Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
As various time zones begin ticking over to April 22, an Anonymous-led Web blackout has begun that will reportedly include over 200 sites suspending regular operations in protest of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that recently passed the US House of Representatives.
Anonymous and other groups called for the blackout last week using the hashtags #CISPAblackout and #StopCISPA.
While the action is meant to be a repeat of last year’s anti-SOPA blackout, which included participation from Wikipedia and Google, Monday’s CISPA protest appears to be mostly limited to the hacker and Anonymous circles. At present, no major mainstream websites appear on the list of participants.
Beyond just standalone websites, some Anonymous and Occupy Facebook and Twitter accounts have agreed to go silent for the day. Others are using a twibbon campaign or a #StopCISPA profile picture.
CISPA passed the House last week with 288 votes for and 127 votes against. The proposed bill has drawn heavy criticism from privacy advocates who claim that it would expand law enforcement’s access to citizens’ personal information without the proper safeguards.
CISPA still faces several obstacles before it becomes law. The Senate has been ignoring the bill, and the White House has threatened to veto it if necessary. A veto would require a 2/3 majority from both the Senate and the House. Worryingly, the House already passed the bill with better than 2/3 support.
Earlier this month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation created a tool for contacting congressional representatives about the bill. The form has since been updated to focus on opposing the Senate version of CISPA.
Image credit: iStockphoto
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