You may have heard about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) but may not know much about it. SOPA is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011.
“This bill expands the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods” as stated by mashable.com. The U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could lethally damage the free and open Internet.
Tech specialists are saying that any sites that have links on them, even if they are submitted by users, are subject to be taken down by the government. Wikipedia is one of the largest encyclopedias in human history that was created for users to add information about particular topics.
Today, January 18, 2012, many tech companies are blacking out their websites as a warning to show what would happen if SOPA passes. This “blackout” is a way to get the two bills into the public’s eye in order to show people outside the tech industry how their everyday lives could, and would, be affected by the bill.
BBC News.com says the US news website Politico estimated that 7,000 sites were involved by early Wednesday morning. Check out the list of websites that joined the fight against the two bills and participated in the blackout to the right.
What effects do you think SOPA could have on the Internet? Leave us a comment with your thoughts!