The hacktivist collective and the social news site Reddit revealed their plans to black out their websites for 12 hours on January 18 as a form of protest against the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
Reddit representatives wrote on the site’s blog about their intentions of shutting down website activity between 8AM and 8PM EST and Anonymous quickly followed their lead.
“Instead of the normal glorious, user-curated chaos of reddit, we will be displaying a simple message about how the PIPA/SOPA legislation would shut down sites like reddit, link to resources to learn more, and suggest ways to take action,” reads a Reddit blog post.
“We’re as addicted to reddit as the rest of you. Many of you stand with us against PIPA/SOPA, but we know support for a blackout isn’t unanimous. We're not taking this action lightly. We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to reddit and the Internet as we know it.”
Anonymous initiated operation BlackoutSOPA
and invited all those who support the protest to shut down their pages in the designated time interval.
“Everyone can join in on #BlackoutSOPA at Jan 18th! Shut down your pages for 12 hrs from 8a-8p EST and show a message opposing SOPA!” read a tweet
on Anonymous IRC.
SOPA caused a lot of controversy recently and every major company in the US took a side, some supporting it and others blaming it. Eugene Kaspersky officially stated
his disapproval, terminating his organization's membership with Business Software Alliance.
Others, such as GoDaddy, weren’t so inspired and witnessed the effects
of their decisions first hand. The company lost a large number of customers in just a couple of days, even after they backed out a bit.
Hacker collectives also got involved, launching many operations and campaigns in protest of the bill.