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As Google goes black, Congress prepares to debate PIPA

Patrick Ross, Washington DC

The voluntary blackout of websites today including English-language Wikipedia and Reddit was coordinated to coincide with a hearing planned for today by congressional opponents of rogue sites legislation

That hearing, scheduled by Republican Darrell Issa of California in the House Oversight Committee was to be titled "Government Mandated DNS Blocking and Search Takedowns - Will It End the Internet as We Know It?" The key witness was to be cybersecurity specialist Stewart Baker, who authored a paper last year arguing SOPA would undermine efforts to create a more secure DNS system.

Sites including Google (logo right), Wikipedia and Reddit are protesting today by blacking out their logos or blocking access to their sites.

The planned hearing raised the prospect of Issa criticising a fellow Republican, SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith of Texas. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stepped in, with Issa saying Sunday that he would postpone the hearing because Cantor had promised not to allow SOPA to advance to a House...

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