SOPA/PIPA Internet Protest: Web Sites go Black

On the 18th January 2012, or if you are in the southern hemisphere, such as Australia it will be mostly on the 19th, there will be an internet protest. For those that don’t know, which would be a lot of people in Australia, SOPA/PIPA stands for :-
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

Now you may think this sounds OK to stop Piracy on the internet, but once a door is opened it is very hard to close it again. It’s a bit like Australia’s Internet Filter that the Government wants to introduce, once started it opens the door for the powers that be to block anything they like, freedom of speech being one of many.

As you surf the net on the dates above, you will come across a lot of web sites blacked out, this includes a lot of blogs as well, so don’t think your computer has suddenly gone weird. There will be links on blogs that will only open to a black space; one of these is Wikipedia which is going on blackout for 24 hrs.

Interview with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales
This is a quite clumsily drafted legislation which is dangerous for an open Internet,” said Wales in an interview.
“I do think copyright holders have legitimate issues, but there are ways of approaching the issue that don’t involve censorship,” Wales said.  Yahoo 7 News.

From Wikimedia:-
Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18. The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States—the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate—that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

Raincoaster from WordPress has written a great article about this; again take the time to click onto the link below, for what to do with your own blog if you wish to partake in the protest. Remember the date for the southern hemisphere will be most of the 19th.

On January 18, Reddit is leading an Internet blackout for 12 hours. If you’d like to take part, there are several ways you can turn your own blog or website dark in solidarity with other protesters around the world.  The Daily Dot.

There is also a forum here on as well if you would like a read.
WordPress .com Forum.

For anyone with a blog at WordPress and would like to join in the protest by going black or display a ribbon like the one I have on the right hand side of my blog, all you have to do is go to settings in your dashboard, and click onto SOPA/PIPA and choose which one you would like, then click onto save changes.

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40 Responses to SOPA/PIPA Internet Protest: Web Sites go Black

  1. El Guapo says:

    I’m glad this will be done and seems to be gaining steam. Though for myself, I’ve added my name to so many anti-sopa petitions I don’t think I’ll ever have any anonymity again…

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi El Guapo,
      Yes it doesn’t sound very good what some Governments want to do with the net. Our Government here in OZ wants an Internet Filter which for now at least has been put on the back burner, but it is still there waiting hanging over our heads unfortunately.
      It’s good to see some sites getting behind this, and I wish everyone the very best of luck to try and stop it.

  2. Extreeeeeeeeemly interesting! Thank you for sharing this. Len was especially interested as his sister lives in Adelaide, Australia)…

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Laurie,
      There would be a lot of people that don’t know about this at all, and a lot of those people would be Aussies. I had a look in our newspapers, and I only found little snippets in the Tech pages, the best I found was in Yahoo. I thought if Australians were on the net and all of a sudden they were coming across web sites and blogs that were blacked out they wouldn’t know what was going on.

      It’s not only an issue for America I feel, this really could effect a lot of us.

  3. Lenore Diane says:

    Hello, Mags –
    The power of the people is growing. More and more groups are getting together to make statements and demand changes. Some governments do not have the control they once had.
    This is interesting, and we’ll see how it works to change things.

  4. Rebekah says:

    It’s a very good thing that they to this, Wikipedia and all the others! It’s too scary, what was about to happen..

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  6. barb19 says:

    I didn’t know anything about this Mags, so thanks for making it known here. I hope the protest works – can you imagine the consequences if it doesn’t?
    Have shared your post on some social media sites.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi barb19,
      I was talking to some friends the other night, and they didn’t seem to know anything about it, so I thought that not many here in OZ anyway knew about some sites being blacked out. As I said there is virtually nothing in our newspapers at all.

      There seems to be a lot of support, and I don’t think there are a lot that understand what can happen if something like this gets passed. I think the interview with Wikipedia said it all best.
      Thank You for sharing the post, hopefully people will know why a site is blacked out if they happen to click onto one.

  7. malc50 says:

    Thanks for the information, Mags.

