestions from users to the tool’s page on Github, a platform for open source software. As of today, the add-on seems to flag 333 sites as SOPA friendly, from industry groups like the Motion Picture Association of America to the Business Software Alliance, to companies like Apple.com to Nintendo.com, to Newscorp-owned sites like Fox.com and Sky.com.
Chrome users can download the add-on here. And if you're still somewhat confused about what SOPA is, how it could be harmful, and why you should care, I recommend this primer from the blog Lifehacker.