Wikipedia and Reddit have blacked out their entire pages in protest of SOPA, the proposed legislation that aims to combat online piracy and PIPA.
Visitors are left only to view information on the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act.
“Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge,” reads Wikipedia. “For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.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.”
According to Christian Science Monitor, the legislation is designed to curb access to overseas websites that traffic stolen content or counterfeit groups.
The sites argue that the two bills before Congress would censor the Internet, imposing harsh regulations on businesses. Earlier, sites including AOL, EBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga wrote a letter to Congress opposing the bills noting that they pose a risk to the industry, undermine free speech rights and put a lid on innovation and job-creation.
“PROTECT IP and SOPA will cause too much collateral damage, have a high potential for abuse, and won’t even be that effective at stopping the crimes they target,” reads Reddit.
“To make matters worse, SOPA and PIPA won’t even work. The censorship regulations written into these bills won’t shut down pirate sites. These sites will just change their addresses and continue their criminal activities, while law-abiding companies will suffer high penalties for breaches they can’t possibly control,” reads Google, who also offers users the option to get involved and sign a petition too.
“Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA,” reads Google. “The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.”