Internet blackout: Wikipedia, other sites protest anti-piracy bills
Some of the Internet’s most popular websites have gone dark today in protest of two anti-piracy bills that are up for debate in Congress.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced on Twitter Monday that the popular site will shut down its English versions for 24 hours in protest.
The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas.
"These rogue sites are hurting American jobs, stealing American jobs," said Steven Tepp, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "They're harming American consumers and they have no business being on the Internet."
The two bills, known as Sopa and Pipa, target overseas sites that allow users to share illegal downloads of movies, music and other digital content. The bills try to cut off access to the overseas sites by requiring U.S. seach engines and other providers to withhold their services.
Critics say it could hurt the technology industry and infringe on free-speech rights.
Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay, AOL and others have said it threatens the industry's livelihood.
In an act of solidarity, Google put a black bar over its logo.
"If you think of Facebook, if you think of Twitter, if you think of Google and Ebay, etc -- people put things, users on to company sites and companies can't control that, well they could, by censorship and that's what we want to avoid," said Ed Black, President & CEO, Computer & Communications Industry Association.
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