SOPA: Wikipedia Goes Dark

If you need to use Wikipedia for any urgent research, make sure you do it today – come tomorrow, you’ll be clean out of luck (for 24 hours)

The company announced today that in protest over SOPA, it will join Reddit and others on Wednesday for an all-day web “blackout” – which means that participating sites will be effectively off-line and inaccessible. The move comes as the firestorm over a highly controversial internet piracy bill in Washington gathers pace.

Wikimedia Foundation – English Wikipedia anti-SOPA blackout:
Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate – that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

Full Story – Wikimedia Foundation.

UPDATE 05:25 AM GMT;

Isn’t SOPA dead? Wasn’t the bill shelved, and didn’t the White House declare that it won’t sign anything that resembles the current bill?
No, SOPA and PIPA are not dead. On January 17th, SOPA’s sponsor said the bill will be discussed in early February. There are signs PIPA may be debated on the Senate floor next week. The threat of SOPA and PIPA remains, and the English Wikipedia community wants to send a strong message that such attacks on the free and open web are not welcome.

Is it still possible to access Wikipedia in any way?
The Wikipedia community, as part of their request to the Wikimedia Foundation to carry out this protest, asked us to ensure that we make English Wikipedia accessible in some way during an emergency. The English Wikipedia will be accessible on mobile devices and smart phones. Because the protest message is powered by JavaScript, it’s also possible to view Wikipedia by completely disabling JavaScript in your browser.

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