Jan 18 2012

The Internet is a little darker today

""){ ?> By Ian Monroe


Today, Wikipedia, Reddit, and a host of other sites across the internet have gone dark to protest the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA  (the PROTECT IP Act) bills worming their way through the legislature here in the US.

Both bills enable not just government censorship of the internet, but censorship initiated by the private sector, e.g. the MPAA and the RIAA, as a response to what they see as threats to their intellectual property rights.

The bills are both rapidly losing steam. reported yesterday that votes in both houses of Congress have been delayed as protests around the internet have picked up supporters.  On January 14, the Obama administration released a statement which indicated opposition to the most controversial enforcement mechanisms in both bills — DNS blacklisting, the same internet censorship techniques used by Iran, China, and Syria.

“We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security. Our analysis of the DNS filtering provisions in some proposed legislation suggests that they pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online. We must avoid legislation that drives users to dangerous, unreliable DNS servers and puts next-generation security policies, such as the deployment of DNSSEC, at risk.”  — the White House Blog, at

But that doesn’t mean the bills are dead; far from it. Today’s digital protests are important, both as a way to raise awareness of the bills amongst people who might not know much about intellectual property law, and also to register the displeasure of all the internet entrepreneurs and information workers who would be affected by the sweeping legislation.

We at Acceler8or believe both these bills are bad policy with a high potential for abuse, and we stand with the sites which have chosen to go dark today.  We’re a small site, and blacking out for the day doesn’t make much sense for us, nor would it make a ripple in the immense oceans of traffic that make up the internet.  But we would like  to encourage our US readers to take a moment to register their opposition to the bills with their elected representatives.  One easy way is using this page from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to send email to your representatives in Congress.  Another good way is through, where you can get tools to help you advertise your opposition on your own websites.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.


  • By Cowicide, January 18, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    I guess I see your point in that you’re a smaller site, but I think it would have been a good idea to have blacked out your site anyway. To hope “the other guys” do it isn’t really embracing solidarity nor democracy. Every bit counts and helps.

    I’m glad you did at least put this post here with links, though.

  • By Bobo Baltucci, January 19, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    R.U has _always_ looked after Number One. Always. Bank on that.

  • By R.U. Sirius, January 19, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    #1 is pee pee right? Damn right I’m looking out for it. And #2 also.

  • By R U Furious, January 21, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

    R U can dish it out, but he is totally humorless and he SURE can’t _take_ it….

  • By R.U. Sirius, January 21, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

    Mainly not interested in cluttering up the site with a lot of trolly personal comments with little or no actual intelligent critique… or humor. The most recent comments appear on the front page… and if it’s all stupid dogshit, it’s bad for the site.

    So… any more trolling will be deleted. If you actually say something halfway interesting… or funny… about content without indulging in silly name calling and the like, your comments will be allowed through,

  • By r u censorius, January 22, 2012 @ 6:14 am

    For all your high tech bluster, Ken,… this website is from the 90’s. Slashdot has had metamoderation for 15 years +. But you can’t manage any more than this static and ugly website with most limited functionality? Have you even heard of meta-moderation?

    META MODERATION, learn of it you out of touch old geezer.

  • By Woody, January 23, 2012 @ 3:55 am

    Censorius, if you like meta-moderation-whatsits so much, go start your own meta-moderated site, or go hang out on a site that uses meta-moderation; meta-moderation sounds fab & gnarl(y), but if A8R don’t use it, why u fuss? This site also doesn’t use Elves, and I wish it did, but I’m not going to stop checking into this site on accnt of its lack of Elves. I will by god go to where the Elves are when I find my longshanks in need of a good stiff tread thru Elf country — but if I want to maybe just have a Tuborg and watch a game show then I will do that. If I want to watch the Roomba get nekkid: listen: okay, too. Maybe I just want to come read this Acceler8or article or that one, one or two times. Sometimes I want to ride a motorcycle (mind you, a Japanese one, not a gnarly harly). Sometimes I have built small furnitures. Even these were too large for Elves, but a dump truck with wooden dowels was okay elf sized may be, see? I can meta-moderate a showerhead. You can too. Let’s pitch in! [my canine tooth just went *ding!* with a glimmer of starlight when I smiled, like on TV] and such like as unto that P.O.V.

  • By Bobo Baltucci, January 23, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    no surprise you prefer fascism over community, Woody. No surprise at all.

  • By Woody, January 24, 2012 @ 12:52 am

    How is a pro-meta meta showerheads position akin to fascism? I think people of all Political Types and Preferences like showers. Elves aren’t fascist, too? Community breakfasts around outdoor tables is what I get eager for.

Other Links to this Post