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The Geek Girl 2012 Countdown: The Top 5 Technology Stories of the Year – Internet vs. SOPA

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Well, we made it. 2012 is almost come and gone, and we’re all ready to start anew in 2013. But before we dive in to the new year, let’s take a look back at this year. From battling lawsuits to battling legislation, from IPO failures to record successes, it’s been an impressive and newsworthy year for technology in 2012. And that’s why all this week and into next week, I’ll be recapping the Top 5 technology stories of 2012.

5.) Internet Fights Back Against SOPA & PIPA

Way back in January, the government tried to attack the Internet, and the Internet fought back mightily.

Back then, there were two pieces of legislation circling around Congress that, if they had passed, could have meant the end of the Internet as we knew it. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate were intended to crack down on pirated and copyrighted materials on the Internet. However, the language used in the bills was so vague and undefined and the methods proposed to stop piracy were so restrictive that the Internet went into all-out attack mode to make sure these bills did not pass.

On January 18th, thousands upon thousands of sites participated in the Internet “blackout,” in an effort to fight back against these bills. Tons of well-known sites such as Wikipedia, Reddit and LOLcats went off-line completely in protest. Other big name sites like Google showed their support by going dark or posting messages warning of the dangers of these bills. The message was heard loud and clear: don’t mess with our Internet.

Thankfully, lawmakers got the message. Virtually everyone backed off on SOPA and PIPA and the bills pretty much shriveled up and died. This story served as a perfect example of just how powerful the Internet really is, and what happens when to try to mess with a good thing.

Check back here on Wednesday as The Geek Girl 2012 Countdown continues with a huge Facebook fail.

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