By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team
The Internet just flexed its political muscle with the don’t-mess-with-the-Web campaign in response to an anti-piracy bill before Congress. The online community is fearful that the bill passage could lead to online censorship and put many websites out of business.
In dramatic fashion, thousands of websites went dark including Wikipedia, Reddit and Boing Boing, while Craigslist and Google made their “voice” known by blacking out parts of their sites and requesting users to fill in online petitions and contact their members of Congress. About 10,000 websites participated in the strike against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).
In just a few short hours, Google had 4.5 million petitioners and Wikipedia had 5.5 million click through the blackout message on how to contact their local congressman. Without swift resolution, a larger blackout looms as a distinct possibility that could lead to a widespread blackout.
Reaction has been immediate with Senators Orrin Hatch, Marco Rubio and Roy Blunt removing their co-sponsorship of the Senate bill. Hollywood is of course furious as proponents of the bill and could withdraw their political muscle. Prior to the blackout, Internet companies persuaded the White House to back away from the two bills’ most controversial provision — permitting Internet service providers the ability to deny access from the United States to foreign piracy sites.
The forces are lining up, but don’t bet against the power of the people, aka the Internet.
Should there be government control of some aspects of the Internet or should it roam free of interference? Share your opinion.
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