During the research process I began to focus on specific issues that I would like to tackle for the final project namely what sorts of governmental legislation we can expect to be up against in the future that could potentially infringe on our freedom to use the Internet as we do today. With the recent success of bringing down SOPA and PIPA, the general public is now more aware of what these laws are and what how their implications could affect us all, or are they?
The goal of this project is to create an interactive dataset where users can explore the characteristics of legislations like SOPA and PIPA to get a sense of what industries and companies support them, how much money is contributed to their passage and what goes on “behind the scenes”.
In addition to a dataset, I would also like to create a simple poster which highlights these issues, and present it in public for a good old fashion street-intervention. I would like to interview people to discover what they know, what their perceptions of these laws are and by revealing some new information to them provoking a call to action. The interviews would be videotaped and posted to the site along with the data.
call to action poster during street protest in January 2012
While doing research, I discovered that most people were not aware this legislation was taking place until websites like wikipedia were blacked out; people need to take more active measures in learning what new legislations are before major funding and lobbying begins.
Wikipedia black-out page protesting SOPA PIPA bils
By showing how industry spending on bills effects congressional legislation, people can be made aware just how much these companies can be detrimental to us. Industries should not be able to give unlimited amounts of money to congress for things that are not in the best interests of their constituents.
A key component in designing both the website, the poster and the street interviews is to keep it simple. By presenting facts in a clear cut easy to understand 2-line descriptions, the information will be easier to digest and process. This will be one of the major goals of the project, present clear, concise and relevant information.