Sascha Meinrath, New America vice president and director of its Open Technology Institute, is featured in Al Jazeera's latest Fault Lines documentary, which covers how copyright and cyber security debates are fundamentally about control of the Internet.
The documentary discusses the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), two copyright enforcement bills that sparked widespread outrage from Internet users that led to the largest online protest in U.S. history and 100,000 websites from Google to Wikipedia blacking out logos or entire websites.
Last year, Meinrath argued that that the bills were “so technically impractical that they do little to address "[copyright infringement]” and” fundamentally incompatible with a free society.” In the film, Meinrath explains SOPA/PIPA were not about increasing useful arts and sciences, but rather lining the pockets of corporate copyright holders.
“Where we’re heading, unfortunately, is more toward a locked down system, where there’s an intervention that happens that says you cannot use this application or this service or have this kind of conversation,” Meinrath said in the documentary. “And in that world, where you need a surveillance mechanism to check all of that, it begins to look a lot more like the Tehrans or Chinas, and a lot less like what we envision the United States to look like.”
To view the documentary or see when it will air on Al Jazeera, please click here.
To interview Meinrath or any of our other experts in the Open Technology Institute, please contact Clara Hogan.