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Protests Planned Today Over Internet Legislation

NEW YORK, N.Y. --  Many internet users may have noticed that their favorite websites have taken part in an online "blackout" today by covering their logos.

The blackouts, being held on thousands of popular sites, is in protest of two controversial anti-piracy bills: the Stop Online Piracy Act ( SOPA ) and its Senate companion, the Protect IP Act ( PIPA ), which were introduced late last year in Washington.

The bills are intended to stop copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property and are being supported primarily by the entertainment industry, but opponents say the legislation would stifle expression on the internet and hurt tech companies and websites that specialize in providing information like Google, Facebook, Wikipedia and Reddit.

Wikipedia has gone a step further than most and shut down it's website completely, making the online encyclopedia altogether unusable.

On Wednesday protests were planned for the Manhattan office of United States Senator Charles Schumer , a supporter of the legislation, as well as the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand , who sponsored the PIPA legislation. Neither has released an official statement on their stance concerning the legislation or the planned protests.

The protests are being planned by NY Tech Meetup, a community comprised of thousands of tech industry employees and supporters. Their website is among those blacked out on Wednesday.

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