Defending the Internet

Joseph ComoAlerts, Internet Safety

A group called the Internet Defense League is trying to create a a way to mobilize open-internet activists to protest against legislation that would crack down too tight on the Internet.

The group’s motto: “Make sure the Internet never loses. Ever.”

The group has come up with a “bat signal” to rally their followers.

Tiffiniy Cheng is co-director of the nonprofit group Fight for the Future which helped organize legislation protests and is behind this new site. “It’s a cat signal because we see the cat as the symbol of the Internet,” said Cheng. “There’s this academic theory … that talks about if you ban the ability of people to share cat photos, they’ll start protesting en masse.”

She added: “The idea is we’re building the infrastructure to put up this cat signal or this bat signal all over the Internet at a moment’s notice, with the click of a button.”

In January, Congress was considering SOPA and PIPA, two pieces of legislation that would help the government control and restrict online distribution of pirated content.

Wikipedia shut down for one day in protest of the proposed laws.  The legislation died after these and other digitally based protests.

There are supporters of the legislation such as Time Warner and several movie and music industry groups.

The Internet Defense League says it is going to protest two other pieces of legislation nicknamed ACTA and CISPA.  These also attempt to regulate pirated content.  The Internet Defense League intends to alert supporters to any new threats to “Internet freedom”.

Many are wondering if this is the beginning of a new trend – Internet activism!  They are also wondering if the Web will be influencing politics in the near future.