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ActivismPolicies & Politics

SOPA Blackout: Threat to Your Internet Has Wikipedia, Google, reddit, & More Taking Action

 

Some of the biggest sites on the internet are taking strong action today to oppose SOPA (and PIPA). Huge sites like Wikipedia and reddit are blacking out, as are many others. Why? What is SOPA? To put it simply, SOPA is a huge threat to your internet and your freedom of speech (more on that in a moment).

First, though, there are calls to action all over the internet today. Head on over to blacked out Wikipedia (only pages not blacked out, as far as I know, are the SOPA page, PIPA page, and SOPA and PIPA initiative page) or reddit to see theirs (you probably have already). My favorite, perhaps, comes from the great activist team at Credo. Take action today through one or all of these sites!

What SOPA (and PIPA) Threaten

Anyway, what these bills, one in the House and the other in the Senate, threaten is the internet as we know it. Sites like Wikipedia and reddit could be shut down if these bills became laws.

More from reddit: “Today, for 12 hours, reddit.com goes dark to raise awareness of two bills in congress: H.R.3261 ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ and S.968 ‘PROTECT IP’, which could radically change the landscape of the Internet. These bills provide overly broad mechanisms for enforcement of copyright which would restrict innovation and threaten the existence of websites with user-submitted content, such as reddit.”

It has answers to many frequently asked questions on its page as well.

From CREDO: “If it passes, the ‘Protect IP Act’ (and its companion bill in the House, ‘SOPA’) could put people in jail for uploading a video to YouTube and would severely limit our right to free speech.

Why SOPA & PIPA Have a Chance

Why would our Congress even look at such bills? Here’s why: “This bill has been rushed through Congress because big corporate interests like Comcast, Pfizer, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have spent millions of dollars lobbying for this censoring legislation.”

And much more in this video:

Tracking SOPA & PIPA

Here’s More from Wikipedia on how you can track these bills: “GovTrack lets you follow both bills through the legislative process: SOPA on this page, and PIPA on this one. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the public interest in the digital realm, has summarized why these bills are simply unacceptable in a world that values an open, secure, and free Internet.”

Of course, as mentioned above, more info on SOPA and PIPA can be found via those numerous links above. But the most important thing, whether you want to read more on them first or not, is to take action and oppose SOPA and PIPA today!

One more petition I haven’t shared is the one on Google (yes, Google’s actually hosting a petition about this). As Google writes, “The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.”

If you want more than the basics on all this, here’s a more technical description of SOPA and one of PIPA.




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