(Credit: Google)Google's homepage today shows a thick black censorship stamp across its colorful logo.
And, if clicked on, it leads users to a "End Piracy, Not Liberty" petition that asks people to sign-on to protest the two anti-piracy laws to be voted on by Senate and Congress.
"Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.," the petition reads. "Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late."
Over the course of the day, millions of people signed onto Google's petition. "The last number we released was at 4:30pm ET," said Google spokesperson Christine Chen. "At that point we were at 4.5 million signatories and counting."
This search-giant is showing that it is in lock step with hundreds of other individuals, groups, and Web sites that either sent out their own petitions, wrote letters to the U.S. government, or went black today in protest of the anti-piracy laws. Among Google's allies are Facebook, AOL, Wikipedia, Amazon, Twitter, and Firefox.
"Fighting online piracy is important," Google wrote on the petition. "The most effective way to shut down pirate websites is through targeted legislation that cuts off their funding. There's no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs."
There are signs that the SOPA and PIPA protests are working. A whole host of senators and members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have announced that they will either vote against or vote to amend the bills. Earlier today, Republican Sens. Roy Blunt from Missouri, John Boozman from Arkansas, and Orrin Hatch from Utah all said they were withdrawing co-sponsorship from the Protect IP Act.