Some Glimpses of the ‘Dark’ Internet in Protest of SOPA/PIPA

Well, the time has come — January 18, 2012 — and many of the Free/Open Source Software project/advocacy sites, some popular news/discussion sites, as well as our favorite encyclopedia Wikipedia’s English version has gone dark in protest of the pending US Senate and House bills PIPA and SOPA.

Quoting EFF on why making our collective voices heard against these bills is important:

The Internet blacklist legislation — known as PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House — invites Internet security risks, threatens online speech, and hampers Internet innovation. Urge your members of Congress to reject this Internet blacklist campaign in both its forms!

To make the most impact right now, we’re asking YOU to do two things. Today, use our handy tool to send an email to your representatives, letting them know you oppose these bills and they should too. Then, on January 23, when the Senate is back in session (and scheduled to vote on PIPA on January 24), call your Senator and tell him or her that it’s time to stand with the Internet and against the Internet blacklists!

Since LINUX For You is based out of India, unfortunately we can’t write to the US Senators and Representatives in protest. Thus, instead, we thought of documenting how some of the major websites of the world took a stand against the bill — because, if bills like these pass, the dark days of Internet won’t be too far fetched.

Well, imagine a world without our favorite reference website

Well, imagine a world without our favorite reference website

The official website of Free Software Foundation, along with all its other portals, display a common homepage for 24 hours

The official website of Free Software Foundation, along with all its other portals, display a common homepage for 24 hours

opensourceforu.com uses the WordPress engine for managing it's content. And it's heartening to see the project has taken its stand.

opensourceforu.com uses the WordPress engine for managing it's content. And it's heartening to see the project has taken its stand.

news.opensuse.org has taken a stand by redirecting all traffic to sopastrike.com

news.opensuse.org has taken a stand by redirecting all traffic to sopastrike.com

boingboing.net, one of our favourite source of 'free' news, has gone dark for 24 hours

boingboing.net, one of our favourite source of 'free' news, has gone dark for 24 hours

Mozilla, the foundation and project that is 'dedicated to keeping the Web free, open and accessible to all', will join the cause for 12 hours soon

Mozilla, the foundation and project that is 'dedicated to keeping the Web free, open and accessible to all', will join the cause for 12 hours soon

michaelmoore.com, the home of award-winning writer and documentary film maker, is off for 24 hours in protest

michaelmoore.com, the home of award-winning writer and documentary film maker, is off for 24 hours in protest

reddit.com discussion forum will go dark for 12 hours -- and their clock is ticking

reddit.com discussion forum will go dark for 12 hours — and their clock is ticking

O'Reilly, one of our favourite publishers, will go dark for 12 hours. And it's not just oreilly.com, but all of its other web properties too. Ironically, bills like SOPA and PIPA claim that they are for the well-being of publishers.

O'Reilly, one of our favourite publishers, will go dark for 12 hours. And it's not just oreilly.com, but all of its other web properties too. Ironically, bills like SOPA and PIPA claim that they are for the well-being of publishers.

status.net official blog reports they will take down identi.ca for 12 hours

status.net official blog reports they will take down identi.ca for 12 hours

Well, the reason for documenting this stand by some of the major websites is to point out that although these bills are US bases, however, if passed they will pose a major threat to the “open Web” as we know it.

Already our very own [Indian] government is taking matters to court in order to put restrictions on our “free speech”. What’s worse is the judge has even come up with threats like — here’s quoting a report by Glyn Moody:

“Like China, we will block all such websites,” Justice Suresh Kait said while asking counsel for Facebook and Google India to develop a mechanism to keep a check and remove “offensive and objectionable” material from their web pages.

And we, like naïves, thought “free speech” was our constitutional right? Wake up, the “BIG BROTHER is watching!” They will refuse to bow down to our “rights”.

Well, in the spirit of Free Software, where the word “free” means — not free as in free beer, but free speech — we must stand up for our rights.

In the words of great Bob Marley, let us “get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!”, before it’s too late.

Read more about SOPA/PIPA and why bills like these are harmful here:

Update (1613 Hrs IST): While, visiting google.com from outsite the US only shows a “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!” message right under the search box, the US version of the site (if you’re from outside the US set your browser to use a US proxy server from proxyblind.org before visiting google.com) appears somewhat like this:

Google censors its logo

Google censors its logo

Bold move! If only the search service was also off for a day…

Update (2005 Hrs IST): reddit.com, oreilly.com, identi.ca, and mozilla.org screen grabs:

reddit.com is now black

reddit.com is now black

So is identi.ca

So is identi.ca

So is oreilly.com...

So is oreilly.com…

And finally, mozilla.org

And finally, mozilla.org

  • http://ElectricNevada.org/ Bob

    I blacked out my electric vehicle site to http://ElectricNevada.org

  • Pingback: Stop SOPA « globalyouroot [ˈgləʊbəljʊˈru:t]

  • shayonpal

    Include this too – http://www.razerzone.com/sopa

    • http://madcap-loon.com/ madcap_loon

      @shayonpal Well, /me thinks google’s new logo is neat :-)

      • shayonpal

        @shayonpal Huh? Where?

      • shayonpal

        @madcap_loon I couldn’t see the doodle at my end!

        • http://madcap-loon.com/ madcap_loon

          Set your browser proxy to a US server.

  • Linux For You

    Update to post — google.com censors its logo.

    http://cdn.opensourceforu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/google.com-2012-1-18-16-10-19-e1326883822394-590×428.jpg

    Post updated with details on how to visit this version of google.com if you’re from outside the US.

  • http://www.ronybc.com/ ronybc

    What the F-thing is the silly ‘theft of U.S. property’..? SOPA and PImPA. What they got is just some fine sediment of the entire world. No US President or its roots created it all.. they just bombs the ‘rest of the world’ for whatever they want… AFA_TF_IK.

    ronybc.com

  • pimplord 5k

    censorship is for niggers, say no to sopa

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