- Associated Press - Monday, January 16, 2012

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says the online encyclopedia will black out its website Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress.

Wales announced the move on Twitter Monday. The popular online community-sourced information site will shut down its English versions for 24 hours in protest of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act pending in Congress.

The legislation is designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas. Critics say it could hurt the technology industry and infringes on free-speech rights.

Wikipedia is not the first website to announce plans to shut down but is the most well-known, with an estimated 25 million visitors a day. Reddit, Boing Boing and other online sites also have plans to go dark.

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