Need to research something on Wikipedia? Tried Reddit? You have probably found out by now that those sites and as many as 7,000 others are on “virtual strike” today January 18th to protest against SOPA. Need a refresher course on what SOPA is? Click here for a small summary.
The latest party to publicly show their discontent with the Stop Online Piracy Act is the hacker group Anonymous. Late Wednesday night the hacker group announced they would go silent on January 18th as a sign of solidarity with those groups already protesting against SOPA and Protect IP Act. Anonymous joins Reddit and possibly Wikipedia on the list of online entities that are going quiet on January 18th to protest against SOPA – Google and Facebook have been rumored to join as well.
This past week has seen a lot of chatter both online and offline about the passing of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) also called the E-Parasite Act or the Worst Piece of Internet Legislation ever. For those of you who are not familiar with SOPA, the passing of this bill has been said to destroy the internet as we know it today. If passed, SOPA would allow the U.S. Department of Justice as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites suspected of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. So, as an example, sharing and/or streaming a video containing copyrighted background music, film clips, clips from last night’s game, or even posting a video of your kid singing a cover song could now be considered a felony with a potential 5 years sentence if guilty. Websites who facilitate the sharing of copyrighted content (basically every single social networking site out there today) could be blocked or taken down. Once a court order has been issued, the U.S. Attorney-General could then ban ISPs from displaying links to the blocked sites.