Internet blackout 'only the first step'

The Great Australian Blackout is in full swing this week, with over 180,000 unique visitors to the site, 150,000 of which just in the last three days. But the organisers of the campaign are already looking to new protests.

The Great Australian Blackout is in full swing this week, with over 180,000 unique visitors to the site, 150,000 of which just in the last three days. But the organisers of the campaign are already looking to new protests.

"This is only the first step for the campaign," a spokesperson for the campaign said. "We were a bit miffed by the taking out the trash approach of Conroy's announcement right before Christmas. Electronic Frontiers Australia [which supports the campaign] is certainly planning more education and positive protest action."

The internet blackout has been a fairly large "first step", however. The JavaScript to blackout web pages has been viewed 230,000 times. The campaign has 4700 members on Facebook and 2200 followers on Twitter — many of whom have blacked out their profile pictures in support. There have been 430 sites either linking to the blackout site or actually using the JavaScript. There have also been numerous people online using their own blackout images to support the protest.

The spokesperson expected the movement to increase momentum, as the growing number of sites supporting the blackout heads towards 500, which was pledged before this week. "We're pretty happy with audience reach, but much like the New Zealand protest early this year, this will grow towards the end of the week."

The offline protests yesterday were held in multiple locations across Australia: "There were heaps of gatherings — many were a kind of rallying the troops kind of event."

For more information or to blackout your own profile pics or website head to www.internetblackout.com.au