SOPA Opera

RSS Father Dave Winer: SOPA Is Great Because It Gets Techies Thinking Politics

dave winer RSS Father Dave Winer: SOPA Is Great Because It Gets Techies Thinking PoliticsAside from the vitriolic /r/politics subreddit and the class of politically-minded startups, tech and politics often don’t meet. Entrepreneurs and developers are so focused on building and making that they can become isolated from the workings of government (which is perhaps why the Occupy Wall Street protests rubbed some New York techies the wrong way).

But that may be changing. The rise of hacktivists from Anonymous to Aaron Swartz, the Y Combinator alum facing prison for downloading a massive data dump of academic papers from the MIT library because information wants to be free, suggests that geeks may be waking up to the impact government has on their lives.

The prime example of this is the Stop Online Piracy Act, which has workers in the internet economy worked up enough to write blog posts, hack together Chrome extensions, slap a “censored” bar across their own sites and call their Congresspeople.

David Winer over at his blog Scripting News points out that the tech blogosphere and politics blogosphere often don’t read each other. But perhaps SOPA will motivate techies to pay more attention to civic issues and maybe even participate. “SOPA is great because it gets people thinking about Internet architecture,” he noted today. “But it’s also great because it will politically activate people who until now had largely been politically offline.”

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com