|January 13, 2012
Can you imagine a world without Google or Facebook? If plans to protest the potential passing of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) come to fruition, you won’t need to; those sites, along with many other well-known online destinations, will go temporarily offline as a taste of what we could expect from a post-SOPA Internet.
Companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, Yahoo! and Wikipedia are said to be discussing a coordinated blackout of services to demonstrate the potential effect SOPA would have on the Internet, something already being called a “nuclear option” of protesting. The rumors surrounding the potential blackout were only strengthened by Markham Erickson, executive director of trade association NetCoalition, who told FoxNews that “a number of companies have had discussions about [blacking out services]” last week.
According to Erickson, the companies are well aware of how serious an act such a blackout would be:
This type of thing doesn’t happen because companies typically don’t want to put their users in that position. The difference is that these bills so fundamentally change the way the Internet works. People need to understand the effect this special-interest legislation will have on those who use the Internet.