Sometime today several prominent websites will be down, they will, in effect, ‘go dark’. This will not be due to some outside hacking attack, or internal technical difficulties, but rather in solidarity to a planned day of outages in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Acts currently being considered by the Congress. These pieces of legislation are considered problematic by many for the ability they would confer on government and large rightsholder monopolies to stifle innovation and ‘blacklist’ websites that may have content found to be objectionable in a broadly construed sense of what counts as objectionable.
In protest of this coalition of sites, many major web services such as Wikipedia, will be going dark to raise awareness of these bills. This represents the most widespread usage this novel tactic of the information age.