As SOPA Nears the Next Hurdle, Tech Giants Consider a Massive Blackout in Protest

SOPA has been in news for a long time now, and unless you were living under a rock, you probably already know what it is. However, if you do not know what SOPA is, you can read our coverage of the entire SOPA drama so far. Keeping it short and simple, SOPA is an internet censorship bill that can be used to expel entire websites from the Internet, for publishing infringing content.

SOPA has been opposed in writing and many other forms of expression. The founding fathers of the Internet sent an open letter to the US Government not to consider SOPA, Wikipedia planned a blackout and Reddit is already trying to build a second Internet circumventing SOPA. However, the US Government is keen on introducing this bill, thanks to the pressure from the media industry lobby. GoDaddy put up quite a show and axed its own foot. Additionally, the Sinde Law (like SOPA) passed by Spain was probably written with aid from the US Government. Kaspersky Labs withdrew from SOPA and even the European Union opposes SOPA. In short, other than the media industry, the whole world opposes SOPA.

However, as the final hearing date for SOPA approaches, tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter have decided to join hands to bring out a deadly weapon from their arsenal. All these tech giants are part of the Net Coalition group, and they have decided to blackout their homepages with anti-censorship warnings, urging users to contact their representatives in the government.

The group of Internet companies opposing SOPA is not as capable and profit making as the lobbyists supporting it. Nonetheless, they have a direct interaction with the people and represent them better. Moreover, when a considerable chunk of data on the Internet is real-time information about the same people, they have a right to oppose SOPA equally as companies are doing now.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.