Home Android App Identifies SOPA Supporters Behind Real-World Products

Android App Identifies SOPA Supporters Behind Real-World Products

The Stop Online Piracy Act. The mere thought of the controversial Internet regulation bill passing even one house of Congress keeps you up at night. You’ve already transferred all of your domains from GoDaddy, even after they flip-flopped on their SOPA stance. You instinctively click on every anti-SOPA story on Reddit and Hacker News, voting up the best of them. On the Internet, you’ve eagerly joined the growing army of digital activists opposing the law, but what about the real world? What about when you go to the store?

A new Android app called Boycott SOPA aims to help bridge the gap between the digital and physical worlds and keep users in tune with which companies support SOPA and thus which products to avoid. The app scans barcodes on real-world products and then checks against a database of 800 SOPA supporters, letting you know if buying that box of tissues is going to ruin the Internet or not.

To some extent, whether or not a product is made by a company that supports SOPA is pretty obvious. If you’re picking up a Blu-ray disc of a major motion picture or a deluxe edition Nickelback album, it’s s safe bet the folks who stand to profit from that purchase hate certain characteristics of the Internet and would love to see something like SOPA signed into law.

Things are not always quite so self-explanatory, however. A few manufacturers of things like cosmetics and pharmaceutical products are on the list of SOPA supporters and some organizations may have business relationships of which you’re not necessarily aware.

While this barcode-scanning Android app won’t single-handedly dismantle SOPA, it’s another tool in the fast-growing kit used by those seeking to derail the legislation. It takes what the “No SOPA” Chrome plugin does and carries that over to physical products in the real world.

So far, the app has received largely positive reviews from users in the Android Market. A few folks were annoyed that the app asked for access to their contacts, but by and large, it seems to be doing the trick for most people.

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