With the result of Stop Online Priacy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), the Internet as we know it, may come to an end. This is certainly another sad day in history of the Internet as the bill progresses its way towards becoming a law. The Wikimedia foundation announced today that in protest against SOPA and PIPA the worlds biggest open source encyclopedia with over 20 million credible articles Wikipedia.org will be blacked out for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the official statement).
Sue Gardner, Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation, wrote in a press release that:
The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process. But I support it.
My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA—and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States—don’t advance the interests of the general public. You can read a very good list of reasons to oppose SOPA and PIPA here, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Why is this a global action, rather than US-only? And why now, if some American legislators appear to be in tactical retreat on SOPA?
The reality is that we don’t think SOPA is going away, and PIPA is still quite active. Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we’re seeing the development of legislation intended to fight online piracy, and regulate the Internet in other ways, that hurt online freedoms. Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone.
On January 18, we hope you’ll agree with us, and will do what you can to make your own voice heard
It’s not a decision of congress to direct how internet works, its the internet itself, which is made up of people and community like you. How do you find it?