Wikipedia and other Web sites “went dark” and Google covered up its logo with a big black “censored” rectangle on January 18, 2012 to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) then being considered in Congress. The Web protests against two controversial copyright enforcement bills (with implications for computer security) were a huge setback for powerful and well-funded trade groups that pushed hard for their passage. Web-based activism clearly had a major impact on the U.S. congressional process. But is this due to a unique set of circumstances, or is this a harbinger of things to come with a new style of lawmaking and deliberation? And what are the implications of very popular websites being used as conduits for political action in parallel to their traditional use?
Experts from the Internet industry, international trade, the political world, and content providers present their views and react to others.