Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales stopped by The Washington Post on Tuesday to discuss the blackout of Wikipedia in Russia. In an interview, Wales said he only found out about the blackout Monday, having heard “rumblings” about the law being debated in parliament Tuesday, which would grant the Russian government power to blackout Web sites, as the Post’s Olga Khazan reports.
The 24-hour blackout is very similar to the blackout of Wikipedia in the United States in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in January, which proponents argued would put an end to illegal sharing of proprietary content
“We’ll see what happens,” Wales said.
“I think we’ll always be quite keen on these issues,” Wales said of Wikipedia’s interest in the continued debate over the balance between stopping illegal data sharing, while preserving open sharing as exemplified by Wikipedia and other open-data Web sites.
“One of the things that tends to rally people together very much is that the conditions which allow us to do our work are really, really important, not just for us, but for the entire Internet,” Wales said. “So, anything that causes it to be difficult for volunteers to share information freely to share knowledge, to write, to do things is, you know, anathema to us.”
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