The American Library Association (ALA) applauds the numerous websites that have taken to the Internet to protest two Congressional bills – PIPA and SOPA – in a very public way. By either going dark or brandishing their website with a black box, sites such as Wikipedia, Reddit, Craigslist, Google, Tumblr and many others, are demonstrating in a very real way the potential impact of these bills.
The day-long blocking of websites highlights the outright denial of access to information these bills would likely impose. Ironically, for two bills that are supposed to combat “foreign” counterfeiting or copyright infringing, today’s demonstration highlights how they would likely hit home right here in the U.S.
The ALA is on the record having taken a strong stance in opposition to these bills and we also constructed the PIPA, SOPA and OPEN Act Quick Reference Guide (pdf). In addition, the ALA deplores any legislation that would incentivize and likely increase surveillance of online activity promoted by these bills. These bills, if passed, would likely blanket Internet activity with an immediate chilling effect – on first amendment free speech rights, intellectual freedom and privacy rights, among others.=