Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

Summary: Internet giants are considering a 'nuclear option' against the SOPA bill. Should they press the button internationally?


The online war against SOPA is reaching new levels. In the aftermath of the Reddit 'Boycott Go Daddy' campaign, now a number of Internet giants are considering their own moves in the SOPA game.

Wikipedia was the first to consider a blackout of their services, in order to demonstrate what SOPA could potentially do to any website that allowed user-generated content. Now, a number of sites including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon are considering coordinated downtime on their platforms.

(Source: ZDNet)

Markham Erickson of NetCoalition recently confirmed that the extreme move was "under consideration" by the Internet companies. The director commented:

"This type of thing doesn't happen because companies typically don't want to put their users in that position. The difference is that these bills so fundamentally change the way the Internet works. People need to understand the effect this special-interest legislation will have on those who use the Internet."

The "nuclear option" will cause major Internet service providers to go simultaneously in to the dark in a coordinated effort to show their displeasure at the proposed legislation.

However, a move of these proportions will no doubt have severe consequences. Consumer anger, backlash from online users, lost revenue and perhaps catalyst user boycotts as a reprisal may be on the cards.

Whereas Wikipedia asking its online community what they thought about a blackout yielded some interesting results, it did not get full press attention. A service suspension of Google, however, would no doubt end up blasted across every newspaper in the West within minutes.

I would not be impressed if one morning if I wake to find Google, Twitter and Facebook are denying access to their domains. I'll admit, I would become furious. If this suspension goes ahead, the companies better make sure they explain to the general public why this is happening.

What better way to expose the farcical bill, and ensure that user anger is cajoled in to the right directions?

If it goes ahead, taking Google as an example, I'm all for it. Something I've found as a London-based blogger is that no-one in Britain knows anything about the act whatsoever. They need this.

I'm expecting commentary, as I've witness across the web, stating that service blackouts should only affect the American community. That, in a nutshell, is why 'nuclear' options need to affect every international domain. This legislation, in one country, is enough reason to press the nuclear button.

SOPA is not legislation that will be confined within U.S borders -- so in order to 'spread the word', go ahead. It is time to light the fires of anger that many informed U.S citizens already feel, so members of Congress understand what the SOPA legislation may do to international relationships as well as altering the opinions of the general public.

There is currently no released formal decision on the matter. However, considering the Senate is scheduled to resume debating the bill on January 24, it may be before this date that the internet giants potentially most affected will choose to make a stand.

Press the button. You'll be forgiven for a day's worth of inconvenience if it can achieve some damage limitation in regards to the SOPA bill.


Topics: Networking, IT Employment, Security, Piracy, Amazon, Google, Enterprise Software, CXO, Browser, Social Enterprise

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  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    " Google, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout" -

    Sky is not going to fall down if the above 3 goes for a black out. Google can be easly replaced by Bing ( Which btw is way better the google). Few marriages will be saved if facebook is out for a while and for twitter , saves people from somebodyelse's bit*hing.
    • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

      @owlnet haha, if google goes down half the internet will follow. Did you even consider youtube, shopper, or android? Well if google pulls the plug, I wouldn't doubt my phone service will be down. You must not know what google controls and bing is terrible.
      • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

        @americanjoe @owlnet Not to mention how many businesses rely on real time lead generation through Google Adwords and Ad Networks...Facebook Ads, etc...cutting off Google cuts off the pipeline for many businesses, its more deeply embedded in our economy than you think.
    • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

      @owlnet Bing is better for images and, perhaps, video. I like google better for general searches. And as someone else pointed out, a lot of phones rely on google. I suspect a lot of apps use it too.
    • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

      @owlnet <br><br>LOL so true...i wouldn't miss google at all! Go BING! <br><br>As for Twitter and Facebook...please push the red button! Maybe productivity goes up across the globe if those were gone.
  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    A great way to implement this (using Google as an example) would be to have the results blacked out, with an explanation (and possible link to appropriate legislators' pages). Under that, a link to the actual results could be available.
    By doing this for each search, the result is a hiccup big enough for people to take notice.
    • Nicely done

      Raise awareness and still serve the end user. Unfortunately I don't think that people will care if they can still get the services they desire.
    • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

      @tbig1 Exactly what i was thinking. You, sir, win 1000 internets.

      EDIT: I however, would not include the link to the actual results or, as macadam stated, people probably wouldn't care.
  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    This is similar to TV Channel Nickelodean's Day of Play. They show a screen that says Go Outside and Play for 3 hrs. Yes, kids can just turn the channel, but it should remind parents that kids need to do more than watch TV all day. This 'shutdown' needs to be advertised in advance and a screen should be displayed explaining why they are not available.
  • great idea!

    bring it on!
    The Linux Geek
  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    I fully support a temp blackout.
    There isn't going to be any sort of mass exodus from these companies. Let congress see what happens when tens of millions of Americans have their usual internet activities disrupted, even if it's just for a day.
  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    The day productivity skyrockets upward, unless your company uses google apps.
    Bruce Lang
    • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

      @Bruce Lang And unless your company relies on search results and/or adwords for business and sales. =)
  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    ... and speaking of censorship, when will zdnet stop censoring ideas they don't like?
  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    I don't think that the Congress & the Government realizes that the internet is much bigger to people & to companies than they think.<br><br>It's just only going to backfire & blow up in the Government's & the Congress's faces. Hackers, etc., are going to start finding ways around it, & people everywhere (ESPECIALLY those that uses Facebook, Twitter, & Youtube) will be grabbing their pitchforks & storm towards their doorstep. You try to take that away, & that's exactly what's gonna happen. Heck, they may try to hack the Government's computers &/or services (Eligible Receiver '97, anyone? Google it).<br><br>They're making a huge mistake by going through it, & are asking for trouble. They certainly WILL NOT get some sleep over it from the millions or billions that uses sites like those alone (as well as Youtube, etc.) of what this article mentioned.
  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    They should black out all the legislators, including .gov access. Legislator addresses and such are all public info. I bet Google et al have their respective legislator IPs on file and could blacklist them all.
  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    Will never happen. Google is already in major hot water in DC regarding anti-trust violations, etc. They also just paid HALF A BILLION bucks to the feds for their disregard of U.S. law (and their ads on illegal pharmacy sites). This is a silly bit of web hysteria (much like the amped up false-rhetoric over SOPA itself).
    • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

      You do realize that under SOPA and PIPA, a website or Web Company does not need to be a proven pirate site. It only needs to be accused of said acts. So, who will be incontrol of making those accusations? Will it be the MPAA or RIAA since it is their bills? Also, what gives our Congress the right to infringe upon another Nations internet register's? You obviously have not read these bills in full or you do not believe in Net Neutrality. Now in all fairness, if you truly believe these two bill to be harmless please site your proof that the rest of us are overreacting, otherwise I believe you to be vastly under-informed.
      • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

        @rnlightle First and foremost, I'd like to point out that I'm wholly against SOPA. I created to total up the domains transferred from GoDaddy during the boycott.

        However, I like to make sure people oppose it for the right reasons. Under SOPA, we will not impact any other "Nations internet registers". If what a website does is illegal within US borders, then it simply will not be accessible within US borders.

        One of my biggest complaints with the bill is the "block first, ask later" approach. However, we do know this: the parties able to bring suit against a website and have it blocked will be either a). the DOJ (similar to ICE with "Operation: In our Sites") or b). A copyright holder. So I do not think either the MPAA or the RIAA will be to do so. I'm not certain though.
  • RE: Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider 'nuclear' blackout

    I'm all for this temp blackout.