Wikipedia, the giant and free online encyclopedia containing more than 20 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people, Reddit, WordPress, Mozilla and other popular websites have gone dark to protest controversial bills being debated in Congress.
Google, the Web's top search company and one of technology's most influential powers in Washington, posted a link on its U.S. homepage asking users, “Tell Congress: Please don't censor the web!”
Wikipedia says, if passed, proposed legislation in the United States -- the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PROTECTIP (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate – “will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States.”
A statement by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales declares, “Today Wikipedians from around the world have spoken about their opposition to this destructive legislation. This is an extraordinary action for our community to take - and 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."
Reddit proclaims, “The freedom, innovation, and economic opportunity that the Internet enables is in jeopardy. Congress is considering legislation that will dramatically change your Internet experience and put an end to Reddit and many other sites you use everyday…
“Many of you stand with us against PIPA/SOPA, but we know support for a blackout isn’t unanimous. We're not taking this action lightly. We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to Reddit and the Internet as we know it. Blacking out Reddit is a hard choice, but we feel focusing on a day of action is the best way we can amplify the voice of the community...”