The Internet on Strike
The Internet is on strike, and it seems that SOPA has basically opened up a Pandora’s-e-box. Across the internet websites have joined together in protest against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) & PIPA (Protect IP Act) which are being promoted as copyright protection acts. Online demonstrations have been held by popular websites including Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, and Craigslist. Websites actions included full black outs, redirection of logos to information concerning SOPA/PIPA and even hacktivist groups following up with a major disturbances across many government agency websites and some of the entertainment industries biggest contributors.
The most noticeable was the online open source encyclopedia http://www.wikipedia.org. Wikipedia’s English site was “blacked out” in protest of the copyrighted material protection bills. The protest lasted for 24 hours, and redirected users to information regarding SOPA/PIPA. Wikipedia followed suit after Reddit blacked out its website on the same day in light of the same protest.
The following day the hacktivist group Anonymous shut down The Department of Justice’s (US) website in response to the FBI (US) shutting down Mega-Upload, a popular media uploading site. 4 people were arrested and charged with copyright infringement. In the following hours, The FBI, Universal, EMI, RIAA and MPAA’s websites were also shutdown along with French Copyright
Anonymous later released a statement on Twitter that follows:
“· Twitter – @AnonymousWiki
- · January 19th, 2012
- · Popular file-sharing website megaupload.com gets shutdown by U.S Justice – FBI and charged its founder with violating piracy laws. Four Megaupload members were also arrested. The FBI released a press release on its website which you can view here:
- · http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/justice-department-charges-leaders-of-megaupload-with-widespread-online-copyright-infringement
- · We Anonymous are launching our largest attack ever on government and music industry sites. Lulz. The FBI didn’t think they would get away with this did they? They should have expected us.
- · #OpMegaupload
- · The following sites were taken down in response to the FBI shutting down megaupload.com
- · 🙂 TANGO DOWN”
Along with the above information Anonymous also posted what websites received the blunt end of the attack and the contact information of Chris Dodd the CEO of MPAA and the contact information of MPAA offices across the United States.
This marks the biggest internet based protest in essence the very first “Internet Strike” of its kind in history and will definitely put law-makers across the United States into an awkward position.
On Friday morning Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) made the decision to put the proposed PIPA and SOPA bills on hold, in light of the immense pressure put on law-makers by actions committed by Anonymous, Wikipedia and other popular websites. The vote has been post-poned and Reid is unsure whether or not it should go to an up/down vote which would need 3/5 of the Senate or 60 Senators to vote in favor of the bills. A hearing on the bill in the Judiciary Committee had been scheduled to resume in February.
Written by Matthew Patrick