  8. Selma says:

    My neighbour has lived in Australia for two years but grew up in China and she says the internet censorship there is ridiculous. The government actually tracks what you look at over there and will investigate you if they think it necessary. I’m not saying that would happen here or even in the US but it is worrying to think our freedom could be interfered with like that. Yes, I think that piracy can be a problem, particularly in the music industry but there are other ways to combat it. An across the board filter or censorship system isn’t right in a legal or moral sense. And it’s not terribly democratic. Smells a little bit like communism to me. Thanks for discussing this. It is really important.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Selma,
      I also have friends that have lived under such rules and regulations, and it is very scary. I would hate anything like that to happen in any Country. I also think piracy is a problem, but censorship is not the answer. I totally agree it certainly isn’t very democratic.

  9. souldipper says:

    Withdrawals have set in at just the thought. Good for these guys! We ought to go for a week and really impact the world.

  10. Pingback: Internet blackout against U.S. law fails to enlist big sites | Reuters | Ramblings

  11. E.C. says:

    It never ceases to amaze me the strength and power of people and websites coming together to take a stand for what is right. I hope the 24 blackout will send the right message to the right people. Thanks for sharing this info and links. 🙂

  12. Pingback: English Wikipedia will be blacked out globally to protest SOPA and PIPA for 24 hours | Kalongkong Bridge Web Eye

  13. dearrosie says:

    Thanks for alerting us to this. I just got back from work and see there’s an email from WordPress about it “Join Our Censorship Protest!” which I think you’ve already joined Mags because I see the black ribbon on the side of your blog.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi dearrosie,
      Yes I only just found out about it, and put the ribbon on about 2 minutes ago. 😀
      If anyone would like a ribbon on their blog (like I have) in protest or even go black that has a WordPress blog
      all you have to do is go to settings in your dashboard and click onto Protest SOPA/PIPA, and choose what you would like, then click save changes.
      All the information is here in Join Our Censorship Protest!

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  16. Thanks for the info mate , was not aware of this scandal
    Will add my voice to the protest

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi aussieian,
      There certainly isn’t any information about this in OZ that I have seen so I’m more than happy to inform as many people as possible.
      Happy to have another voice to the protest. 🙂

  17. Have just popped on a ribbon too. Thanks for the reminder, Mags.

  18. travelrat says:

    I’ve read a lot about this, and I take great exception to the US Congress debating laws which affect ME … especially as I didn’t, and can’t, vote for them.

    I’d remind them that their country was formed on the principle of ‘no taxation without representation’ … or does that only work one way?

    I’d further point out that copyright violation isn’t, as far as I know, a criminal offence in UK; it’s a civil one.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      Very well said.
      Unfortunately the way it is written it is going to effect everyone in some way, I certainly hope it does not go through.

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  20. I’m on board with my banner too. It’s so interesting that the publicity of this protest seems to be in the USA mostly while the censorship that would take place is worldwide. To be a little political here, Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder is the primary force behind this and scares me endlessly that government wants to dictate what happens over the internet.
    The website Daily Caller said this that might help some of your readers understand:
    Instead of actually proving anything in court, all the Attorney General has to do is send an email, then ask a judge for an injunction. According to Section 102, once he gets that injunction he then gets to issue orders to Service Providers, Internet Search Engines, Payment Network Providers, and Internet Advertising Agencies to wipe a business off of the Internet. Most notably, SOPA gives the Attorney General the power to order all ISPs in America to censor the global Domain Name System.

    TravelRat is spot-on. Everyone should take exception to the US Congress debating which laws affect us.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi EOSR,
      I was more than surprised that no major newspaper in Australia even bothered to print anything about this, it is beyond belief, there was a bit mentioned about Wikiepedia on the TV news, but no explanation why.
      Thank You very much for the information, it is appreciated.

      • El Guapo says:

        At the moment, the US Gov is in such shock at the response that they are backing away from supporting the bills.
        In fact, some of the authors have turned around and said they no longer support it.
        Whether that’s enough to kill it is another question…

        • magsx2 says:

          Hi El Guapo,
          It will most likely be like Australia’s internet filter, it’s not in (yet) but it is only on the back-burner, the threat is still there, they did not “kill” the legislation as such. But there will be people that think the threat has passed, it’s a bit of a con job by the Government I think.

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