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To the Cat Cave…!

After the success of virtual protests against the SOPA online piracy bill, Fight for the Future (a nonprofit group) is forming the Internet Defense League – of people who will fight for Internet freedom! The call to action will look a lot like the signal that the people of Gotham City used to summon Batman, but with a cute cat face! Tiffiniy Cheng, co-founder of Fight for the Future, said that the use of a Cat Signal has to do with Ethan Zuckerman‘s cute cat theory of  digital activism – which postulates that that the same tools that help people to share cute cat photos can be used for online activism.

The Internet Blackout was just the beginning,” the league founders write on a Web page announcing the project. “Together, our websites and personal networks can mobilize the planet to defend the Internet from bad laws and monopolies. Are you in?”

To join the Internet Defense League, you enter the URL of your Web site (or blog, YouTube channel, Twitter stream or Tumblr account) and an email address on the Internet Defense League’s Web site. In a few weeks, you will receive a piece of code that will allow the league to let you know when you need to ACT!

That action might be allowing the league to take over your entire site or placing a message in a sidebar. You may be asked to show your readers a streaming video or urge them to contact a congressional representative.

For now, the sign that you are needed will look like the bat signal the people of Gotham used to summon Batman, but with a cute cat face. They call it the “cat signal.”

According to Tiffiniy Cheng, WordPress, Reddit, and the Cheeseburger network have already signed up for the league and Wikipedia, which was the largest Web site to take part in the anti-SOPA protest, is ALSO considering membership.

“With the current sites signed up we have a combined reach of tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of people,” Cheng said. “We are taking the network and tactics of the SOPA fight that we created and turning it into a permanent force.”

-Bill at

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