Google, Facebook, Amazon Planning Internet Blackout to Protest "Big Brother" SOPA Bill

The debate over SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) has pitted Hollywood executives and the Republican-supported Chamber of Commerce against, well, basically everyone who enjoys the free and open internet, with critics saying that the legislation could lead to widespread internet censorship.

Among those critics are major websites like Facebook, Amazon, and Google, which are considering imposing an internet "blackout" in protest of the bill. The Daily Mail reports:

The battle over the SOPA bill has seen leading web firms square off against Hollywood media companies in a trade-off between internet freedom and intellectual property rights.

Now it could burst into the open as technology giants are planning to 'censoring' their own homepages, according to a leading internet lobby group.

Sites such as Google, Amazon and Facebook could temporarily replace their usual homepage with a black screen and a message asking users to contact politicians and urge them to oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act.

The move could come as early as January 24, when the bill is due to be debated in the House of Representatives.

One of the only major web companies to have supported SOPA is GoDaddy, which was shamed into reversing its support after throngs of customers (including heavy hitters like Wikipedia) moved their domain names elsewhere.

Read more about the background of the bill at the Daily Mail.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at December 31, 2011, 5:23am

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