Is the Internet in danger of ceasing to exist?

In its current form- simply, yes.

There is some legislation in the US being proposed that would effectively destroy the internet as we know it, with many websites (including this one) potentially being shut down for good. If you are wondering why Stu’s Shed is at risk particularly, it is because it is hosted in the USA, and the service provider (WordPress) could have its hand forced to shut down a website, whether or not it is based in the US.  Irrespective, Google could be forced not to provide links to this site (if this site was accused of piracy, substantiated or not), which would still be a death’s sentence.

Wikipedia are taking it very seriously indeed, and in less than 18 hours will initiate a 24 hour shutdown of the whole of Wikipedia.

If these legislations go through, or similar ones are raised and actioned either in the US or Australia, and there is a question of copyright infringement (legitimate or otherwise), then this site could be shut down, and quite simply it would be permanent. I couldn’t afford the legal battle that would then ensue.  An accusation of piracy would be enough to be blacklisted, and it is then up to the accused site to prove that it hasn’t breached copyright.

You can read more here: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

and here: PROTECT IP Act (PIPA)

Here is hoping sensibility will prevail.

Update: as part of a global movement, this site, and my photo blog Stu’s Darkroom will be displaying the Stop Censorship ribbon until 24 Jan 12 (when the US congress votes on the bills).

These bills are more threatening to the ongoing use of the internet than spammers, and that is saying something.

Update 2

Wikipedia is off the air!

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