Wikipedia stages ‘anti-SOPA blackout’, Google joins online protest
If you are thinking of doing a quick Google search this afternoon or finding last minute details for an assignment due today on Wikipedia, it might be a good idea to get online now.
Raising community awareness about the legitimacy of two bills that are currently being debated by congress members and senators in the US the online giants Wikipedia and Google have taken to the internet to voice their concerns.
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, announced the decision saying the not-for-profit would take the unprecedented step of actioning a 24-hour black out on the English-language version of the site.
"Today Wikipedians from around the world have spoken about their opposition to this destructive legislation," he said.
"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 cannot 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."
Google representatives also went online to voice their opposition to the anti-piracy legislation, saying that they would join a number of businesses by protesting with them in order to prevent internet censorship.
"Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet," a Google spokesperson said in a statement to CNET.
"So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page."
The company will join Wikipedia, Reddit and other IT firms by posting a link to their homepage notifying users of their position the bills that are currently being debated.
It is believed that the legislation has the backing of major influential people in the film and entertainment industries.
Posted by Aimee McBride