Oppose SOPA Blackout your websites on Jan 18th

Fight for the freedom of the internet

Block out your website on Jan 18th to oppose SOPA

My fellow internets,
The internet, we know and love, finds itself in grave jeopardy.

A new bill being proposed in the US seeks to make fundamental changes to the way the internet works.
The bill has received almost unanimous criticism from all of the major online corporations (See the list below).

The bill amounts to government censorship of the internet and uses exactly the same kind of filtering that is already in place in countries such as China, Iran, and Syria.

Online piracy is a problem, nobody would dispute this, but you don’t cure a headache by cutting your head off.

The technological solutions put forward in the SOPA are flawed and will do little to address the issue of online piracy.
What the SOPA will do is break the internet, stifle expression, and criminalise the sharing of information.
If this new law does indeed come to pass, then it would almost certainly bring big changes to every website you know and love. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube would be faced with the task of either filtering and restricting anything you choose to post, or simply closing altogether.

We need only cast our minds back less than a year to recall the profound impact that the internet, and in particular Social Media websites, had during the “Arab Spring”. The internet, and the free ability to share information, facilitated regime changes across swathes of the Middle East, bringing to an end years of dictatorial rule human rights oppression. I genuinely believe that the internet is an unstoppable, phenomenal force for good in the world and the changes outlined in SOPA are a strike against everything the internet is: Free, Open, Ours.

Big websites are already planning protests, for example, here
I urge you to join us in protest on the 18th January 2012 by blacking out your website(s) and making them inaccessible. This is what the internet would be like if SOPA passes, any website that accepts user input would very soon find themselves removed from the internet.

To join the protest, simply change the .htaccess file on, your root level, to the following:

Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/SOPA/$ 
RewriteRule $ http://www.danclarkie.co.uk/SOPA/ [R=302,L]

Or upload this example here.

The more people that add their voice to this choir, the stronger our message can be. Regardless of how big or small your blog is, get involved and help fight this weaponised censorship.

As they say in Sweden: “många bäckar små blir en stor å” – Many small streams make a big river.

Handy infographic

List of companies that publicly oppose SOPA/PIPA

AOL
Boing Boing
Creative Commons
Daily Kos
Disqus
eBay
Etsy
Facebook
foursquare
Google
Grooveshark
Hype Machine
Kickstarter
Kaspersky
LinkedIn
Mozilla
MetaFilter
OpenDNS
O’Reilly Radar
Reddit
Techdirt
PayPal
Torrentfreak
Tumblr
Twitter
TechCrunch
Yahoo!
Zynga
Scribd
YCombinator
Wikipedia
Reddit
Namecheap
Petzel
ICanHasCheezburger
Quora
Embedly
MediaTemple
CloudFlare
StackExchange (Stack Overflow)
Github
Linode
Hostgator
Square
The Huffington Post
Craigslist
ESET
4chan