Posted by: Burlington Public Library (WA) | January 18, 2012

Speaking of civil liberties…

You may notice something funny about the internet today.

Here’s what Google looks like:

And Wikipedia:

So what’s up?  If you care about your Internet access, you’ll want to be informed about SOPA and PIPA, two proposed national legislations in the news currently.  And here, courtesy of The Rumpus, is a great list of options for educating yourself in your preferred tone of voice.  (I especially appreciate the inclusion of LOLCat, but that’s just me.)

“You don’t need to be a tech nerd to want to know what’s up with the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its counterpart the Protect IP Act (PIPA), so here are some links to help you understand SOPA/PIPA and today’s blackout.  After those links you’ll find a few to help you take action, if you so choose.

If you want to go to the source and read the actual House legislation, here’s a pdf for SOPA.
Similarly, if you want the actual Senate legislation, here’s a pdf for PIPA.

If you want something that summarizes SOPA/PIPA and the Wikipedia blackout, here’s a very basic understanding from ABC News.

If you want CBS News to explain what it believes you need to know on the issue, here’s that summary.

If you want FOX News to explain it to you in its own special way, here’s that link.

If you want the New York Times to explain it to you, you know where to go.

If you want an incredibly specific website to explain SOPA, try here.

If you want to read Obama’s Administration’s response, read this.

If you want a daily technology news website’s take, visit‘s explanation of why it went dark today.

If you still don’t understand how SOPA/PIPA might affect you, try reading this CNET article for an FAQ.

If you require a lolcat connection, then watch “The Day the LOLcats died” video.

If you can only function in internet lists mainly composed of graphics, then check out the Washington Post’s collection of the five best anti-SOPA protests from today’s blackout.

Now, as far as taking action goes…

If you’re looking to contact your officials, you visit their websites for direct contact information.  You can call their offices or you can send an email.  Or both.

  • Visit Congress’s website and type your zip code in to the box at the top right:
  • Visit the Senate’s website and use the drop-down state selection at the top right:

If you want to sign the Google petition, go here:

If you want to sign the petition on, it’s as easy as going to:

The Rumpus


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