At ORD Camp last weekend Ben Huh led a discussion about how we -- a group of geeks and artists -- can save the Internet. We won the fight against SOPA and PIPA for now but those laws will just sneak in through some other bill. Will wikipedia be there to black out again in protest? The fight is nowhere near from over and we have to get organized.
We came up with a bunch of great ideas. Let's visualize the data. Let's build tools for congress to comprehend the sheer volume of people who are in favor of a free and open Internet. Let's improve the system so that instead of emailing hundreds of thousands of opposing letters and overloading government servers we could show them a graph of trends.
But that's not how the US congress works. Sure it would be helpful to provide these visualizations but you know what would be more helpful? Lobbyists. If we want to save the Internet we need to buy some lobbyists that can play the game just like the big corporations do. What's the difference between earning money through capital gains and salaried income? Not a whole lot (unless you compare the labor involved). So why are capital gains taxed at 15% and income taxed at 30%? Lobbyists. They've been working full time on cutting down corporate taxes for years.
Hey Internet, we can totally do this. We have the unique ability to build up a massive worldwide momentum faster than any other medium on the planet. The fight against SOPA proved that we are a force to be reckoned with. We also know how to crowd source money -- just look at kickstarter. Nearly every project gets funded because their model is pure genius.
Let's buy lobbyists to save the Internet.
I don't mean we should buy lobbyists just to skew the facts and play dirty, the truth is on our side! We just need the lobbyists to work the system and amend the laws in our favor. We also need to write laws. At the discussion someone mentioned a startup called wethelobby.com -- I don't know much about them or how effective they are but this is the right idea. Let's put our collective minds together, crowd source the funds, and hire some muscle to work this system for us not them. Our future depends on it.