Websites go dark to protest against SOPA & PIPA bills

Internet giants are protesting against SOPA and PIPA bills. Thousands of websites such as Wikipedia, Reddit etc have shut down for around 24hrs to protest U.S. congress’s anti-piracy bills. To my surprise when I opened a blank Google page it showed me a page where it blacked out its name. It is Google’s way to show that it is against these bills. When I clicked on the blacked out area it navigates to the page where google is shouting loud enough to make congress hear what it thinks. It asks for user information to sign the petition to tell the Congress not to censor the web. Google page is also captioned as “End piracy, Not Liberty’

Two bills Protect IP Act(PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act(SOPA) will be passed before the congress in the white house. This would censor the web and will impose some harmful regulations on American business. The senate would begin voting on January 24th, so by signing this petition let them know how you feel. This is the more detailed message from Google

(This is the homepage of with small caption under google search button)

When we open the Wikipedia page, we can see that the page has gone dark and now it just features a note to the visitors titled ‘Imagine a world without Free Knowledge’. The note even mentions “Right now, theU.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.Users have been given a link to navigate and know more about this protest. Wikipedia has called this movement “unprecedented” and believes that if the bills get passed then it would be devastating to the free and open web.

(This is the homepage of Wikipedia)

These protests begin late Tuesday night where students finished their home works early and many technical people posting instructions on how to access the cached Wikipedia pages during this blackout. We never know what might happen if Google and Facebook shuts down for 24hrs or more. The shut down in these sites have created anxiety in world’s internet companies. These companies have now broadened the debate on SOPA and PIPA by expressing their dislikes in getting handcuffed by the government. The founders of these internet giants are expressing it on Facebook or twitter.

As we know that fighting piracy is very important. But there is no need to make the social networks, blogs and search engines censor the internet. These companies have created million jobs in 21st century. Internet is a tool for creating more open and connected world. It would be a poor decision to let laws get in the way of internet’s development and seizing the freedom of people to share thoughts and their opinions about something. Even though the congress party is not taking these blackouts seriously, the internet sites aren’t turning back. While government’s proposal to stop piracy is logical, but SOPA and PIPA might not be the right way to deal with it.

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