When you fire up the ol' Google machine Wednesday to commence your daily queries of stocks and porn, don't be surprised if you come up empty-handed.
That's because the almighty search engine is "going dark" in protest of a set of onerous bills winding their way through Congress that will effectively cripple the Internet as we know it. According to CNet, Google is joining fellow web heavy hitters like Wikipedia and reddit in protest of the House Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate equivalent, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), by going on a digital strike.
Consider it a kind of re-enactment of It's A Wonderful Life for the web-savvy set, wherein George Baileys across the Internet will experience as close to firsthand as possible a world without Wikipedia and Google.
The anti-SOPA/PIPA blacklash has already delayed the progress of both bills. A SOPA hearing originally slated for Jan. 18 has been scrapped, and the bill itself has been shelved for the time being. (UPDATE: SOPA is not dead, and will reappear for continued markup in the House Judiciary Committee sometime in February)
Regardless of what the blackout might accomplish, one thing is certain: If millions of people are denied access to pictures of cats doing ridiculous things, Internet users will never take their lolcats for granted again.