Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Web Protests Censor Bills

When the clock struck 12 and midnight arrived several websites such as Wikipedia went dark or went “black out” in protest of antipiracy bills now in Congress. On January 24, 2012, the Senate will begin the voting of two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House. Several millions of people in the United States believe the bills would censor the Web and inflict damaging regulations on American businesses. The bills essentially say they are giving power to the copyright holders to gain court orders against websites that link to people that download material off the Internet and anyone who shared it. This could mean several of your favorite websites may become blacklisted or blocked, meaning Shut Down! Even the search king Google has joined the protest by covering their logo with a black rectangle stating “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!” Reddit, a popular voting website that allows people to submit interesting links from all over the websites, is another that went dark and they are a prime example of whom the bills could target. Could you imagine if YouTube didn’t exist? They would be one of the first to go down because they just couldn’t function with the passing. Search engines and other providers would have to block rogue sites when ordered to do so by a judge. Internet companies are worried they could be held liable for users’ actions. If you want to join the fight, sign the petition Google has on their homepage. If you’re for the antipiracy bills, I am sure there is something out there to support them.