On January 18, 2012, the Internet came alive with protests against the draconian Internet censorship measures, SOPA and PIPA. The date has now been dubbed "Internet Freedom Day" and on Friday everyone can join in to celebrate.
Last year, when SOPA and PIPA were introduced in Congress, it looked like widespread Internet censorship would surely follow and Internet users everywhere were concerned.
However, there was a major movement on January 18, when Internet users worldwide starting fighting back. The cause was taken up just before that date by pro-freedom groups, both large and small, and hundreds of thousands of people joined in. Major websites like Google, reddit, Tumblr, Mozilla and Wikipedia joined the cause too.
When January 18 finally came round, over 100 thousand websites blacked themselves out in protest, including really major sites like Wired Magazine, Wikipedia and Wordpress. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets, tens of millions of people participated on the Internet with millions of e-mails and calls to Congress.
English version of Wikipedia During the Jan 18th 2012 blackout.
Within 48 hours of this major protest, the SOPA bill was shelved, with sister bill PIPA being disposed of very soon after.
In 2013, Thunderclap is celebrating this victory and wants to remind Internet users worldwide that the fight still continues. To do this, January 18 has been declared Internet Freedom Day. Anyone wishing to get involved can support this day and spread the word here.
January 18 is Internet Freedom Day
The organizer of this campaign is Fight for the Future, who are "dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet's transformative power in our lives by creating civic campaigns that are engaging for millions of people. Alongside Internet users everywhere we beat back attempts to limit our basic rights and freedoms, and empower people to demand technology (and policy) that serves their interests. Activating the Internet for the public good can only lead to a more vibrant and awesome world."
The group is also involved in the Internet Defense League, as reported on Digital Journal last year.