SOPA-Opposing Web Giants Consider ‘Nuclear Option’ to Thwart Law

As a person who basically routes their entire life through the internet- professional, personal, lifestyle- one of the things that gets me agitated about the whole SOPA brouhaha is how little the average web user is concerned with the ostensible end of the internet as we know it.

The few outside communities like Reddit who are aware of even the existence of SOPA don’t really seem to comprehend how seriously it could impact even basic web use, and many worryingly seem to believe that the delayed passage does not mean- in the words of a Daily Kos writer– that the bill is “favored to pass.” (Which, you guys, it still is.)

The continued failure of the bulk of web users to realize the threat SOPA poses means that the few who understand the impact need to do everything in their power to wake the web up to its imminent potential destruction. And it seems that some of the biggest entities are considering a “nuclear option” to get users active, to spur political action and maybe- just maybe- convince lawmakers to ignore special interests and ditch SOPA.

AOL, eBay, Facebook, foursquare, Google, IAC, Linkedin, Mozilla, OpenDNS, PayPal, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo! and the Zynga Game Network are all members of an organization called the NetCoalition, and there is said to be chatter about shutting off the sites for a time to drive home the message that a future with SOPA sucks for everyone. Daily Kos quotes:

When the home pages of,,, and their Internet allies simultaneously turn black with anti-censorship warnings that ask users to contact politicians about a vote in the U.S. Congress the next day on SOPA, you’ll know they’re finally serious…

“There have been some serious discussions about that,” says Markham Erickson, who heads the NetCoalition trade association that counts Google,, eBay, and Yahoo as members. “It has never happened before.”

Scarily, not even the action proposed is guaranteed to stop SOPA or the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), but it would be a hell of a newfangled protest and could be a political game-changer.

Are you concerned about SOPA?

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