If you’re trying to get on Wikipedia tomorrow you will likely get a message that your browser can’t load the page. That’s because Wikipedia, one of the most visited sites on the Internet, has planned a blackout Wednesday to protest the SOPA and PIPA bills currently making their way through Congress.
The decision was announced yesterday by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales after overwhelming support for the blackout was demonstrated on a community decision page that Wikipedia put up to get user reactions. The blackout is designed to call attention to the SOPA and PIPA bills which include broad language that threatens the freedom that has been inherent in the Internet since it was created. Wales believes that shutting down the English version of the Wikipedia website for one day will affect 25 million users.
We applaud the actions of Wikipedia in this instance and the many other websites that have called their users’ attention to the potential damage these bills could inflict on individual rights and freedoms. Our hope is that these actions will get the attention and garner the support needed to get rid of these bills and move toward more sensible solutions to securing private property rights on the Internet – like the OPEN legislation.