The blackout protest being run by many of the internet’s biggest sites is now in effect, making it much harder for people to look up incidental facts over the 24 hour period it will run for.
Other websites that are also part of the blackout include the Cheezburger series of websites, Reddit and tech news site Boing Boing. Trying to visit any of the sites involved leads you to a black screen and a short message. The Wikipedia one reads:
“For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.”
This scheme has drawn a lot of attention from web users who are understandably worried about the current state of the SOPA/PIPA bills being pushed through congress. Due to the vague language in these acts, it’s thought that if enacted, they could lead to changing the internet as we know it, making for a far less free platform for exchanging information.
Technology heads and the people behind sites like Reddit, Facebook and Google have been speaking to congress in an effort to have them ammend the bill. The White House stepped in just a few days ago and forced the ammendment that removes the DNS blocking portion of the acts. This was a big step, but there’s still many changes needed if internet users are to feel completely safe.