Censoring the internet by SOPA & PIPA bills: Google, wikipedia blackout

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    Every one seems to be protesting the effort to censor the internet by SOPA and PIPA bills. Google and wikipedia blackout affected millions of people

    18th January 2012 was a memorable day for the internet community. It was the first full scale online protest day against SOPA. A large number of websites, including Google and Wikipedia went dark in protest to the bill.

    SOPA is a proposed online anti-piracy legislation, which is not being entertained as even vaguely helpful by the online community. The Stop Online Piracy Act is being viewed by the online community as a heavy cloak of censorship over the World Wide Web. The protest was so serious and all-encompassing that the effects were felt strongly by the political ends concerned with this bill.

    The effect of the online protest was that there is little political support left for the bill now. The bill was initially backed by Florida Senator Mark Rubio and also being co-sponsored by him. After the protest was felt, he backed off from the bill. Other Congressmen also relented, saying that perhaps the bill was too rushed and not though through properly. By mid-day, House Speaker John Boehner acknowledged that there was a lack of consensus on the legislation.

    The first online protest stood out with its show of scope, solidarity, and emotional unity. The message being sent out was enormously clear: SOPA is not wanted.

    The website that began the protest was Wikipedia. It went dark, revealing a somber grey page that urged users to contact their representatives in Congress to ask that the House bill, along with its parallel Protect IP Act now stalled in the Senate, be deep-sixed. There were no answers on Wikipedia for the whole 24 hours, just the message. Then Google visitors found the search engine devoid of its multicoloured Doodle and instead found a black-armband in its place. Reddit users, on the other hand, found the message that declared that the “front page of the Internet,” was vowing “today we fight back.”

    The legislation was flooded with calls and e-mails. Senator Rubio said regarding this influx of message, “Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.”’

    Media also took up the issue with full support and the protest was very widely covered. Holmes Wilson, co-founder of the non-profit online-freedom advocacy group Fight for the Future, said that he was surprised by the overwhelming support by users. He got a response of more than 75,000 people who signed up to strike on their sites, either with total blackouts or by posting a notice. 2 million visitors had visited his protest website by mid-morning.

    Holmes said, “Today the Internet is revealing the power it has to defend itself. But this is about more than just Internet freedom. As we depend more and more on technology, all of our freedoms are in the balance, because they all depend on a free and open Internet and that’s being threatened.’”

    SOPA was tweeted, before the morning ended, 3 million times. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the super-famous community website Facebook, joined in saying that he considered such bills a threat. He tweeted, “Tell your congressmen you want them to be pro-internet.” He chose this occasion to appear on Twitter and tweet for the first time in three years.

    9 COMMENTS

    1. I don’t understand why they would even ettempt that. It’s absolutely rediculous! What? are they trying to prove that they have more power over the internet now, too??
      NOBODY wants this; why are they pushing it so hard? You would think it would stop, being that many websites went down in protest to it..
      But no; they just want to make everything difficult..

    2. This is the most ridiculous proposal I hav ever heard of………? Is this another excuse to take away our freedoms? I thought I was blessed to have been born in America. At this rate America will be a third world repressed country for my grandchildren. So now access to information is only available to those that can afford it. We have people starving, homeless and without healthcare and this is what our lawmakers are spending their time and attemtion?????

    3. If uncle same don’t have control over what you do they aren’t happy. But look who’s in office. So if you voted for him just say your welcome because it requires his signature. Oh well I could care less uncle same is gonna do what uncle sam wants to do.

    4. Since when did America turn into communist China. Even the mere thought of passing such a liberty breaking bill is absurd. I have lost full confidence in our government and I am absolutely discusted this could even be possibily voted upon, it goes against everything we hold dear as Americans. I am just thankful for Wikipedia and Google for educating us about this because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t know. Let us hope this is just a mistake by politicians and it shall never happen again, but if so then God help us all.

    5. OMG!!!! this is such a stuipid bill and they are still pushing for it!!!! what a goverment we have

    6. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. Im a senior in high school and i do not know what the hell i would have done without google, facebook, twitter, and wikipedia. Without google i wouldnt know anything thats going on in this world and to think that someone can censor what information i can see and cannot see is just scary! I thought this country was suppose to be “free”??? Thats at least what we our taught in history class. our founding fathers wanted us to have rights! and our rights are being taken away from us little by little!

    7. This is inanity. The internet applies to almost every aspect of our everyday life in america. Taking it away would be the most anti-free act this “free country” could do. Isnt that why america is(was) so unique – we were a free country. Freedom of speach, religion, and somewhere along the lines not writen in the constitution freedom to internet. Im not very educated on every aspect of our countrys rights im a high school student; but without the internet our country would be less than able to function. Elementary student up to the elderly use the world wide web daily for important tasks. Censorship of the internet is almost unconstitutional.

    8. when are we gonna say,”i’m done with the gov’t pushing us around we need to do what Egypt did and control our gov’t, instead of them controlling us. it’s time to man up america!”

    9. My friend told me about this SOPA & PIPA bill. I thought, What the… this is the most stupidest bill i could ever thought of. Like really, i knew the united states of “American” was stupid, but dang, they took it to a new level. America isn’t America anymore, Not as it was 50-100 years ago. The people we voted for only want power…. I maybe only in school, A Junior at that. But Obama put this country in debt so badly just in these 4 years than any other person who was elected…

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