SOPA Blackout

Nelson Moses
Yahoo! India News



In January, there was a proposal made in the US to curtail the freedom of the Internet by clamping down on sites, which did not possess copyright for the content that they carried. SOPA or Stop Online Privacy Act was a piece of legislation proposed by House Judiciary Committee Chair Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX).

It sought that the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders take legal action against these websites. If SOPA had to come into effect, both search engines and advertisers would have blocked out websites that published copyrighted material.

This was seen as an act of censorship and weakening the freedom the Internet. Reaction to SOPA was immediate and fierce. Google put a black box asking users to write in and protest the Act, while Wikipedia blackened its English language sites. Other internet giants who oppose SOPA are Facebook, Zynga and Twitter. After the intense protests against SOPA, all plans to draft the bill was indefinitely rescinded.