January 13, 2012
Wikipedia founder James Wales has floated the idea of a Wikipedia blackout to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act in the past, but has had a renewed burst of interest following the announcement that Reddit — the Web news and aggregation site — will black out its services in protest of online piracy bills Jan. 18.
The protest coincides with a House Oversight Committee hearing called by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to take a close look at the impact that domain name service and search engine blocking will have on national security and the American Internet community.
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is among the witnesses listed to testify at the hearing, along with the Rackspace Chief Executive Lanham Napier and several security, technology policy and civil liberties experts.
On his user talk page, Wales revisited the idea of taking Wikipedia offline in protest, a tactic that the online encyclopedia has used in the past against an Italian privacy law. Wales has put the decision to the Wikipedia community.
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