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Wikipedia claim millions speak out for free internet

As we reported yesterday, many leading websites shut down for a day to protest anti piracy bills now in Congress. On the website on Thursday morning was a message which read “Thank you for protecting Wikipedia. We’re not done yet.”

When clicked, the message took the reader to a thank you letter and more details on how to fight against anti piracy bills that many people feel could lead to restrictive censorship online.

They added “Your voice was loud and strong, Millions of people have spoken in defense of a free and open Internet.”

If you tried to visit Wikipedia yesterday you were greeted with a message detailing the decision for blacking out the web site for 24 hours. Apparently the site was accessible on some smartphones yesterday however.

Wikipedia, and other sites like Reddit were protesting against the Stop Online Piracy Act bill, a bill which is working its way through Congress in the States. A Senate committee approved a similar bill in May called the Protect IP Act, which is not under consideration before the full Senate.

Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia CEO. fighting for free speech: Photo (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file pool)

CNN add “The controversy over SOPA and PIPA has turned into an all-out war between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Media companies have united in favor of the bills, while tech’s power players are throwing their might into opposing them. Hundreds turn out for SOPA protest in New York

“Both SOPA and PIPA are threats not just to the U.S. economy, and not just to all the jobs that this tech sector creates, but if they had existed, Steve Huffman and I could have never founded Reddit,” said Alexis Ohanian, who co-founded the site. Millions visit Reddit to submit interesting links from websites, discuss them and vote on them, he said, calling it “sort of a democratic front page of the web.” Reddit also went dark Wednesday morning and was back Thursday.

One member of Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, who opposes the bills, said the unprecedented blackouts had “turned the tide against a backroom lobbying effort by interests that aren’t used to being told no.”

Kitguru says: Will the protest have a positive knock on effect? time will tell.

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