The Great Internet Blackout of 2012

Tell Congress: Please don't censor the web!

Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!

As many of you may already witnessed, Google’s iconic home page is “going black”  today, joining Wikipedia’s efforts to raise attention against SOPA and PIPA, two legislative bills currently in Congress aimed to stop online piracy and intended to “promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation.”  However, Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, Craigslist, Yahoo, eBay, all industry giants, think otherwise and have all joined together as part of a “Net Coalition”

Now there is a scary thought!

From the little that I have read thus far (although its covered by every major media outlet), Congress is already backing off their proposal.  Now, I do not care to know the particulars of each of the bills.  For all I know, these two bills may very well place a huge burden on our websites and should be struck down.  But the mere fact that all these competing websites have joined together to fight a cause, which ultimately is affecting the way our government is being run…who’s to stop them the next time Google frowns upon a bill?

The popularity and reach of Google, Amazon, Wikipedia, et al. far supersedes that of Congress.  Unless you pick up of the Times, or read the Wall Street Journal, or if it involves Health Care, do we rarely hear about a bill in Congress.  If Google and Amazon start siding with bills, with such a following that each have, if I were a Senator, I would be more concerned with how to contain Google from poking its cyber head in and around politics than for any piracy laws that are currently on the table.


6 thoughts on “The Great Internet Blackout of 2012

  1. It’s a very good point made in the post that this has been a showcase of the power that these sites have over public opinion. I am still not too worried, though. They only came together and stood up for themselves because their cage was being rattled and and had to protect themselves. Otherwise, I think they will stick more to minding their own business and not so much trying to take over the world.. for now.

  2. I’m not familiar with US politics or legislation as an international student. But I don’t think Google or Wiki are trying to be over Congress.They just don’t want their business be squeezed.
    But I thought the SOPA was originally targeting illegal file sharing online.

  3. It has to do with piracy of content on the web. The media, music and movie industries are pushing for these acts since they want to be compensated for their content. This opinion is warranted since it shows how strong the big players, google, Wikipedia, etc. have influence over Americans. Americans use these sites daily to find information and therefore they have the power to reach many Americans very fast and to consequently influence their opinions.

  4. Wikipedia, Google, Craigslist and other websites efforts to raise awareness of these two bills did just that. Many Americans were unaware of the prospect of these bills and the websites action put exactly what their world could look life if they were passed right in front of their face. People were inconvenienced, annoyed, and now aware and possibly little more educated on the issues.

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