In retaliation of the Megaupload shutdown, the famous group Anonymous also took down several websites in protest. However, it looks like the protest is now growing to another level.
According to reports from Torrent Freak, another file sharing website called Uploaded.to is now blocking users from U.S. and not allowing them to upload or download files from their service. This is definitely a big rebuttal from them and would likely make other services follow in their footsteps.
Currently, users who visit uploaded.to from United States are displayed a message similar to the one in the image above. It reads:
Our service is currently unavailable in your country. Sorry about that.
Uploaded.to has a traffic rank of 3075 in the United States according to Alexa and serves about 350K users from United States according to Compete. Though their stats are no where near what Megaupload had; which was the 13th most popular website in the world, it would definitely inconvenience U.S. users who have used it to store files on the website.
The scourges that are the United States’ two gagging Acts – the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) – are experiencing grave turmoil as large sections of the widely used Internet are blacking out for one day in protest against their draconian nature. The ongoing protest against the Bills intensified as Wikipedia, a veritable behemoth on the Internet, joined in the protest as we mentioned earlier. Following close on its heels is the giant community link aggregation website Reddit as well as the website of indie game maker Mojang, the creators of Minecraft. Many other gaming company heads joined together to stand against the draconian law’s enactment.
If passed, the Bills will allow any legal entity that claims copyright infringement on a site to take it down completely, instead of the offending article. For example, if Techie Buzz published an article containing a copyrighted image from a leading record label’s website, our blog will be taken down immediately, without trial. This is even if we give the due credit where it is due.
In short, this is a gagging order for much of the Internet in the name of protecting intellectual property rights. Moreover, the website that is the intended target of this – torrent aggregator The Pirate Bay – is immune to the United States’ laws since it does not fall under America’s jurisdiction.
If allowed to pass, SOPA/PIPA will destroy the beautiful and open Internet completely and irreversibly. In a few minutes Reddit will black out in protest. If you reside in the USA, send a letter to your local representative against passing these Bills. Do your part for retaining the Free Internet!
SOPA has been worrying all Internet and free speech enthusiasts, but in the midst of the entire SOPA outcry, we forgot the PROTECT IP (PIPA) bill, which passed unanimously at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Given this fact, although not as dangerous as SOPA, PIPA poses an immediate risk to us all. PIPA needs to be opposed next, as its next hearing is due on 24 January next year.
The PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011; United States Senate Bill S.968) is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods”, especially those registered outside the U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and 11 initial bipartisan co-sponsors introduced the bill on May 12, 2011.
With SOPA being opposed by every Tom Dick and Harry out there, its backers were left with no choice. Therefore, they decided to jump on the PIPA bandwagon. According to a post on Reddit, PIPA has already gathered a support of 40 senators and needs 20 more to pass to the House. Now, Redditors are up in protest against PIPA. They are working hard to let senators know that PIPA is as undesirable as SOPA. If you think this bill does not do justice to the Internet and to free speech, you can join them in this fight.
The US is keen on censorship. It is introducing one offensive bill after another. Burns from COICA last year had not healed, when PIPA arrived and now SOPA was barely averted. Apparently, the media industry is trying its best to push the Internet into censorship, the people are opposing it to their best capacity, and the Government only stands as an enabler with no wise decision of its own!