Background: Instead of a narrow focus on SOPA, look at the big picture. Since 1980, the USA has turned into a real police state where laws are passed not to protect individual rights but to generate jobs in the criminal justice system. In 1980, about 400,000 people in the USA were in prisons; today the total is about 2,500,000. California's 3 strikes law requiring a life sentence after a person's third felony conviction, got passed because the union representing prison guards there bought off enough politicians. In NYC, Mayor Bloomberg is serving an illegal third term with no problem but football player Plaxico Buress got a mandatory 2 year prison sentence for illegally carrying a handgun (after he accidentally shot himself in the thigh with it). There have been tens of thousands of arrests for marijuana possession in NYC under Bloomberg's stop and frisk program, almost all illegal since the NYPD arresting officers put down the reason as public display of pot after they force the friskees to empty out their pockets. Any pot seen, an arrest and the cops earn credit for an arrest and can get overtime - "collars for dollars."
If SOPA passed, some Internet downloaders of questionable material would find themselves facing criminal charges. Just look at what is happening to Megaupload, where the site's owners in New Zealand got picked up on an international arrest warrant the USDOJ sent law enforcement authorities there. Incidentally, the same Justice Department officials who have yet to indict one Wall Street insider for the real estate meltdown that has cost U.S. taxpayers upfront $700 billion in TARP money.
On the network evening news shows, there is no discussion of how SOPA could be used by law enforcement to arrest violators of the law. "By age 23, up to 41 percent of American adolescents and young adults have been arrested at least once for something other than a minor traffic violation, according to a new study published today in the journal Pediatrics."(http://abcnews.go.com/Health/arrests...ry?id=15180222
) So, under SOPA, if you are downloading copyright material that someone in law enforcement does not consider fair use, you can have the potential of an arrest warrant being issued for you. That couldn't happen, right, just like in New York City, there couldn't be over 100,000 arrests for pot possession generated by perjured arrest reports from the police to criminalize conduct, possession of small amounts of marijuana, that is a violation, not a crime. In NYC, neither the DAs who handle these pot arrests or the arraignment judges who sometimes get the cases have uttered word one in public one criticizing the false pot arrests.
So this discussion about SOPA should be of more than academic interest to anyone who downloads bit torrents of stuff like the latest episode of "Supernatural." If you are the only one who has access to a computer connected to the Internet and your IP address shows up in a sweep of a download site, you could be subject to a charge of criminal copyright infringement. In the Bell, California municipal corruption case, police there targeted Hispanics for traffic stops, figuring many were undocumented and could not get driver's licenses. The unlicensed drivers had their cars seized, they were hit with hefty fines and some of their cars were even auctioned off, all to raise money to pay the bloated salaries of crooked city officials. But that sort of thing only happened in Bell, law enforcement elsewhere is pure as the driven snow.
In Counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/...fficking-gang/
), Nancy Scheper-Hughes wrote of her inability for years to get anyone in law enforcement to investigate bio-piracy involving the illegal sale of kidneys in the USA. If not for the fact that the ringleader of one kidney transplant gang getting caught up in a massive political corruption scandal in New Jersey (is there any other kind), the gang would have continued their operations: selling kidneys, defrauding Medicare and getting payoffs from the kidney transplant surgeons. That illegal kidney transplant gang was committing real crimes. Naturally, law enforcement officials at the USDOJ ignored Ms. Scheper-Hughes, she had no connections, an outsider.
That is all.