Sent to you by Chris Hunter via Google Reader:
By now you've probably heard about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), the bills that want to cripple your internet. Perhaps you want to do something about it. Here are some tools that can help you keep track of SOPA and PIPA as well as prepare for problems in case they pass.
Photo by Leigh Prather (Shutterstock).
Discover SOPA Supporters
Not sure if your congressperson supports SOPA/PIPA? SOPA Track is a web site that can help you find out and keep track of their activity regarding the bills. It can use location tracking to provide the information automatically, or you can look them up by state or search using your address. Doing so will provide you with the names of your representatives, their stance on SOPA/PIPA, how much money they've raised from relevant groups, and several ways you can call them to voice your opinion on the matter. Even if they share your views, it's worth making a call or sending a message to thank them as it's always possible for their mind to change.
Google Chrome users can pick up the No SOPA, which reveals which sites support SOPA when visiting them. If you're interested in writing a letter to supporters, boycotting their sites, or simply be aware of their support, this extension can help with identification.
Protect Yourself in Advance
SOPA intends to block the domain names of sites that violate its terms. That means if Lifehacker was in violation, you couldn't go to lifehacker.com to reach our site. Instead, you'd have to go to our numeric IP address instead. In the event Lifehacker or any other site were to be blocked, however, you could easily undo the effects with a browser extension.
Google Chrome users should check out MAFIAAFire Redirector, which will intercept any domain names typed into your address bar and load via the site's numeric IP address instead. Firefox users have the choice of two extensions, DeSOPA and MAFIAAFire ThePirateBay Dancing, which do the same thing.
Additionally, Reddit users are creating a SOPA emergency list that hold the IP addresses of various sites. In the event these extensions don't work out or there isn't one for your browser, you'll be able to make edits to the hosts file on your computer to override any blocked sites. For now there's no sense in doing anything because there is no problem yet, but it's good to be prepared for the worst.
Know of any other helpful SOPA/PIPA tools? Share 'em in the comments!