If you are wondering why some sites are blacked-out today, or why some sites have blocked out their logos/name, it is in protest regarding bills in congress which are aimed at stamping out piracy / protecting intellectual property (a good goal) but proposing to do it by way of censorship and/or surveillance (a questionable means). There are a number of petitions going around, but for a little more info on why there is such an outcry, here are a couple of quick, reliable resources:

The google graphic shows the variety of people and organizations who oppose the bills and why; and offers the opportunity to add your name to their petition. The American Library Association has put together a quick reference guide to explain the PIPA, SOPA and OPEN Acts (pdf).   It indicates who initiated the bill and where the bill would impact free speech and/or free enterprise.

…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.

 

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