Wikipedia, Craigslist, other sites black out against SOPA at midnight
The action by the websites is part of a larger protest against anti-piracy legislation in the U.S.
IDG News Service - Wikipedia and other Internet companies blacked out their websites in one way or another early today in protest of controversial anti-piracy legislation in Congress.
Google blacked out its logo and posted a message on its home page that said "Tell Congress: Please don't censor the Web!". The message, which was also visible to users of google.com outside the U.S., linked to a petition opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate.
More websites are expected to register their protest by 8 a.m. Eastern today.
Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger, which runs humor websites, for example, said in a Twitter message that his company sites would have a blackout starting at 8 am.
The Wikimedia Foundation said Monday that the Wikipedia community had decided to black out its English version to users worldwide to protest against SOPA and PIPA.
In a message titled, "Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge," the online encyclopedia said on its English site after the black out at midnight that the U.S. Congress is considering legislation "that could fatally damage the free and open internet." It said it was blacking out Wikipedia for 24 hours to raise awareness.
On Saturday, three Obama administration officials issued a statement that appeared to oppose SOPA and PIPA. The officials said online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, but the administration would not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.a"
Jimmy Wales, cofounder of Wikipedia, warned on Twitter on Monday that rumors of the death of SOPA may be premature, and PIPA is still going strong.
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, the lead sponsor of SOPA and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday he intends to resume the markup session next month. In a markup hearing, a committee votes on amendments to a bill and whether to approve the bill and send it to the full House for action.
Activist group Electronic Frontier Foundation superimposed a banner "Stop Censorship" on its logo and blacked out the background of its website.
Some websites did not shut down access to other pages like Wikipedia did, and only displayed a splash screen on the home page.
Craigslist appeared to have blacked out only its U.S. sites. "Imagine a world without craigslist, Wikipedia, Google, [your favorite sites here]...." it said in a splash screen on its website, while claiming that media companies like Sony and News Corp. want to make "that world your reality". It warned "corporate paymasters" to keep their "clammy hands" off the Internet.
Hacker group Anonymous also joined in the protest by posting messages against SOPA on its websites.
Social news site Reddit said on its website that it would be closing down the site for 12 hours to protest SOPA and PIPA. It had said earlier that it would be closing down the site from 8 a.m. Eastern time.
Twitter has however not participated in the protests. "Not shutting down a service doesn't equal not taking the proper stance on an issue", said Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, who in an earlier Twitter message had said that "closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics" was foolish.
See more on the controversy over SOPA.
- SOPA blowback, and other tech predictions for 2013
- Groups: Congress should scrap SOPA, PIPA and start over
- Who really was behind the SOPA protests?
- SOPA's big brother signed by EU nations amid widespread protests
- SOPA and PIPA: What went wrong?
- Mozilla touts Firefox impact in SOPA blackout
- Sen. Leahy criticizes 'knee-jerk' reaction to PIPA, SOPA protests
- Anti-SOPA, PIPA protests to continue
- Twitter, Facebook fuel SOPA protests
- Issa introduces SOPA alternative in the House
- Social Media Education: The New Edge for Success Failure to train for social media will cost your business money. A recent report showed how digitally prepared companies can unlock up to...
- Social Media in Technology: A Unified Strategy for Success Find out how social media is sparking a new era of customer and industry-understanding in technology enterprises and how industry leaders are overcoming...
- How Network Connections Drive Web Application Performance Users around the globe, on all sorts of devices, expect Web applications to function as seamlessly as desktop applications. This paper discusses the...
- Big Data, Big Mess: Sound Risk Intelligence Through Complete Context This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Internet White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!