first_imgOne bright spot of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is the creativity that hackers, developers, and internet freedom advocates have responded with. We’ve already seen a Firefox extension that preemptively bypasses SOPA blocks, a Chrome extension that tells you whether a website you visit is a known supporter of the act, and even a hacker satellite that would use core technology to avoid SOPA restrictions. Now there is a new web app, SOPA Track, that attempts to tell you where your local legislators stand on the issue.The web app asks for permission to use your location, and then gives you a list of lawmakers in your area, with any information we know about their stance on SOPA. If you’d rather not share your location (or are just curious about other states), you can manually browse congressmen by state as well. The app is optimized for mobile devices, but looks fine on a computer as well. Most lawmakers haven’t taken a public stance on SOPA, so the app’s creators have used the next best resource we have to predict how they’ll vote: campaign contributions. For each politician, you’ll see how much money he has raised from “big media,” pro-SOPA groups, and anti-SOPA groups (PIPA replaces SOPA for some lawmakers). Legislators are also identified as being SOPA or PIPA co-sponsors where applicable.What do you do with the information? It includes telephone numbers for each politician, as well as links to her Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube account (where applicable). The app advises you to take the information into account during the next election cycle, urging you to “vote them in, vote them out.”The web app will feature many questions marks until votes are cast. Its developer promises to update when that information becomes available. The data that we have now, contributions from SOPA supporters, don’t necessarily dictate how each legislator will vote, but those dollars do talk.As you’ll see from the results, political contributions from media companies and pro-SOPA groups easily outweigh donations from anti-SOPA groups. The opposition, however, has numbers and passion on its side. Apart from copyright holders, those in favor of SOPA probably don’t get too fired up about the issue. The millions of geeks, pirates, and EFF supporters who love the underlying freedom of the internet do get fired up. SOPA Track gives those fervent detractors another tool to more efficiently channel that desire.SOPA Track, via Read Write Weblast_img read more