“Imagine a world without free knowledge”…

Square

Wikipedia's blackout page to protest censorship, SOPA, and PIPA
As of 12AM this morning several high traffic sites like Wikipedia and Reddit have purposefully gone black for a 24 hour period (others like Google….who is using a black out stripe on their main page… are showing solidarity¬† and providing information about why they oppose the legislation) in protest of censorship of the open Internet.

The sites are protesting ill-crafted proposed legislation that threatens our freedom of expression and that literally could block search engines from linking to sites that participate in digital file sharing and force Internet providers to block certain websites.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are poorly conceived bills that claim to protect the rights of copyright owners but, instead would, in fact, force companies to become online thought police.

This folks…poorly-written broad-stroke legislation that is ripe for abuse… is what is know as the slippery slope. Google home page with blackout bar protesting censorship and SOPA

SOPA is apparently temporarily tabled. But don’t be fooled it’s simply in revision. And PIPA is still a imminent threat.

If you’d like to learn more about these bills you will find a detailed technical explanation here on Reddit. Or a simpler explanation here on ABC.

It’s up to us to let our elected representatives know that we do not support these bills. We have to let them know in no uncertain terms that legislation that supports censorship and that puts the United States right inline with some of the most oppressive nations in the world is NOT something we find acceptable.

You can visit wikipedia’s page and enter your zip code to get the contact information for your representative in congress.