Well, the Battle for the Internet is now officially in full swing.
In an earlier post on this blog, we reported how two bills in the United States Congress, (now officially regarded as SOPA in the House of Representatives, and PIPA in the Senate), had been proposed in order to reign in the offenders of internet piracy, and how the passage of either bill threatens due process in terms of the legal proceedings necessary to that end. We also mentioned how the Federal Government wasn't necessarily waiting for passage of the bill before getting a head start in siezing domain names. The bills themselves have still yet to be voted on, but let there be no doubt that some web-based companies aren't waiting for passage of the bill, either, before making their voice heard in opposition to them. And because so much more internet traffic is directed through these companies than through Federal sites, their voices speak many decibels higher.
Yesterday, Wikipedia went completely dark, while Google and other well-known sites included prominent links to sites providing for users a media allowing for dissent to be heard by those in power. We're sure most of you, dear readers, are aware of this, as we're sure that if you happen upon this blog, you are no doubt familiar with Wikipedia and Google.
What is pleasantly surprising, is that apparently the voices of the internet are being heard. Some prominent senators, including PIPA's co-sponsor Marco Rubio, have renounced their support of the bill, and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is now calling for the bill to be shelved. Even in tonight's Republican Presidential debate in South Carolina, every candidate on stage stated opposition to the legislation.
Nonetheless, the Feds remain dedicated to stopping internet piracy, and so, just as Wikipedia was powering back up, they were shutting down the mega-popular, New Zealand-based Megaupload, carrying out a federal grand jury indictment processed earlier this month, with all the intention of extradicting and prosecuting those associated with the filesharing site. Subsequently, and currently, however, hackers associated with the group, Anonymous, are retaliating, declaring openly that they are taking down websites at the Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, the U.S. Copyright Office, and EMI, just to mention a few.
The War for a free internet is now on.