The mysterious online group Anonymous is calling for a united internet black out to take place on April 22. The blackout, announced on Friday, is in protest to CISPA, a bill that passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday. If CISPA were signed into law, it would make it legal for websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to share private user information with the federal government. The bill failed to pass in the House of Representatives last year, and was reintroduced in February.
In contrast to some of their previous practices, Anonymous does not plan to personally take down any websites. In a prepared statement, the group explained that they hope that sites around the world would join them in shutting down for 24 hours in protest. They warned the public that the bill would turn popular websites into "legally untouchable government spies."
A similar blackout occurred in January 2012, in which over 7,000 websites went black in protest to the controversial SOPA bill. Two days later, the bill was removed from discussion. President Obama has hinted that if given the chance he will veto the CISPA bill. Proponents of the bill state that a working relationship between the federal government and websites will enhance and aid cyber security efforts. In the past, President Obama has stated that he feels the bill would reduce the civil liberties of internet users.
In a message to the President, Anonymous claimed that the blackout could be considered a caution or a warning. In rather curt terms, they warned the President "one thing is for certain, neither you or anyone else in this world can control the Internet, so don't even try."
Knowing the group's reputation on the web, April 22 will undoubtedly be a unique day for internet users everywhere.