Have you noticed that as an IT pro, people tend to not take your expertise very seriously. I wrote about this last year when I referred to it as the “Rodney Dangerfield Syndrome.” And you’re seeing it play out on the national stage now with SOPA legislation.
While the experts including a coalition made up of such strange bedfellows as arch competitors Google, Facebook and Microsoft tell Congress this legislation is a horrible idea, the Congress instead chooses to ignore the experts (or listen to the bill’s advocates). As Cory Doctorow pointed out on Boing Boing, the voices of the opposition (other than Google) weren’t even invited to the SOPA hearing in November.
Surely even a member of Congress can understand the broad implications of giving the power to shut down web sites as SOPA has the great potential of providing, but if they don’t get that perhaps they can start to see the impact it could have on business. That’s where it stops being a political question for those of you in IT and becomes one about making it more difficult for you to do your job.
SOPA would require that Rackspace and other Internet service providers censor their customers with little in the way of due process, trumping the protections present in the current Digital Millennium Copyright Act. What’s more, the SOPA bill would seriously disrupt the Domain Name Service that is crucial to the smooth operation of the Web.
That would hit home for a lot of IT pros who rely on these services. What’s worse, is it could even have an impact on your company’s web site. As more companies rely on inbound marketing techniques and content marketing, you could be shut down by a competitor with an axe to grind without due process.
This is why it’s time for Congress to start listening to the experts, the folks in IT and the companies who actually know what they’re talking about, who understand only too well that if legislation like this passed it would give broad and scary power to shut down web sites and web services that companies rely upon to do business.
Whether you are arguing against an ill-conceived proposed law or making an argument in-house about a technology decision, it’s time IT pros got their due. Too often the experts — IT or otherwise are dimissed in today’s world and it’s time we gave experts — the people who actually know what they’re talking about — the respect they deserve.