NEW DELHI: Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales on Monday asked school students to finish their homework early as he detailed the plan to shut down the website on Wednesday to protest against a controversial anti-piracy bill that the US senate is debating.
"Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday," Wales said on his Twitter page.
"I am just starting to do press interviews about the upcoming blackout of Wikipedia...This is going to be wow. I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know," he wrote. Wales said that visitors to the Wikipedia's English website will see a message telling them that the website has been shut for 24 hours to protest the anti-piracy laws called Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).
For last few months there has been a fierce debate over SOPA in US. While organizations like Motion Picture Association of America believe that laws like SOPA, which has several drastic provisions, including blocking websites at DNS level, are needed to fight piracy, web companies like Google and Facebook say that SOPA will stifle innovation and hit freedom of speech.
Wales also said that ComScore estimates around 25 million people visit the English website of Wikipedia every day.
When Wikipedia shuts down, it will join tens of other websites that will shut down on Wednesday as part of their protest against SOPA. These include Reddit, a website housing an influential web community that curates news, Cheezburger network, a collection of websites that host immensely popular LOLcat memes, BoingBoing, a popular blog, Craiglist, Mozilla, Minecraft and several other websites related to video games. There are reports that Google and Facebook may join the blackout.
On Saturday, White House joined the debate saying that certain provisions of SOPA could harm the web. "Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small...We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet," said the note prepared by three senior officials, including Aneesh Chopra, the US chief technology officer. "Our analysis of the DNS filtering provisions in some proposed legislation suggests that they pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online."
Reports claim that after the White House made its stance clear, SOPA has put on hold by the US senate. But Wales said on Twitter that even if SOPA is dead, PIPA remains a threat. "SOPA is crippled now. PIPA is still extremely dangerous," he wrote.
Wikipedia to shut down for 24 hours - The Times of India