SOPA Blackout Fallout

Andrew Froehlich, Network Engineer & IT Consultant | 1/19/2012 | 26 comments

Andrew Froehlich
If a single person wanted his or her voice to be heard in American politics, the standard "write or call your representative" has always been used. Do you know how many times I actually wrote or called my representative? Zero. I don't know if that makes me a bad citizen or just one of those people that has a million other things going on in his life and simply doesn't have the time.

But after seeing the results of the anti-SOPA blackout, I'm beginning to change my tune. No, I still won't get around to writing my representative. I no longer need to. With the Internet, my voice can be heard with a click of the mouse. It's fast, easy, and is going to change the world of politics and the world of business forever.

So what can I say about the SOPA blackout? For one, the big Internet companies were much more restrained than was rumored. In a past blog, I wrote about the potential blacklash that major Internet companies could face if they simply turned off their services for a full 24 hours in protest against the SOPA legislation. In reality, the only site that actually went "dark" was Wikipedia. Other companies including Google, Reddit, Craigslist, and Flickr simply added a splash page or modified their logo in protest of the Act.

One notable Internet giant that decided to sit this protest out was Facebook. And in my mind, this was an absolute genius move by Zuckerberg and company. Despite the fact that you have big Websites protesting, most of the noise is coming from regular Internet users. Through the power of social networking, the response from millions of everyday people was the highlight of the protest in my mind. And the wonderful thing was, you could protest in a variety of ways including:

  • Social networks -- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc
  • Wordpress and Tumblr anti-SOPA plugins for blog pages
  • Cloudflare's Stop Censorship app for Websites using the Cloudflare caching service
  • Sign Google's anti-SOPA petition

Basically, if you used the Internet on the 18th, you were almost guaranteed an opportunity to publicly state your opinion on the matter.

In the end, it looks as if SOPA (and its cousin PIPA) are quickly losing favor in the House of Representatives. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has already stated that a consensus is needed in order to take further action on the bill. Since there is no consensus, SOPA in its current form looks to be delayed indefinitely. Add to that the fact that the White House has already threatened to veto the bill if it ever reaches the president's desk.

This is great news, but the fight isn't over. Those in favor of SOPA are not giving up so easy. Hollywood execs (who are pro-SOPA) have already issued threats to stop donating to president Obama's re-election campaign. But while money is important in politics, you can't get elected if you don't have any votes, so I think that this time, the anti-SOPA side is going to pull off a win -- with much of the credit going to the millions of regular Internet users who participated during the anti-SOPA online protest.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
PamR   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/24/2012 5:51:20 PM
Re: RIP Megaupload
Agreed, not a coincidence. I do sort of think that the pro-SOPA forces were a day or two late--if they'd wanted to hold onto support, arrest the guy a couple of days earlier, let his history waft out there and maybe hold onto some its backers. But I'm not a great strategist, so perhaps I'm missing something. Maybe more to come, who knows?
SaneIT   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/24/2012 7:41:48 AM
Re: RIP Megaupload
I think Kim Dotcom made him self an easy target, he painted himself as a hacker, outlaw and made his flashy his lifestyle public.  What I find interesting is that many of the other file locker services have taken a very reactionary approach to their models and have stopped allowing files to be shared between users.  The seizure of MegaUpload had a bigger effect that I think anyone expected and it makes you wonder if SOPA/PIPA is really necessary after they way this is playing out.
Taimoor Zubair   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/23/2012 11:38:34 PM
Re: RIP Megaupload
But then again Megaupload was not the only video sharing website which was involved in copyright infringement. Wonder why was it chosen as the first target.
Andrew Froehlich   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/23/2012 11:22:11 PM
Re: RIP Megaupload

Timing stinks, though, and certainly not a coincidence.

Not a coincidence at all Pam.  And I'll even go so far as to say it was a brilliant move.  It sheds a bit of light on the other sides problem with stolen content and the people that are profiting from it.  Obviously this is just a single case, but this guy is the perfect poster child for the pro-SOPA camp!

User Ranking: Blogger
PamR   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/23/2012 11:14:24 PM
Re: RIP Megaupload
Pretty hard to defend a guy who appears to have made millions off other people's work and not simply by making the system work for other people. Fight SOPA, yes, for its overreach and potential to harm the little guy but if what he is accused of is true, how is what he did anyhing but piracy? I understand it's easy to despise the Hollywood guys but, wow, I see this move against this particular guy to be a good thing. Timing stinks, though, and certainly not a coincidence.

