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Internet Defense League, 'Cat Signal' to Launch This Week

Cat_signalOn July 19, the new Batman movie will open at midnight. Don't be surprised if you happen to see a spotlight in your city that evening that is blasting a beam of light and displaying the cat signal on a neighboring building.

That's right -- the cat signal, not the bat signal, as July 19 is also the launch of the Internet Defense League. The IDL describes itself as "a network of people and sites who use their massive combined reach to defend the open internet and make it better. Because it can sound the alarm quickly to millions of users, people are calling it 'a bat-signal for the Internet.'"

The driving force behind the IDL is a group called Fight for the Future, a nonprofit organization that helped organize the protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) back in late 2011. More than 115,000 websites, including sites such as Wikipedia, went "dark" for a day to help defeat those bills. IDL says that it wants to take the tactic that killed SOPA and PIPA and turn it into a permanent force for defending the Internet -- "like the internet's Emergency Broadcast System." Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, who is on the IDL steering committee, explained that 

At a moment of notice, this kind of digital bat signal will go up in the air and you’ll get notified and have the opportunity to take action however you see fit on your site. It could be a slew of buttons that give links to whatever we're doing, a call to action to sign a petition, or a couple of lines of code that you put on your site that allows someone to call their senator. It will be up to the web owner to decide. ... We're trying to encourage as much from the bottom up, because that’s how the internet works.

But why the cat signal? Holmes Wilson, a co-founder of Fight for the Future, said that "if the internet has a mascot, it's definitely a cat, not a bat.‬"

Image: Internet Defense League

Posted by Bruce Carton on July 17, 2012 at 04:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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