Wikipedia, the world’s largest free online encyclopaedia is set to go offline on 18 January for 24 hours, to protest against US anti-piracy legislation that could lead to censorship, it said on its website. The bills in the US Congress, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA), which the Senate and House are likely to debate later this month, claim to have the purpose of protecting intellectual property. However, the bills have sparked controversy among opponents who believe that the legislation could lead to censorship or the complete shutdown of some websites.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said the bills would “harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States. Today, Wikipedians from around the world have spoken about their opposition to this destructive legislation. This is an extraordinary action for our community to take… and while we regret having to prevent the world from having access to Wikipedia for even a second, we simply can’t ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world.”
The Mozilla browser, WordPress blog platform, and TwitPic photo upload site are also protesting against the new bills. The Motion Picture Association of America, which lobbied for the bills in order “to stop foreign-based thieves from stealing the hard work and creativity of millions of American workers”, said that the web sites’ protest campaign was “gimmicks and distortion”. On Saturday, the White House said that it would “not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cyber security risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet”.
17 January 2012
SOPA and PIPA are about censorship and power over the news… nothing else. It’s just like the ham-fisted TSA… it’s not about safety, it’s about power over powerless individuals (I pity the poor bastards who work for TSA… they’re pushed about by Bushie bureaucrats with the imaginations of hamsters).
If you vote for the Republican Party… THIS is what you’re voting for. Think on that…