The Web Collectively Protests Congress's Censorship Law

Wednesday, November 16 is the first ever American Censorship Day in honor of the first House hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and most of the internet seems determined not to repeat the ironic holiday next year. Actually, "pissed off with a purpose" might be a better verb to describe the collective sentiment around the House's SOPA, known in the Senate as the PROTECT IP bill. Buoyed by nearly $200 million worth of lobbying from Hollywood, the fast-moving bill would enable the U.S. government to effectively blacklist so-called "rogue" websites that violate intellectual property laws. Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and leaders in the entertainment industry strongly support the bill, citing the need for stronger laws to clamp down on piracy. But on a fundamental level, the bill invokes comparisons to China's firewalled web, since it would effectively enable the government to censor the internet. This has digital rights advocates up in arms, and everyone from the Mozilla Foundation to Google has joined the fight for the right to a free and open internet.

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