No, the Internet isn’t broken and your connection is fine, but it is true that a number of popular websites are not working today. And yes, this is deliberate. As of this morning, several sites, including Wikipedia, Wordpress, reddit, and TwitPic, are taking part in a strike to mark their opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA). The strike will last until tonight.
SOPA is a bill that is currently moving through Congress. It’s an anti-piracy measure that will extend the U.S. Government’s law into cyberspace, allowing the government to block certain sites that they believe violate or infringe upon intellectual property rights. SOPA and its corresponding bill in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), are intended to help preserve the copyright of intellectual property.
SOPA has both its supporters and its naysayers. It’s a difficult subject because this legislation will have to walk the line between protecting people — such as writers, musicians and actors whose works are being pirated — and respecting Freedom of Speech which is protected by the First Amendment.
The Issue: Protecting Intellectual Property Online
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