Andrew Froehlich   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/23/2012 9:41:05 PM
Re: RIP Megaupload
I'm not sure what to think about Megaupload...I was against the shutdown but then I read an article about its owner. Even the pictures speak volumes about what Megaupload is all about --money-- I'm not going to stand beside Kim Dotcom in this fight!
User Ranking: Blogger
Anand   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/23/2012 2:48:50 PM
Re: RIP Megaupload
@Taimoor, I dont how this will this will shape things for SOPA, but definitely this US-led crackdown on Megaupload has left legitimate users of the site unable to access their files.
SaneIT   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/23/2012 7:49:15 AM
Re: RIP Megaupload
@ Taimoor  I think that the Megaupload seizure is going to be used as a "see we told you we needed this bill" type of example.  The timing of the take down is suspicious, they were an easy target so why wait until SOPA and PIPA seemingly failed before taking action against them?
Taimoor Zubair   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/20/2012 11:09:31 PM
RIP Megaupload
And just to update everyone, popular video sharing website Megaupload has been "seized pursuant to an order issued by a U.S District Court" partly because of "copyright infringement". I wonder how this will shape things for SOPA now.

This is what the notice on the website says.

SaneIT   SOPA Blackout Fallout   1/20/2012 9:03:02 AM
Re: The Nerd Lobby
@David, I agree, the "nerd lobby" is a poor characterization.  My facebook page was filled with anti-SOPA messages from people with very little tech savvy and they understood the risk that SOPA and PIPA posed to their access of sites that they use everyday.  I think those who have tried to spin this fight as techies or nerds vs. the government are insulting internet users as a whole.  It might be the nerds who wrote the code for the protest messages but it was the communities that support an open and free internet that caused the backlash against the two bills.

Page 1 / 3   >   >>

The blogs and comments posted on do not reflect the views of TechWeb,, or its sponsors., TechWeb, and its sponsors do not assume responsibility for any comments, claims, or opinions made by authors and bloggers. They are no substitute for your own research and should not be relied upon for trading or any other purpose.

More Blogs from Andrew Froehlich
Andrew Froehlich   5/6/2014   13 comments
Not all clouds are equal. That's a pretty obvious statement that we can all agree on. Cloud service providers offer differing levels of services, redundancy, and customer service -- all at ...
Andrew Froehlich   4/30/2014   10 comments
In order for enterprise employees to work together as one unified group, they must follow carefully written policies and procedures -- but every once in a while, you may find yourself in ...
Andrew Froehlich   4/22/2014   49 comments
For those of us who study enterprise IT security, last year's Target store hack turned out to be a fantastic case study that was loaded with lessons to learn.
Andrew Froehlich   4/16/2014   22 comments
With news that Google slashed the price of their big-data offering "Big Query" by up to 85 percent, one has to wonder if the move is to ward off competitors -- or simply that the ...
Andrew Froehlich   3/18/2014   27 comments
At a recent South By Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Edward Snowden said the NSA is "setting fire to the future of the Internet." In light of this, the World Wide Web ...
Latest Archived Broadcast
We talk with Bernard Golden about accelerating application delivery in the cloud.
On-demand Video with Chat
Register for this video discussion to learn how tablets can provide true business usability and productivity.
E2 IT Migration Zones
IT Migration Zone - UK
Why PowerShell Is Important
Reduce the Windows 8 Footprint for VDI
Rethinking Storage Management
IT Migration Zone - FR
SQL Server : 240 To de mémoire flash pour votre data warehouse
Quand Office vient booster les revenus Cloud et Android de Microsoft
Windows Phone : Nokia veut davantage d'applications (et les utilisateurs aussi)
IT Migration Zone - DE
Cloud Computing: Warum Unternehmen trotz NSA auf die „private“ Wolke setzen sollten
Cloud Computing bleibt Wachstumsmarkt – Windows Azure ist Vorreiter
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Enterprise Efficiency Twitter Feed
Site Moderators Wanted
Enterprise Efficiency is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations with IT industry leaders; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
Dell's Efficiency Modeling Tool
The major problem facing the CIO is how to measure the effectiveness of the IT department. Learn how Dell’s Efficiency Modeling Tool gives the CIO two clear, powerful numbers: Efficiency Quotient and Impact Quotient. These numbers can be transforma¬tive not only to the department, but to the entire enterprise.

Read the full report
The State of Enterprise Efficiency in the Virtual Era: Virtualization – Smart Approaches to Maximize Gains
Virtualization is a presence in nearly all enterprise data centers. But not all companies are using it to its best effect. Learn the common characteristics of success, what barriers companies face, and how to get the most from your efforts.

Read the full report
Informed CIO: Dollars & Sense: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
Cut through the VDI hype and get the full picture -- including ROI and the impact on your Data Center -- to make an informed decision about your virtual desktop infrastructure deployments.

