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Web opposition to SOPA growing

Jan. 17, 2012 at 6:40 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Hundreds of Web sites say they'll go dark late Tuesday to protest anti-piracy bills currently making their way through Congress.

Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing and even IcanHazCheezburger are among the sites shutting down in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act in the U.S. House and the Protect IP Act in the Senate, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"This is an extraordinary action for our community to take," said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said in a statement Monday. "While we regret having to prevent the world from having access to Wikipedia for even a second, we simply cannot ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world."

Internet search giant Google said it would join the protest by linking to anti-SOPA information on the firm's United States home page, Ars Technica reported.

Other sites announcing plans to join the protest include Wordpress, TwitPic, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The White House weighed in on the issue last weekend, calling for Congress to go back to the drawing board and saying any new legislation must target specific lawbreakers rather than broadly punishing Internet intermediaries.

Asked about the administration's position, White House press secretary Jay Carney said: "It's a serious problem that requires serious legislative responses. But we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cyber security risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative, global Internet."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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