Internet goes dark

On Wednesday January 18th, 2012 - several high profile sites such as Wikipedia, Mozilla, Wordpress, Wired and Reddit have joined the growing list of websites deciding to take their web sites offline for 24 hours in protest of some pending internet censorship legislation being debated by Congress.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) has been proposed as a means to combat online piracy. Hollywood and much of the entertainment industry favors the bill, however many experts believe that the proposed legislation would have crippling effects on the internet as it is known today.

Opponents of the bill believe that SOPA and PIPA provide a wide sweeping method to haphazardly shutdown web sites without due process, potentially bringing censorship methods seen in China and Iran into use here in the USA.

Major internet companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter & Yahoo have publically spoken out in opposition of SOPA and PIPA, but have declined to take their sites offline on January 18th.

Disgruntled customers pulled over 100,000 domain names from Go Daddy to protest the company's initial stance, favoring SOPA and PIPA as a means to prevent online piracy. Go Daddy has since backed down and reversed their stance on the proposed legislation in response to the public outcry from its customers.

Due to huge online protests and a statement from the White House threatening to veto the bill if it had passed, as of January 16th, it appeared that SOPA was being taken off the table and would not be put to a vote. However, the very next day it was declared that SOPA hearings will resume in February.

For more reading on the subject, view the video below, follow the links below, or do a search for PIPA or SOPA in your favorite search engine.

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