Thursday, January 19, 2012

Internet Blackout

Google blotted out its logo, Wikipedia went dark, BoingBoing went offline and other popular websites carried out protests today to voice their unhappiness over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) introduced in the US House of Representatives and the Senate version, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

While SOPA and PIPA may have some good intentions, the flaws smother them. They have come under fire from digital rights and free speech organizations for allegedly paving the way for US authorities to shut down websites suspected of online piracy, including foreign sites, without due process and threatening the technical architecture of the Internet.

The founders of Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, Yahoo! And other Internet titans said in an open letter last month the legislation would give the US government censorship powers “similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran”. Wow, my country is so well-known that it actually got a mention!

This whole exercise is a timely reminder that we shouldn't take Internet freedom for granted!

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