Tomorrow (Jan 18) Wikipedia will be shut down for 24 hours in protest of Congress' continuation of consideration of the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).
The Wikipedia blackout demonstrates the chilling nature of what can happen when websites can be shutdown on mere accusation without due process. The new requirements could even stifle early-stage investment in internet startup companies.
According to Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation:
“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 seeking to regulate the Internet in other ways while hurting our 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.”
Both the House and Senate bills could be more properly called the legalized authorization of denial of service without due process acts. Both bills are immensely dangerous to the freedom of speech on the internet.
Please learn as much as you can and write to your representatives in Congress, both in the House and in the Senate.
A good resource is How PIPA and SOPA Violate White House Principles Supporting Free Speech and Innovation.