|Image by Getty Images via @daylife|
|Cover of Martin Luther King, Jr.|
Jimmy Wales the founder of Wikipedia the free online knowledge site, will shut it down for 24 hours later this week in protest at the draft anti-online piracy legislation before the US Congress, he said on Twitter.
"'Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.' MLK - on Wednesday, Wikipedia demands," Wales said, citing slain US civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is currently before the House of Representatives, while the Protect IP Act is the version before the Senate.
The draft legislation has won the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce.
But last month, the founders of Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo! and other internet giants expressed concern over the two drafts, saying in a open letter that they would "give the US government the power to censor the Web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.
Kiwipete says: Is this a genuine attempt to stop online piracy like the much criticised New Zealand legislation passed last year, or some sort of "trojan horse" to enable the US Government to control what's published on the internet sometime in the future or whenever some corporation or politician objects? Democratic freedoms had to be won dearly and should not be rationed out at the whim of some potentially fascist politician or corporate CEO. Other nations would soon follow the lead of the 'land of the free'. Is this another sign of what's to come in 2012?