SOPA Blackout Was Biggest Online Protest In History, Backers Say 19/01/2012 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 5 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The online protest yesterday against two bills in the United States Congress aimed at stopping internet piracy was the biggest ever, according to preliminary statistics being circulated by the protestors. More than 115,000 websites – including four of the top 10 in the US – and over 13 million internet users participated. There were 10 million petition signatures, 3 million emails sent, 100,000 phone calls, and some 3 million messages on Twitter. At issue are the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate (IPW, US Policy, 18 January 2012, IPW, US Policy, 17 January 2012). The Senate is scheduled to have a vote on the PIPA on 24 January. The number of senators opposed to PIPA rose from five at the start of the new year to at least 36, including five (or six, according to OpenCongress.org) who were formerly cosponsors, according to Fight for the Future, which is posting numbers to its website sopastrike.com. Some senators have indicated they still want a bill but want more time to consider it. “Many offices’ phone lines were taken offline due to the call traffic and many senator webpages’ simply stopped working due to the barrage of visits and emails being sent to them,” Fight for the Future said. And, “Members of Congress are dropping their support for the bills in droves.” Many are using social media to announce their decisions. There were even thousands of protestors in person in some cities, and dozens of in-person meetings before 18 January. Meanwhile, on 24 January, as five senators led by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden plan to filibuster the vote on cloture (that would otherwise cut off debate on the bill), groups will be planning a live-audience engagement with the filibuster, they said. “Audience members can submit comments, stories, and testimonials of internet-based moments in history that will be read by the senators during the filibuster,” said Public Knowledge. “A live stream will be set up for the public to get involved and to watch the proceedings.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."SOPA Blackout Was Biggest Online Protest In History, Backers Say" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.