Wikipedia shuts down to protest anti-piracy bill
Online encyclopedia Wikipedia has temporarily shut down its English-language website to protest a proposed US anti-piracy bill.
The Wikimedia Foundation says it is blacking out the site for 24 hours starting at midnight Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday.
About 2.5 million users are expected to be affected by the shutdown.
The foundation is protesting a bill currently under deliberation in the US Congress that is meant to protect intellectual property rights. Wikipedia says the law could restrict free speech online.
The bill would enable the US government to order Internet service providers to take measures to block sites involved in the illegal sharing of digital files. Overseas websites would also be subject to the legislation.
The Obama administration has acknowledged the need to protect intellectual property rights but has expressed concern about the contents of the bill.
Wikipedia was founded in 2001 and now offers articles in more than 100 languages. Anyone can contribute to the free encyclopedia. ( NHK)