If you use Wikipedia as an information source, prepare to be in the dark for 24 hours as the hugely popular online encyclopedia plans to take part in a blackout Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress.
The blackout will only affect the English language version of the site.
Other sites are planning on taking part in the blackout, which opposes the House of Representatives' Stop Online Piracy Act, but with one of the web's most popular sites now on board, the protest now has added muscle.
According to the bill, SOPA would authorize the attorney general "to seek a court order against a U.S. directed foreign Internet site committing or facilitating online piracy...to cease and desist further activities constituting specified intellectual property offenses under the federal criminal code."
Supporters say intellectual property and jobs need to be protected. Critics argue that it infringes on First Amendment rights and could hurt the tech industry.
Under SOPA, Americans could potentially be cut off from portions of the Internet, as the legislation could allow federal authorities to blacklist sites alleged to distribute pirated content. There are signs that this provision may wind up not being a part of the final legislation, but the idea outraged many tech companies.
Obama says he will work with Congress to ensure free expression and innovation are not stifled by the legislation, while still protecting intellectual property from piracy and counterfeiting. He has raised some reservations over the legislation in its current form.
The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, told the Associated Press that the bills are a threat to the free, open, and secure web.
To read the legislation, click here.
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