posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jan 2012 00:09 UTC
Icon...and we're back. Like so many other sites on the web, OSNews joined the worldwide protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT-IP Act, which threaten to end free speech, economic innovation, privacy, and the free exchange of information on the web. I don't wish to waste too many words on our participation, so consider this item as a sort of comment lightening rod to make sure that when the next story is posted, we can focus fully on its topic. Update: DC seems to be getting the message the internet sent today.

Before we go, we would like to thank zachstronaut.com for their excellent protest page. I'm so happy we (still) have a web where we can freely share things like this.

We did not announce our participation in the protests, for the simple reason that we felt the impact would be greater if OSNews went dark without any prior notice - because that's exactly what would happen to websites all over the web if SOPA/PIPA are passed. It would give the content industry and the US government extraordinary control over the web without any form of due process. In other words: censorship.

Usually, we use articles as our means of choice to convey our position, but this issue is so important we felt the need to do a full-on blackout, with no way to get to OSNews itself. We decided to do so a few weeks ago, and even when it looked like SOPA was going to be shelved, we decided to press on. The 'unshelving' of SOPA only strengthened our resolve.

OSNews is but a relatively small website and community, and this is really all we can do. The American members of our team can express their concerns in the voting booth, but as an Old Worlder, all I can do is shake my fist in articles. This was an extreme measure, and there's no intention to make a habit out of stuff like this.

Thank you for your understanding (zero complaint emails!), and thank you for being part of the OSNews community. We <3 you.

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