Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.


Not a PIPA from Wikipedia: 24-hour information blackout protests piracy bill

Published time: January 17, 2012 19:31
Edited time: January 17, 2012 23:50

A journalist reads information on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on January 17, 2012 in Washington, DC (AFP Photo / Karen Bleier)

Download video (24.98 MB)

The “knowledge blackout” is aimed at protecting the Internet – and the website’s very existence – from online censorship, which many are equating to a complete disregard of due process.

The blackout of one of the world’s most-visited websites is meant to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, two controversial anti-piracy bills currently on the table in the US Congress. Lawmakers argue the bills will protect copyrighted material, but many, including founder and executive director Aaron Swartz, believe it will change the rules for the Internet not just in the United States, but around the world.

“Under this bill, the rules totally change,” Swartz told RT. “It makes everyone who runs a website into a policeman. And if they don’t do their job of making sure nobody on their site uses it for anything that’s even potentially illegal, the entire site could get shut down – without even so much as a trial.”

That may not come as a surprise, given recent programs like “See something, Say something” by the Department of Homeland Security, under which almost any action – including paying cash, buying waterproof matches and having discreet phone conversations in public – can be seen as potential terrorist activity.

And investigative journalist Tony Gosling told RT that existing laws already protect against copyright infringement – and the SOPA and PIPA bills are simply excuses to shut down potential debate.

“This is the latest skirmish in the information war,” Gosling said. “I think we need to use existing laws, which are perfectly adequate. This whole proposal from the industry is really because the Internet is eating into their monopoly on what we see and hear.”


Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or



Show password


or Register

Request a new password


or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:


or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile



New password

Retype new password

Current password



Follow us

Follow us