Protests against SOPA and PIPA - Definition from the Hotspot Shield Glossary

SOPA and PIPA are two laws passed by the United States government that aim to prevent online piracy but also address behaviors and practices online. In 2012, protests were coordinated against the laws as many people believed that they would infringe on users freedom online including freedom of speech, and also against the lack of protection and safeguards for user-generated websites and content.

The protests were started by users of the Reddit website and also the English Wikipedia - Both of which even considered closing their websites. Other major businesses including Google, Flickr and Mozilla also joined in protests, and it was reported that over 115,000 websites joined in with the protests. The protests were reported by the media around the globe and had a mixed reception.