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SOPA Ignites Website Blackout




In probably the most united front the World Wide Web will ever take together, sites like Google, Wikipedia, Craigslist, and various blog hosts have gone black. Censored—to prove a point.

They're giving you an insight to what may happen if a pair of controversial anti-piracy bills are passed that, they claim, will gut the Internet and stifle free speech.

Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills were written to prevent rogue, overseas websites from offering pirated content for users to download illegally. Companies like Time Warner and the Motion Picture Association are in support of these bills because it will block these piracy sites from functioning, thus censoring and taking down these illegal websites. Sounds fair. But protestors like Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, claim the bills are written too broadly and too vaguely.

"Proponents of SOPA have characterized the opposition as being people who want to enable piracy or defend piracy. But that's not really the point. The point is the bill is so over-broad and so badly written that it's going to impact all kinds of things that, you know, don't have anything to do with stopping piracy," says Wales as quoted by the BBC.

Ultimately, what could happen is that ANY website that has a link (known or unknown) to a foreign 'rogue' website dedicated to copyright infringement, can be shut down. Thus, the protesting. Huge sites like Google and Wikipedia inevitably risk total censorship because of the broad language of the bill.

Click here to read the full story on CNN.