Major Websites Go Black to Protest Proposed Anti-Piracy Bills
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some of the most popular websites on the internet, including the English-language version of Wikipedia, are unavailable on Wednesday in protest of two anti-piracy bills being considered in Congress.
Other websites like Google have their names blacked-out in protest.
The protest, being observed by almost 7,000 popular websites, is in response to the “Stop Online Piracy Act” and the “Protect Intellectual Property Act” now moving through Congress.
The two bills are intended to stop the sales of pirated American products overseas, but many critics say that the bills will have the unintended consequences of infringing on free speech rights and could actually hurt many online businesses.
“”It is detrimental to the free and open web,” said Wikimedia Foundation communications director Jay Walsh on FOX News. “It is detrimental to Wikipedia, and we want to make sure that we send a message potentially getting rid of this bill.”
John Abell of Wired Magazine told FOX News that nobody knows the consequences of the bills.
“If something like this does get passed, it creates a dynamic, a power that really does cut to the fabric of the internet,” said Abell. “We just don’t know the consequences of saying, ‘you have to block sites’.”
The White House says that they will work with Congress to battle piracy while protecting the freedom of the internet.