While the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, continues to snake its way through Congress, some citizens are attempting to take their concerns to the companies which support the legislation. For instance, a recent boycott of GoDaddy resulted in a surprising about-face for the company. However, the designers of the Boycott SOPA app for Android want to take it a step further. Using the app, shoppers can quickly weed out products from companies which have thrown their support behind SOPA.
Currently available for free, the app hopes to gain the attention of SOPA supporting companies by going after their wallets. Users simply have to scan the barcode on the item they wish to purchase, and the app tells you whether or not the product comes from a SOPA supporter. Given how long and varied the list of supporters is, the app can take the guesswork out of your boycott.
For those concerned about security, the app’s creators report that Boycott SOPA only needs access to an internet connection and will not transmit personal information when the app queries its online product database. However, the app does require the installation of ZXing, an open-source barcode reader. Unfortunately the app is not infallible, with only 800 brands and products in its database. However, the creators say that they will continue to update the list over time.
It’s easy to dismiss a project like this; with so many enormous companies throwing their weight behind this legislation, avoiding their products is going to be an enormous chore. However, this app suggests that people are upset about SOPA enough to give it a try.
- Our complete coverage of the SOPA controversy
- GoDaddy reverses stance on SOPA
- SOPA hearing is positively infuriating