Online encyclopedia Wikipedia is to ‘black out’ the English-language version for 24 hours on Wednesday in protest at the proposed US internet regulation legislation SOPA and PIPA, saying that if passed would "seriously damage the free and open internet, including Wikipedia."
Despite the Obama administration signaling that SOPA is unlikely to pass as it stands, from 05:00 GMT Wikipedia is planning on shutting down worldwide. The action is the first such protest action the non-profit organisation has ever taken with Wiki Foundation director Sue Gardner adding that the decision "wasn’t lightly made".
"We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States don’t advance the interests of the general public," wrote Gardner in an anouncement.
Gardner also argued that while legislator support for SOPA was in "tactical retreat", the Foundation believes that SOPA is not dead yet and that "PIPA is still quite active".
"Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone."
"On January 18, we hope you’ll agree with us, and will do what you can to make your own voice heard."