Read the full report
A Video Case Study – Translational Genomics Research Institute
e2 Video

On the Case
TGen IT: Where We're Going Next

7|11|12   |   08:12   |   10 comments

Now that TGen has broken new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions, the company discusses what will come next for it and for personalized medicine.
On the Case
Better Care Through Better Communications

6|6|12   |   02:24   |   11 comments

The achievements of the TGen/Dell project could improve how all people receive healthcare, because they are creating ways to improve end-to-end communication of medical data.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Are Now

5|15|12   |   06:58   |   6 comments

TGen is breaking new ground in genomic research by using Dell's storage, cloud, and high-performance computing solutions.
On the Case
TGen IT: Where We Were

4|27|12   |   06:45   |   10 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute wanted to save lives, but its efforts were hobbled by immense computing challenges related to collecting, processing, sharing, and storing enormous amounts of data.
On the Case
1,200% Faster

4|18|12   |   02:27   |   12 comments

Through their partnership, Dell and TGen have increased the speed of TGen’s medical research by 1,200 percent.
On the Case
IT May Improve Children's Chances of Survival

4|17|12   |   02:12   |   8 comments

IT is helping medical researchers reach breakthroughs in a way and pace never seen before.
On the Case
Medical Advances in the Cloud

4|10|12   |   1:25   |   5 comments

TGen and Dell are pushing the boundaries of computing, and harnessing the power of the cloud to improve healthcare.
On the Case
TGen: Living the Mission

4|9|12   |   2:25   |   3 comments

TGen's CIO puts the organizational mission at the heart of everything the IT staff does.
On the Case
TGen Speeding Up Biomedical Research to Save More Lives

4|5|12   |   1:59   |   6 comments

The Translational Genomics Research Institute is revamping its computing to improve speed, storage, and collaboration – and, most importantly, to save lives.
On the Case
Computing Power Helping to Save Children's Lives

3|28|12   |   2:13   |   3 comments

The Translational Genomics Institute’s partnership with Dell is enabling them to treat kids with neuroblastoma more quickly and save more lives.
Tom Nolle
The Big Reason to Use Office

3|18|14   |   02:24   |   46 comments

Office and personal productivity tools come in a first-class and coach flavor set, but what makes the difference is primarily little things that most users won't encounter. What's the big issue in using something other than Office, and can you get around it?
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Mobile Security — A Use Case

3|4|14   |   04:27   |   16 comments

New mobile security solutions can accommodate a wide array of needs, including those of a complex university environment.
Tom Nolle
Killing Net Neutrality Might Save You Money

1|16|14   |   2:13   |   16 comments

The DC Court of Appeals voided most of the Neutrality Order, and whatever it might mean for the Internet overall, it might mean better and cheaper Internet VPNs for businesses.
Tom Nolle
The Internet of Everythinguseful

1|10|14   |   2:18   |   19 comments

We really don't want an "Internet of Everything" but even building an Internet of Everythinguseful means setting some ground rules to insure there's value in the process and that costs and risks are minimized.
Tom Nolle
Maturing Google Chrome

12|30|13   |   2.18   |   25 comments

Google's Chrome OS has a lot of potential value and a lot of recent press, but it still needs something to make it more than a thin client. It needs cloud integration, it needs extended APIs via web services, and it needs to suck it up and support a hard drive.
Sara Peters
No More Cookie-Cutter IT

12|23|13   |   03.58   |   21 comments

Creating the right combination of technology, people, and processes for your IT organization is a lot like baking Christmas cookies.
Sara Peters
Smart Wigs Not a Smart Idea

12|5|13   |   3:01   |   46 comments

Sony is seeking a patent for wigs that contain computing devices.
Tom Nolle
Cloud in the Wild

12|4|13   |   02:23   |   15 comments

On a recent African trip I saw examples of the value of the cloud in developing nations, for educational and community development programs. We could build on this, but not only in developing economies, because these same programs are often under-supported even in first-world countries.
E2 Editors
SPONSORED: Is Malware Evading Your IPS?

11|18|13   |   03:16   |   4 comments

Intrusion prevention software is supposed to detect and block malware intrusions, but clever malware authors can evade your IPS in these five main ways.
Sara Peters
Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

9|27|13   |   3:15   |   38 comments

A good professional mentor can change your life for the better... but where do you find one?
Tom Nolle
SDN Wars & You Could Win

9|17|13   |   2:10   |   5 comments

VMware's debate with Cisco on SDN might finally create a fusion between an SDN view that's all about software and another that's all about network equipment. That would be good for every enterprise considering the cloud and SDN.
Ivan Schneider
The Future of the Smart Watch

9|12|13   |   3:19   |   39 comments

Wearing a bulky, oversized watch is good training for the next phase in wristwatches: the Internet-enabled, connected watch. Why the smartphone-tethered connected watch makes sense, plus Ivan demos an entirely new concept for the "smart watch."
Tom Nolle
Cutting Your Cloud Storage Costs

9|4|13   |   2:06   |   3 comments

Cloud storage costs are determined primarily by the rate at which files are changed and the possibility of concurrent access/update. If you can structure your storage use to optimize these factors you can cut costs, perhaps to zero.
Sara Peters
Do CIOs Need an IT Background?

8|29|13   |   2:11   |   23 comments

Most of the CIOs interviewed in the How to Become a CIO series did not start their careers as IT professionals. So is an IT background essential?
Ivan Schneider
The Internet Loves Birthdays

8|27|13   |   3:25   |   69 comments

The Internet has evolved into a machine for drumming up a chorus of "Happy Birthday" messages, from family, friends, friends of friends who you added on Facebook, random people that you circled on G+, and increasingly, automated bots. Enough already.