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Tech Watch: Popular Websites Plan Day Of Protest

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Homepage of the online free encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Homepage of the online free encyclopedia Wikipedia.

(CBS SF) – A handful of popular websites are planning to take part in day of protest on Wednesday as the U.S. Senate continues to discuss a bill that would crackdown on Internet piracy.

CNET Editor at Large Brian Cooley said the controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act and companion Protect IP Act will finally come to a head with sites like Wikipedia going offline for 24 hours starting at midnight.

CNET Editor at Large Brian Cooley:

“The tricky part about these particular bills is that they target rogue or offshore websites,” said Cooley. “When sites are in the United States, there are a fair number of legal tools to go after them. But the problem with sites that are outside the U.S. boundaries is it’s very hard to take legal, methodical action against them.”

Google is planning to post a link on its homepage to let users know why it’s opposed to the bills.

Cooley said that there are some indications that the bills are starting to lose support among legislators.

“The White House has just recently said that it has some reservations about these bills,” he said. “The White House did strongly back them until just recently. We are also seeing some seeds of receding by the proponents.”

Late last week, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, the author of the House version of the bill, said he planned to tone down SOPA, with a new version not including one of the most controversial aspects of the measure, the ability for federal authorities to completely shutdown domains that were alleged to have pirated content.

You can hear Brian Cooley’s Tech Watch report Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:50 P.M. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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