PHOTO ESSAY: Australians oppose SOPA censorship laws

Activists in Melbourne protested on January 24 against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the US.

If passed, the laws would expand the ability of US law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.

This would give US authorities the ability to shut down websites, leading to possible political censorship. As with the Helms-Burton act targeting Cuba, this law could potentially be used to attack websites internationally.

Protests against SOPA and PIPA have occurred online by websites such as MichaelMoore.com and Wikipedia.

Amid huge opposition, the proposed SOPA laws have been deferred in the US until next month.