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Blackout: Websites Go Dark to Protect Free Speech


It’s pretty hard to go anywhere online today without noticing a blackout – even Google’s logo has joined the cause. Wikipedia explains the action:

SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act.” (“IP” stands for “intellectual property.”) In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in our opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet. Detailed information about these bills can be found in the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act articles on Wikipedia, which are available during the blackout.

The bills have shattered party lines. According to ProPublica, in Virginia only Rep. Bob Goodlatte has come out for it, standing with liberals like Senators Barbara Boxer & Al Franken. And only Rep. Jim Moran & Sen. Mark Warner have come out against it, standing with conservatives like Representatives Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul & Paul Ryan.

It’s an issue on which your voice really could help decide the position of your representative and Sen. Jim Webb. Today Wikipedia will help you locate your member of Congress through any page. If you call your member of Congress and get an answer on their position, let us know in the comments below!

UPDATE 1:31pm: Rep. Gerry Connolly’s office tells me he opposes SOPA as well.

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