Wikipedia to black out Wednesday in protest

Wikipedia will black out its website Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress.

Founder Jimmy Wales announced on Twitter Monday that the popular site will shut down its English versions for 24 hours in protest, writing: “Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday!”

The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act pending in Congress are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas. Critics say they could hurt the technology industry and infringe on free-speech rights.

The Wikipedia community is still deciding whether or not to limit access internationally to the English-version of the site.

It is the largest website to announce such plans. It will join several other sites, including Reddit, the social news site, and BoingBoing, a technology and culture blog, that also plan to black out on Wednesday.