As a method of protesting SOPA and PIPA a number of websites have decided to go on strike today. Some of these sites are blacking out text, putting up banners, or tweeting others are going dark entirely for a period of time. Sites participating in some capacity include Wikipedia, Reddit, Minecraft, WordPress, and Google. You can see more about why so many oppose it in this technical examination of SOPA and PROTECT IP.
Thanks in part to advocacy taken so far SOPA has been delayed, but the fight isn’t over yet, and despite some of the modifications being proposed other onerous provisions are still on the table. Hearings are scheduled to resume in February.
The repercussions that these bills will have if passed are extremely serious. The White House has also put up their opinion on these matters, stressing the need to balance between combatting online piracy and
the risk of online censorship of lawful activity. The EFF has also released a commentary that takes what the White House has said into account. I’d suggest everyone in the US take a minute to read about these bills (the above links summarize the issues far better than I ever could), and then contact your Congressional Representatives to let them know what you think:
In related news, for those interested in effective activism, InformationDiet is holding a Better Activism Day to help try to bridge the gap between people’s understanding of Congress and how Congress actually works. The more people understand about Congress and how a bill becomes law, the easier it will be for people to get their input in early and stop bills like SOPA and PIPA from even getting as much traction as they have.