January 18, 2012 | By Julie Samuels and corynne mcsherry

Thank You, Internet! And the Fight Continues

Today was a truly inspiring day in Internet history.  Working together, we sent a powerful message to Big Media and the misguided proponents of the Internet blacklist legislation: we will not stand idly by and let you hamper innovation, kill jobs, wreak havoc on Internet security, and undermine free speech.  Supporters of SOPA and PIPA say the Internet Blackout day was a "publicity stunt."  We say it was a wake-up call.  

EFF's anti-blacklist crew gathers around laptops showing websites participating in the protest

The numbers are pretty amazing.  More than 1 million messages (and counting!) were sent to Congress today via the EFF action center. More than 4.5 million people signed Google's petition registering their opposition to the bills. And that's just the beginning. Many lawmakers abandoned the legislation (at least 13 senators today alone!) and we expect to see more defections as a result of today's protests.  

Also notable was the broad spectrum of opposition.  We knew security engineers, human rights activists, technology investors, law professors and innovators large and small were against the bill, but today's action brought together everyone from independent artists to gaming companies to organizations that normally stay out of these kinds of battles, like Wikipedia, Craigslist, and Reddit.  As they've explained, they stood with the Internet today because they recognize the danger these bills pose to free expression and access to information.    

The black out begins! Sites from left to right: BoingBoing, Google, EFF, Wikipedia

Aside from the sheer numbers, as we mentioned earlier, we were reminded of the extraordinary creativity of the many Internet communities that stand together against PIPA and SOPA.  

So thank you, Internet.  And Congress, heads up: We are watching.  Time to kill these bills

EFF's Seth Schoen talks to reporters at the anti-SOPA protest in San Francisco

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