Several months have passed since the Stop Online Piracy Act was first introduced to Congress. Representative Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas plus a bi-partisan group of twelve co-sponsors introduced this controversial bill on October 26, 2011, much to the displeasure of companies such as Google and Facebook. Originally GoDaddy.com was in support of H.R. 3261 (the official name of SOPA) but recently the domain registrar has experienced a severe backlash from clients because of its support for SOPA and reversed its position.
However, the Stop Online Piracy Act is still alive and when Congress reconvenes later this month the members will consider passing the bill. The United States Senate is scheduled to debate the issue on January 24, just fifteen days from today. Democrat Harry Reid from Nevada, who is currently the Senate Majority Leader, is in favor of the bill and is adamant that H.R. 3261 is a bipartisan bill.
Naturally some of the giants of the online world continue to vehemently oppose SOPA and speak out against its legislation. With time drawing near to when the Senate will discuss the bill there has been discussion of an “internet blackout” to voice opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Jimmy Wales, the co-founder and promoter of Wikipedia has been promoting the idea of the internet blackout. Naturally Wikipedia would be one of the tech giants to participate in the blackout but the addition of companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, PayPal and Twitter take the possibility of this event to a new level. An official date has not been set but online rumors indicate this blackout may take place one day before the Senate hearings on January 23.
Obviously online users would be incredibly frustrated not being able to utilize those services for a 24-hour period but those companies obviously believe that would send a strong message to Congress regarding SOPA. Stay tuned for more information about the possibility of an internet blackout in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act!