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Google To Join Anti-SOPA Protest

Google To Join Anti-SOPA Protest

 

Google will be joining the online protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) by posting a link on its search page that will direct readers to a statement explaining its opposition to the antipiracy bills currently under review in both houses of Congress.  and  of CNET cite a Google representative who says that

Like many businesses, entrepreneurs, and Web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue Web sites without asking American companies to censor the Internet. So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our U.S. home page.

Google joins other Internet sites who will be protesting SOPA and PIPA tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18. Aggregator news site Reddit and also Wikipedia will be darkening their sites in protest. Reddit will be down from 8am till 8pm Wednesday and Wikipedia for 24 hours starting Tuesday evening, a particularly “dramatic” step. Users of WordPress, the popular blogging platform, can add a widget to their blog that will display a banner in support of the protest. The Cheezburger network whose sites include The Daily What and Fail Blog will also be joining the blackout, says the Washington Post. In addition, a “billion pages” are no longer visible on the document service Scribd and Craigslist has a notice saying “Stop SOPA and PIPA.”

While House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has said that voting on SOPA will be shelved in the House until “consensus” is built, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) still plans to go forward with a vote on PIPA on January 24. While both bills once had wide bipartisan support — both are backed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) — an intense campaign by Google, Facebook and other online giants seems to be working, with even the Obama administration indicating that it will not support the two bills.

In their current formats, SOPA and PIPA would mean that one could mention a site that contains illegal content (such as The Pirate Bay), but not link to it. The tech industry has contended that the controls SOPA and PIPA would give to the US Department of Justice to clamp down on Internet piracy fail to take into account how the Internet works and that both bills will, therefore, seriously hinder the innovation and creativity fostered on the Internet.

How Will the Blackout and Protests Affect Us?

As TechCrunch observes, there has been “some public hand-wringing about how far tech companies should go to take a stand against SOPA and PIPA.” CloudFlare is taking a less extreme approach than Wikipedia, by “allowing sites to black out specific content in protest, without entirely ‘going dark.’”

It does feel as if we’ll all be participating in a web-wide experiment by going for 24 hours without Wikipedia. Noting that the “web is a big place with lots of other reliable sources,” Rebecca Greenfield at The Atlantic Wire says that “we’ll manage” though we will be “annoyed” at not having Wikipedia’s familiar pages to check.  On the theory that absence makes the heart grow fonder, perhaps tomorrow’s blackout will, indeed, underscore for us how much we value the Internet and the resources it has made so easily and quickly available to us, and make it all the more clear why we need to campaign to keep the Internet’s freedom alive.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Wikipedia Will Go Dark On Wednesday to Protest SOPA

SOPA Shelved Until “Consensus” Found

Obama Administration Speaks Out Against SOPA

 

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Photo by Robert Scoble

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88 comments

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8:15PM PST on Jan 23, 2012

Cool thanks.

3:26PM PST on Jan 21, 2012

SOPA is scary, but I think they will keep trying to bring a version of it in place. So people will have to remain vigilant.

2:10PM PST on Jan 20, 2012

I don´t buy it. I don´t believe they care about the behind the scene workers and copyright. They create all this just to pass a bill with some blanks that will be very helpful to control us, what we do, what we share, what we speak and so on. This is Big Brother coming.

11:23AM PST on Jan 20, 2012

They need to draw up some bills that protect the consumers as well as the providers. Right now, we have two different forces concerned about each other’s needs, desires, and protections. We need bills that protect everyone involved by providing or accommodating both sides of the argument.

Facebook has been recently caught practicing unethical practices as well as other internet sites. I do not like being tracked or traced during my internet surfing, and Facebook does that even after one has logged out.

I am very privacy oriented, and some of these internet sites have been violating their consumer’s rights. The consumer really does need more protection, especially when the internet criminals are getting cleverer and cleverer each and everyday as internet technology progresses into more advanced forms!

8:51AM PST on Jan 20, 2012

Nicole W, What you are looking for can be found here; go to : http://americancensorship.org/

2:36AM PST on Jan 19, 2012

Awesome!

7:06PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

thx

6:41PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Free Speech for All!

5:22PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Signed the petition

3:44PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

We need a better protest method. I appreciate the companies that participated, but felt a little lost as to what I could really do besides write my congress people. I don't think that is enough. Maybe EVERYONE should not pay their bills one month. That would be real economic power.

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