Widespread Protests Against SOPA/PIPA Temporarily Shutdown Some U.S. Senate Websites
On January 20, 2012 At 10:10 am
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On Wednesday, many online users protested SOPA/PIPA and in the process temporarily shutdown some U.S. Senate websites around 11 a.m. Pacific time.
The amount of traffic "temporarily shut down our Web site," Sen. Ron Wyden, the leading opponent of the Protect IP Act, wrote on Twitter.
In addition, Senator Dianne Feinstein's website generated a "500 server error" due to all of the traffic protesting SOPA/PIPA. Feinstein is, a California Democrat and a sponsor of Protect IP.
Other senator’s websites generated this message:
"Sorry, the web page you have requested is experiencing technical difficulties. The Webmaster has been alerted. You will be automatically redirected to the www.senate.gov home page after 10 seconds."
A spokeswoman for Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, told CNET that he received over 3,000 emails concerning SOPA, with more than 2000 of those emails received within 24 hours. She also stated the volume of phone calls was significant.
Senator Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat supposedly received over 440 phone calls concerning SOPA.
Senator Robert Casey, of Pennsylvania and co-sponsored the bill, denied that the number of calls outnumbered other high profiled issues.
That's in part due to a decision by Web companies not to urge their users to contact members of Congress directly through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, which remained up and functional all day.
Google encouraged visitors to sign an online petition and Amazon influenced visitors to Net Coalition via a link on their site. Other sites, such as Wikipedia, BoingBoing, and Word Press, joined in a blackout of the internet to protest SOPA.
During the blackouts and protests, the MPAA called them “stunts”. The MPAA’s chairman, gave what CNET called a “thinly veiled swipe at Wikipedia.
The group's chairman, Chris Dodd, took a thinly veiled swipe at Wikipedia by denouncing the protests as "an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on [the sites] for information and [who] use their services." News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter to offer similar thoughts.
CNET made a video reporting on the blackout and senators who are voting against SOPA.
Laugh Pong made a video to the tune of “Bye Bye Miss America Pie”, which he called “The Day the LOLCATS Died”.
If SOPA/PIPA passes, we will all be singing “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie”.