Pirate Party goes dark for SOPA

Summary:The Australian Pirate Party has blacked out its website in protest against the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) today, warning that censorship could come to Australia.

The Australian Pirate Party has blacked out its website in protest against the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) today, warning that censorship could come to Australia.

(Screenshot by Michael Lee/ZDNet Australia)

The Pirate Party warns that the strong alliance between the US and Australia means that our law makers could be pressured into introducing similar legislation into Australian parliament.

"America's control over treaty organisations such as TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and ACTA [Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement] would allow the smooth transition of America's law into our legislative system. If we don't combat this now, its introduction into our parliament could be just around the corner."

The Pirate Party's message comes tacked on to a standard blackout message developed by freelance creative developer, Zachary Johnson, who created the template and placed it in the public domain. It is available for anyone to download from Github.

"I've been calling my representatives in Congress, but this gave me another outlet for my frustration with this legislation," Johnson wrote in notes provided with the code.

According to Fight for the Future, a not-for-profit group partially responsible for coordinating the blackout, thousands of sites will participate in the blackout. These range from small independent bloggers, to large communities such as Reddit and Wikipedia.

Other organisations such as Google have thrown their support behind the blackout, but will not be pulling their sites down. Instead, Google will post a link on the company's home page to notify users of the US Bills being debated, but will not go as far as replacing the company's logo.

However, not everyone agrees with the blackout. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has labelled the blackout as foolish and said shutting down web services isn't the right way to take a stance on an issue.

Topics: Piracy, Security

About

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

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