We’re still online, but SOPA/PIPA could change that

As you may have heard, today many websites around world and across the Internet are “blacking out” in protest of the USA SOPA & PIPA bills. You can check the list of who is participating in the “SOPA Strike” if you like, but JKL5 is not one of them.

I wish to be clear that we are staying online today because of our commitment to servicing our customers, not because we support SOPA/PIPA. In fact, if these bills pass, we will be put in a position of being shut down. How so, you might ask?

JKL5 is a Canadian company that specializes in Asterisk/ VOIP systems integration for telephony, small business “hands-on” web hosting, and, of course, Persony conference server hosting. You might think that as a Canadian company that SOPA and PIPA would not affect us in any way. Unfortunately, there are measures in these two bills that would allow us to be blacked out to the USA netspace for someone else’s actions, either intentional or accidental.

A likely scenario would be a customer website hosting material that a whistle-blower deems copyrighted. Another would be copyrighted material in a slide-deck presentation for a video conference. Or maybe the on-hold music for a customer’s virtual call center.

Depending on the mood of prosecutor, since we are a Canadian company and JKL5 can’t be sent to jail, they could require every ISP in the USA to blacklist us. You would type the URL in for the service — your website, your video conference hosting site, your PBX interface — and you would just get a note saying that we were bad and thus blocked.

And so would all of your customers in the USA, using that service.

If that sounds a bit extreme — a bill that would turn the USA, the land of the free and home of the brave, into a black hole for e-commerce and digital age services — I assure you that it would be possible under SOPA/PIPA.

If you are a US citizen — the rest of the world doesn’t get to vote, just the US — I’d encourage you to check out the blacked-out Wikipedia site and follow the available link for more information.

Thanks for reading. We hope you agree with our stance to remain online today in spite of our support for those organizations who have chosen to “strike” in protest.

If you have any comments, concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to email me or call. That’s what I am here for.

Michel R. Vaillancourt / JKL-5 Groupe Inc.