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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Wiki's SOPA Protest

I didn't need to access the vast knowledge banks of Wikipedia yesterday, as luck would have it. Normally I visit the site at least twice a day to look up some obscure piece of information that I'm sure I once possessed but seem to have mislaid along the way. Yesterday I was obviously feeling very intelligent, either that or I simply wasn't being so ambitious with my writing, which is just as well, because for 24 hours, Wiki had 'gone dark'. Picture a bewildered world, forced to resort to analogue and look up information in books!
In a widely publicised move, Wiki decided to withhold its services in protest at a US proposal to clamp down on internet piracy. I don't fully understand SOPA, the bill in question, but it has been suggested that if passed the internet, including Wiki, could be censored into silence, even though they themselves are careful not to break any laws.
So Wiki and other high profile websites went dark for 24 hours in a timely demonstration of what the politicians could be about to create. And it might have worked. Several senators have withdrawn their support for the bill and even the top man is quietly voicing misgivings. All power to the internet!
If you would like to know more about SOPA, here's a useful link - Wikipedia, of course!

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